Saturday, May 25, 2013

ARC Review: Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare

Title: Any Duchess Will Do (Spindle Cove, #4)
Author: Tessa Dare
Source: Edelweiss
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: Novel (384pgs)
Release Date: May 28, 2013
Reviewed by: CaroleDee

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?

What a cute book! Take the movie Pretty Woman and throw it back to the Regency era and you've got Any Duchess Will Do.

I absolutely love stories when an ordinary girl is turned into a princess (well in this case a Duchess :)
What makes it better is that, yes, Pauline's character lives a very ho-hum life. She's a serving girl at a tavern, lives in a ramshackle cottage with her family (including a slightly abusive father, and mentally handicapped sister) but she doesn't dream of a white night. She's got big plans for her future, but relying on a man isn't part of it. When the Duke of Halford comes calling her dreams are that much closer to becoming and reality, but will love get in the way?

I offer you this little bit that I highlighted. It was something the Duke said that I knew would set the tone for the rest of the book;

"Don't change a whit. Don't fall in love with me. At the end of it, we part ways, And you live wealthily ever after."

HA! Yeah, right :)

I adored the story, I loved Pauline's character. My reason for 4 stars instead of 5 was the Duke annoyed me a bit. He took forever to share himself fully with Pauline and while he did eventually grow into a more empathetic person towards her, I got the feeling that he still didn't understand empathy as a whole. I guess I should give the guy some slack, he did grow up in a very strict household. (The better to make him into a good Duke) But I was hoping that Pauline could help him relax a little with everyone else.

In all; if you love Pretty Woman you'll love Any Duchess Will Do. There's even a homage to the 'stuck up boutique worker scene' that had me giggling a bit and cheering when the Duke set thing straight :)

I've never read Tessa Dare before, but now I see what I've been missing I will definitely be diving into her backlog. I see a weekend filled with Spindle Cover in my future ;)


  1. Since writing this review I did go back and read the rest of the Spindle Cove series, and I liked them as much as this one :)

    Definitely 4 and 5 star reads!

  2. It's been a while since I read a Historical Romance. When I forst started reading romance, Historicals are what I started with. I may have to search this one out.


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