The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
I received this arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Reading this book made me realise that, yes, I do have guilty pleasures when it comes to my reading habits. Imagine the most cliched, romance driven, disastrously enjoyable story you can get. That is The Duchess Deal for me.
The Duchess Deal is the story of Emma, a seamstress who is roped into a marriage with a mysterious Duke named Ash, scarred from the Napoleonic wars, in order to give him male heirs. However, when she starts to fall in love with him, despite his best attempts… Stuff goes down.
I won’t lie, I feel like I really shouldn’t have enjoyed this book – the Duke was a bit dumb, his internal monologues were cringy at best and vexing at worst, Emma was caught between being a feisty feminist character in touch with her sexuality and being a girl who would do anything for her sexy, attractive new husband – but I did. Against my own will, I did.
Tessa Dare seems to be quite a celebrated author within the realms of less accurate more escapist historical fiction and her book Romancing the Duke has been on my radar for a while. However, although I’d heard of her before, I’d never read any of her books. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was pleased with what I got.
My inner history nerd tends to shine through a lot when I read historical fiction, and although I know very little about the Regency era, I did find myself picking up on a lot of the weird, out of place things that seemed to come to the front of my mind whilst reading. I love the Regency era, so it wasn’t too much of an issue, overall, but it did bug me just a little. I do completely understand that this isn’t meant to be 100% accurate, but some more true to life details would have been nice.
So, overall, I did enjoy this book. I think it’s a 3.5 star rating, because although it was super easy to read, and I loved it, overall, some aspects of it did end up annoying the heck out of me. And, after a while, the book was just too much for me to get through – I put it down several times, just to give myself breathing space.
However, this is definitely a read I can recommend if you like bubblegum romances with a lack of substance, or just need an easy read after a string of complex books!
[N.B. click cover image to preorder – it’s released on 22nd February!]