Thursday, May 23, 2013

Blog Tour {ARC Review & Giveaway}—Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare

Any Duchess Will Do
by Tessa Dare
Book #4 of the Spindle Cove  series
Publication: May 28th 2013 by Avon
Genre: Historical Romance

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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?

With refreshing romance, thoroughly charming characters, and rapier wit, Tessa Dare's Spindle Cove  series is one of my favorite Historical Romances by far. I've been following the series since the beginning. Each book only gets better, and Any Duchess Will Do  is now one of my all-time favorites. Surprising, since when I first learned this installment would center on Griffin York, the Duke of Halford, I balked.

Griffin York made an appearance in A Week to Be Wicked, book two of the Spindle Cove  series. Deplorable, he turned his country home into a young gentlemen's house of debauchery while flaunting and relishing in senseless, extravagant living. Gambling, imbibing on substances, public indecency, reckless races, ménage à trois, quatre—you name it, he's probably done it. He was a man who, I believed, was irredeemable.

Boy, was I wrong.

Tessa Dare captured him at his worst and best, transforming him into one incredible and very believable hero, but in a way that I really appreciated because the delivery was unlike many Historical Romances. This is not about a scoundrel falling in love and shedding his rakish tendencies or who might end up alone because he can't get over his pride. By the beginning of Any Duchess Will Do, Griff is already a reformed libertine. He has ditched all of his immoral proclivities and avoids them with calm dedication. Only, no one knows what changed him.

Although I figured out the cause of his abrupt one-eighty early in the novel, the reveal was still emotionally poignant and outstanding. For once, it isn't a woman or the love interest. It's one of the very few things that could truly change a man, and it hurt. I cried and wanted to hug Griffin while he did.

But I also laughed, blushed, and got flutterings, more than I can remember ever doing so or having in a long time. Even though Griffin is now embracing his ducal responsibilities, he will not marry for the same reason he changed in the first place. So when his mother kidnaps him and takes him bride shopping in the illustrious Spindle Cove community of supposed spinsters-in-the-making, he chooses the woman who could never pass as a duchess: Pauline Simms, the poor barmaid literally covered head to toe in sugar and spice.

From there is an adventure of duchess-training and planned-to-botch high society introductions, marriage mama-thwarting and late-night rendezvous, as well as lovely sharing of secrets, future dreams, and passion. Pauline has a smart mouth and a backbone of steel, but she's also deeply moving with her vulnerabilities and hopes to do more with her life as she takes care of her sister. Her interactions with Griff's mother, whom I couldn't have loved more, were hilarious. I loved their repartee and the bond that formed between them just as much their own individual relationships with Griffin.

The romance and development pacing was perfect, and the sex tastefully done while still setting the sheets, Griffin's desk, and your skin aflame. I adored the slow-burn ending, too. It's an HEA to remember.

Emotional highs and lows are abound in Any Duchess Will Do. I was a happy mess by the time I finished it and cannot recommend it nor the series strongly enough. Although you can read each book as stand-alone novels, I urge you to read the entire series, preferably in order since previous characters do make exciting appearances. With the most memorable, life-like characters, relationships, and plots, Tessa Dare's invigorating Spindle Cove  series is one of the best in the HR genre.

eARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss.
Thank you!

Favorite lines (out of many):

"A duchess might contemplate all manner of cutting remarks and frustrated oaths. But even in the face of extreme annoyance, she stifles any such ejaculations."
"My," Miss Simms said, wide-eyed. "I do hope dukes aren't held to the same standard. Can't be healthy for a man, always stifling his ejaculations."

Visit the Tessa Dare's Book Tour Schedule for more reviews and various excerpts for
Beauty and the Blacksmith  and Any Duchess Will Do.

Spindle Cove series



Tessa Dare

Her Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Tessa Dare is the New York Times  and USA Today  bestselling author of nine historical romance novels and three novellas. A librarian by training and a booklover at heart, Tessa makes her home in Southern California, where she shares a cozy, cluttered bungalow with her husband, their two children, and a big brown dog.

Five (5) print copies of each:
A Night to Remember (Spindle Cove #1)
A Week to Be Wicked (Spindle Cove #2)
A Lady by Midnight (Spindle Cove #3)


  1. Great review, and I already own this book! I guess I should get to reading it, no? I love Tessa Dare, her romances always have that humor in them that I love - and that makes the romance parts even better.

  2. Great review! :) After not having indulgenced in romantic novels for a good number of years, this one makes me want to know what happens next!

  3. Awesome review! The book sounds great! Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. Awesome review. Thank you for sharing!!!

  5. Thank you for hosting Tessa!

  6. Thanks for stopping by and leaving the lovely comments, everyone! I have no doubt you'll love this book as much as I did. :)

  7. Thanks for the review. I haven't read this series yet, but I keep reading good reviews.