Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Review: 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?

I am so sorry to see the Spindle Cove series end -- I'd like to revisit Evan Grammercy, I must admit -- but I believe Any Duchess Will Do ends the series on a high note.  

Griffin York, the Duke of Halford, has been drugged and kidnapped by his mother, who is simply tired of waiting for grandchildren.  She wants Griff to settle down and leave his bachelor lifestyle behind.  When they arrive in "Spinster Cove," Griff agrees to pick one lovely lady for his mother to mold into the future duchess, and he picks Pauline Simms, the Bull and Blossom's serving girl.  

Pauline agrees to Griff's proposal of failing his mother's duchess lessons miserably within a week, and she'll be back in Spindle Cove one thousand pounds richer.  The problem is that while Pauline doesn't enjoy life in Spindle Cove, she cannot deny that despite her better judgment, she is falling in love with Griff.  

“I’m the Duke of Halford,” he said, plunging deep.
She shut her eyes, trying not to cry. It was all too much – the emotion, the pleasure. The hopelessness.
“I’m the Marquess of Westmore.”
“I’m also the Earl of Ridingham. Viscount Newthorpe. Lord Hartford-on-Trent.”
Thrust. Thrust. Thrust.
“And I am your slave, Pauline.”

I so enjoyed watching Pauline and Griff fall in love, as well as learning more of the secret Griff is keeping.  Pauline's care with the duchess was wonderful too.  She is exactly what this family needs!

So while I'm sad to leave Spindle Cove, I know I'll be returning time and time again.  Thank you, Ms. Dare.     

(A very special thank you to Avon Romance, Harper Collins and Edelweiss for providing me with an ARC of Any Duchess Will Do.)

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