Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies's Reviews > The Duchess Deal

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
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did not like it

“If it’s a wife you want,” she said, “surely you could find many women—many well-bred ladies—who would be willing to marry you.”

“Yes, but I’d have to find them. This saves me so much effort.”

She threw him a sidelong glance. “Can you not hear yourself? Do you truly not know how insulting that sounds?”

“I should think it sounds beneficent. I’m offering you a title and fortune. All you have to do is lie back in the dark, then spend nine months swelling up like a tick. What could possibly deter any woman from accepting?”
My panties are so wet right now. Lol. I can't even tell you how dumb this book is.

Sometimes, Tessa Dare's books can be charming and adorable, unfortunately, this book was not one of them. The jokes were not funny. The characters are gratingly bad. The "quirks" in the book that were probably meant to be cute had me shaking my head in disbelief. The entire book, start to finish, was just outrageously bad.

The main male is a caricature of Dr. House, and - dare I say it, our beloved Darcy. Take his *swoon* marriage proposal to a woman he has barely known for five minutes.
“I know what you’re thinking, Miss Gladstone.”

She doubted it.

“You’re incredulous. How could a woman of your standing possibly ascend to such a rank? I can’t deny you’ll find yourself outclassed and un-befriended among the ladies of the peerage, but you will no doubt be consoled with the material advantages. A lavish home, generous lines of credit at all the best shops, a large settlement in the event of my death. You may pay calls, go shopping. Engage in some charitable work, if you must. Your days will be yours to do whatever you wish.” His voice darkened. “Your nights, however, will belong to me.”
Darcy did it better, fam.

A grouchy, scarred (physically AND mentally, ooh!) not that the cover shows anything but perfection, but hey, details shmetails. He's a duke who is so physically repellent that his socialite ex-fiancée dumped his ass. He spends the book lamenting on how everyone leaves him and loathes his appearance, even his household employees - which is kind of weird considering he has like 100000000000 servants in his house when our lady, Emma, is introduced to the staff. Again, details shmetails.

This book doesn't make any damn sense. It's the whole marriage-of-convenience trope, which can be cute when it's done right, but the fact that this fucker is a FILTHY RICH DUKE doesn't make it believable. His utterly emotionless reaction to things, presumably a cute lil' quirk when it was written, makes it so fucking dumb, lol. Speaking of cute lil' quirks, Ashby has this thing where he swears in Shakespearean even when confronted with a bunch of fucking cutthroats in a dark alley.
A savage growl rose in Ash’s throat. “Like the devil you will.” Brandishing his walking stick like a sword, he sliced the air in a wide arc, forcing the footpads back. “Touch her and you will pay with your lives, you diseased, maggoty curs.”
Throughout the book, he is obsessed with getting an heir, and there are so many references to impregnating her. It just gets irritating.

Now, the female main character, Emma. The down-on-her-luck seamstress who gets to marry a duke. One of her reasons for marrying someone she barely knows is to help a pregnant girl whom she barely knows. She picks up an annoying smelly ill-tempered cat off the street just for the sake of bringing something she knows into a new marriage.
The cat was the most foul, filthy, repulsive creature Ashbury had seen in his life, outside of the rare occasions when he regarded himself in a mirror. It was no more than a collection of bones encased in smudge-colored fur, and doubtless crawling with fleas.

His bride clutched the beast with both hands, holding it in front her like some sort of spinster bouquet.
Oh, and as if this book didn't need more quirky characters, there is a random Indian butler, a lady's maid who speaks far above her station, and many, many new friends with questionable animals. This book is like a Regency manic pixie dream girl fantasy.
A bleating sound came from somewhere toward the rear of the house.
“Oh, that’s Marigold.” Penny lifted the teapot. “Never mind her.”

“Marigold?”

“The goat,” Nicola explained.

“She’s sick in love with Angus, and she’s most displeased about being quarantined. She has the sniffles, you see.”

“You have two goats, then?”

“Oh, no. Angus is a Highland calf. I shouldn’t encourage them, but they’re herd creatures. They each need a companion.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
August 22, 2017 – Shelved
August 22, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 54 (54 new)


Anya (~on a semi-hiatus~) I am reading this right now and the whole broodmare thing weirded me out too. :/


message 2: by Kim (new) - added it

Kim I'm not surprised by this review. Tessa Dare seems to only write silly books. I've had to stop reading several of her novels because I couldn't take it anymore.


melack stark: queen in the north Where have you been? You are my favorite reviewer. ;)


Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies Hermione wrote: "Where have you been? You are my favorite reviewer. ;)"

There has been literally NOTHING good out at all. I have been re-reading old books.


Jessica Beth I'm only at 10% but it feels like she half-assed it honestly.


Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies Jessica wrote: "I'm only at 10% but it feels like she half-assed it honestly."

I didn't want to put that into the review, but I felt the same. It's like she didn't care anymore


Jessica Beth Yeah, I was so looking forward to this one because I enjoyed her previous one but . . . I'll be surprised if I end up liking it.


Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies I enjoyed a couple of them previously, so this was a disappointment.


message 9: by Jenny (new)

Jenny Ugh, so bummed because I loved some of her other books :(
I read Romancing the Duke entirely because of your review and I came out of it with zero regrets...at least until I read this review lol


message 10: by Laura (new)

Laura Bad rewriting of love stories is such a drag.


message 11: by Tammy (new)

Tammy "Darcy did it better fam" is one of the best lines I've ever read lol


Pavli St. The book was meant to be funny, you could see that from the first chapter. Its obvious that it has a modern twist in it. And seriously his servent loved him. The whole time they only wanted him to fall in love with Emma. The whole household was scheming to help them, they were riduculous with their plans and funny as hell. Yes this book sucked BUT only if you want to read a boring, time acurate, drama filled romance. Personaly I loved it! It was something refreshing, all the other regency books are the same, there are just a few diffrent main plot that vary. And after you've read a few of yhem they become really boring. Its obvious that you like a dufferent kind of book, but that is ni reason to say that this one is not good. The writing was great, it was funny, it has a great romantic story, drama, they both had problems that needed to be solvet to love each other. Honestly did you even read the whole book befire saying it was a one star? Even the the way you have explained the examples you have given are all WRONG: when she was thinking "you have no idea..." she was admiring his form, the way he filled out his breaches, for me that was hilarious. Even from the begining Emma says tha there is no way she would say: "all seamstress become nearly blind, hard labour for many years will do that to you and many things, she explains how there would probably never be enybody else ti propose and like it or not it was normal for many many marriges to be ones of convinience and not love ones. I cold probably rant a lot more, there are mane reasons that you are wrong, this book is a FIVE STAR, after I've read more than a thousand books that is something rare for me and its the reason I'm writing this long comment. Heres a patatoe🍟


Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies Pavli wrote: "The book was meant to be funny, you could see that from the first chapter. Its obvious that it has a modern twist in it. And seriously his servent loved him. The whole time they only wanted him to ..."

Good lord, write your own review.


Pavli St. Don't be mad just because I speak the truth, but you are right it did become longer longer that I intendet.


Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies If you had bothered to read my review, you would have seen that I didn't like the humor and I thought it was poorly written. I don't have anything against humor and I really liked her previous books.

Learn to deal gracefully with people whose opinions are different than yours, honey.


Pavli St. My dear, her other books are just as witty and funny, in the same writing style as this one. You are contradicting yourself. If you had actually paid attention while reading the book you may understant that more than half of your review is simply false. I'm not talking about your opion (you have every right to it) but the many simple facts that you have either twistet, not mentioned entirely or simply ignored. I don't mind it when people's opinion doesn't match mine, there is nothing wrong with that. My previous long comment was about the many wrong facts you've written, nothing else.

P.s if you've really read more than 2000 books then how can you say that it was poorly written, I've come across books where it was hard for me to even understand what the author meant. When you say 'poorly written' people think avout bad grammar not that they don't like the plot of the book.


Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies I can see that there's no arguing with you.


message 18: by Mary (new)

Mary "P.s if you've really read more than 2000 books then how can you say that it was poorly written,"


Oh dear lol


message 19: by Samah.vk (new)

Samah.vk Missed your reviews..


Jultri Khanh, I don't know what it is about your reviews that attracts responses from crazy fanatics out there, from The Light Between Oceans to HRs, you sure now how to rub people the wrong way. Is it a special talent you're cultivating? I don't always agree with your opinions, but your reviews are always well argued and articulated and above all, quite entertaining! I have been looking forward to this book, so hopefully, this might be another one we might disagree on. To hell with the dissenters I say, and keep those reviews coming.


Ursula OMG I have this one on pre-order, arriving on my Kindle tomorrow. Will try to not to think of your hilarious review while I read it :)


Jamie Khanh loved you review!!!


Lisazj1 Khanh, even when I disagree with your review, I always enjoy reading it. Sometimes they're more entertaining than the book, LOL! Sorry you have to put up with people determined to be right.


Ursula I just read the rant from one of your critics. Wow! But I don't reckon you are going to lose much sleep over it- I certainly wouldn't. Keep them reviews coming, Khanh- I love them!! Besides, you call yourself "the Meanie". Your honesty is the best thing about you :)


Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies Thanks! The trolls are pretty funny, especially when I click on their review and see....nothing. Heehee.


Ursula Exactly!!!! wtf? I have really loved most of Kleypas' books (yeah, I know, I am a sentimental idiot, and sometimes I am in the mood for that) but was SO disappointed in her latest. And said so. Loyalty is nice, but a review is a personal response that EVERYONE is entitled to make. And "poorly written" is not just about grammar, FFS. It is about style, story arc, metaphors or imagery, characterisation, etc. You know that, I know that, but some people.....


message 28: by Angelyn (new) - added it

Angelyn i agree with you khanh on the review its so true, but i dont agree it deserves a 1-star rating only, i think its passable enough to be entertaining, but definitely its not one of tessa dare's five-star novels.My fav chapter was chapter 1, it has the most engaging and adorable momment between ash&emma and the rest of the novel is a vain attempt to recapture it with a lots of attempts in begetting ash's heir.
i remain tessa dare's fan though im not a fan of this book, there other novels she writes that is just beautifully written.
Have you read a alissa johnson novel khanh? for me she's one of those underated HR author, i would like to hear your review on her books.


Karlene Barger Loved your candid review. I had been looking forward to this book and grew increasingly disappointed the more I read.


Ursula I have enjoyed all of Alissa Johnson's books, Angelyn. I agree, underrated, but she does great characterisation and tells a ripping good story, like in the Providence series.


message 31: by Vicky syme (new)

Vicky syme what are you on about


message 32: by Vicky syme (new)

Vicky syme what are you going on about


Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies Miss V Syme wrote: "what are you going on about"

*points to review*


Sharon L Great Review, sorry you didn't enjoy it :)


Annette It pains me to agree bec I am a big fan of Tessa Dare but this is my exact same thought while reading the book. This one is just so ridiculous for a historical romance. I just couldn't suspend my disbelief anymore.


Samantha Agree on all of this. Really disappointed in such a seasoned writer. And did you notice the frequent ways it seemed like a contemporary instead of a Regency era book? It felt like she had a deadline coming up and rushed this entire storyline.


Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies Yep. It felt like she half assed it.


message 38: by May (new)

May Grider Regency manic pixie dream girl fantasy! I did hate the weird addition of that cat and other arch and pointless cuteness.


Elizabeth You write very passionate reviews. Wow.


Jeffrey Vaynez Jatta Having a man like Duke;he gets married to me for a moment and expects me to kiss ma sorry ass good bye all alone in the dark after spring forth a child bearing his name.Damnnn....he ain't gonna live a sweet life,cause amma make hell his first priority and choice..I ain't droping no ice to cool his brains down...Full of wisdom ,i like it...


Jeffrey Vaynez Jatta cool...love e very character


Stella I agree. While I was reading this book, it felt contemporary. The servants tended to speak far above their station. We all know how different things back then.


kookyquinn I felt like I needed popcorn while I read these comments lol


❀angela you don't accept messages so I'm leaving a comment here--thank you for all of your reviews.


Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies ❀angela wrote: "you don't accept messages so I'm leaving a comment here--thank you for all of your reviews."

Thank you :)


message 46: by Funke (new)

Funke The book was splendid for me. Just what i needed, a good laugh and a warm feeling!


message 47: by Plankuton (new)

Plankuton Khanh you seem to crave good romance yet hate all the crapy romance marketed stuff you pick up. Why not look for romance in other genres? At least for me, when the book is not about the romance, the relationship becomes delicious to read.
PS, If you watch K dramas, 'Something in the rain' will give you a good dose of no-bullshit, incredibly sweet romance.


Celeste I'm planning to read this because it sort of sounds Beauty and the Beast-ish, and I am weak, but somehow I'm thinking the drama here is going to be far more entertaining. =D


message 49: by Maryam (new) - added it

Maryam i liked your comment before i even read it cause this book deserves one star


message 50: by Susan (new)

Susan HOLY CRAP. I am a fan now of your reviews.


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