Michelle's Reviews > The Duchess Deal

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
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really liked it
bookshelves: romance-dare, pseudo-historical-romance

“The Duchess Deal” is sweet, tender and laugh out loud funny! Tessa Dare’s writing is excellent-- the first few paragraphs hooked me, and every line after kept me tangled in her web. I could barely put the book down! Now the plot might be a bit on the already-been-there-done-that, yet the sarcasm and wit pouring off the pages made it seem new and exciting with every turn. Underneath the humor is a beautiful story of two hurt people who find love in each other.

Ash and Emma were so easy to love and cheer for. The “wounded/tortured hero” is not my favorite plot line, as usually I find them too sulky or whiny. This book did not conform to that, and while Ash did sulk-- he did so with flair and wit. Emma is a strong heroine, she stood up for what she wanted and didn't let Ash get away with anything. I highly admired the sheer lack of time she spent sitting around feeling sorry for herself.
It was so sweet how they fell in love: naturally, despite both of them fighting it. Ash-- because he knew no one could love someone that looked like him, and Emma-- because she had already tried love and it didn’t work out so well. Their vulnerability was endearing and emotional. I like that both parties had hardships to overcome-- and yet they both remained funny and likeable, albeit flawed, characters that don't weigh you down with a lot of angst. While so many romances are balancing acts of two people taking turns being irrational--every action, these two make, seem realistic and relatable. To top it all off, they have amazing chemistry, and lots of hot and steamy sex. Well-written, consensual sex!
Aside from the main characters, I also enjoyed the secondary characters like the butler, Khan and Trevor, the sidekick (yes, there’s even a Batman element to boot!). There are also Emma’s three eccentric friends: Penelope, Nicola and Alexandra who are clearly sequel-bait, and I look forward to their stories.

The story line flowed nicely and the dialogue was excellent-- the barbs true, and the humor is hysterical most of the time. The first time the couple played badminton was really cute, especially when she's trying out endearments on him. I was at work while I read that scene and I was giggling like a school-girl, my co-workers won’t make me hear the end of it! I had to resume reading the book at home which turned out to be a good idea, since I can’t stop myself from laughing, crying or sighing (sometimes, all at the same time) with every page. Last, but not least: I love that the whole thing is an homage to language. Between the "unicorn vomit", "pelt of a snow beast rumored to menace the Himalayas", and the Shakespearean cursing - I could not stop laughing!

Tessa Dare totally took me by surprise! Charm, cleverness, and insight permeate her writing. I think I found another romance author to follow. If you enjoy witty dialogue, humor, and rich characters, you will love this book!
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Reading Progress

September 29, 2017 – Started Reading
September 29, 2017 – Shelved
October 2, 2017 – Finished Reading
August 17, 2018 – Shelved as: romance-dare
July 22, 2019 – Shelved as: pseudo-historical-romance

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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message 1: by George (new)

George Jankovic Wonderful review, Michelle!


message 2: by Nancy Aus (new) - added it

Nancy Aus Sounds good. w Wish I could pull it up.....


JV (semi-hiatus) lol! The "unicorn vomit", and "pelt of a snow beast rumored to menace the Himalayas" cracked me up! 😂 Fantastic review, dear Michelle! 🤗


Michelle JV wrote: "lol! The "unicorn vomit", and "pelt of a snow beast rumored to menace the Himalayas" cracked me up! 😂 Fantastic review, dear Michelle! 🤗"

Thank you, JV!


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