Friday, December 20, 2013

Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare

What's a duke to do, when the girl who's perfectly wrong becomes the woman he can't live without?

Griffin York, the Duke of Halford, has no desire to wed this season--or any season--but his diabolical mother abducts him to "Spinster Cove" and insists he select a bride from the ladies in residence. Griff decides to teach her a lesson that will end the marriage debate forever. He chooses the serving girl.

Overworked and struggling, Pauline Simms doesn't dream about dukes. All she wants is to hang up her barmaid apron and open a bookshop. That dream becomes a possibility when an arrogant, sinfully attractive duke offers her a small fortune for a week's employment. Her duties are simple: submit to his mother's "duchess training"... and fail miserably.

But in London, Pauline isn't a miserable failure. She's a brave, quick-witted, beguiling failure--a woman who ignites Griff's desire and soothes the darkness in his soul. Keeping Pauline by his side won't be easy. Even if Society could accept a serving girl duchess--can a roguish duke convince a serving girl to trust him with her heart?
~ ~ ~ ~

This book is a true example of a romance as a fantasy. It has a split personality.

I started it because Lori liked it so much even though I've never been able to get 'into' Tessa Dare. Her first series (Goddess of the Hunt et al), I didn't care for the heroines and although I bought her books because I intended to try again (and Lori liked her), I've never read another (so many books, so little time). And then I read this one.

Okay, first the positives.

She's a wonderful writer.

Lots of humor.

The protagonists were very likeable and I absolutely loved the hero, Griffin.

The sexual tension is great and the sex ... wow. I mean - WOW!

The negatives.

Implausible plot and I do mean implausible. Not sure I would have read it if I'd seen the blurb. (Yes, I bought a book without reading the blurb.) I was going to go into detail, but hell, just read the blurb.

I wish I could say the positives outweighed the negatives, but they didn't, not for me. Of course it does have 4.5 stars on Amazon, so what do I know?

I'd be reading, enjoying the characters, and then some anomaly would hit me over the head. Three women going unescorted to a ball. An unmarried female 'guest' going to Vauxhall with a Duke who has the reputation of a rake - without a chaperone. Or even going to Vauxhall period. If I remember my Heyer, it wasn't the 'done' thing for aristocratic ladies. I don't know what that says about the Dowager Duchess who was going with them but begged off due to an 'illness'. Wink, wink. (she wants grandbabies.) I remember the Dowager Countess in The Quiet Gentleman and ... I shouldn't compare Tessa Dare or anybody to Heyer, but couldn't I at least hope for a smidgeon of authenticity?

The whole book is an anachronism. I loved the characters but I would have loved them more in a contemporary setting. Why write an historical if you don't at least try to be true to the era? Of course, then this book and a lot of others wouldn't have been written.

I would have to give this book a C if I were grading. The historical errors were egregious and came one after the other. If you don't know a damn thing about history and care even less, then I can recommend this book. Otherwise, be prepared to wince a lot and if you're reading in paperback, it may even be a wallbanger.   :-)

This is a true example of a mystorical, as designated by DA. (did I spell that right?)

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed the book and laughed the whole way through. Witty as heck, charming and so completely preposterous as to be laughable.