Monday, May 27, 2013

Review: Any Duchess Will Do

Reviewed by Jen
You can't go wrong with the Spindle Cove series. This fourth installment throws together an unlikely pair, but it totally delivers on everything I have come to love about these books.  It's charming; it's sexy; it has superbly drawn characters; and I completely believed in the romance.

Griffin York is a wealthy and successful duke known more for his debauchery than anything else.  His mother is desperate for him to marry and produce an heir, but she is having no luck convincing him to give her a grandchild. So she takes him to Spindle Cove with an offer in hand. He can pick any woman there and she'll turn make her into a duchess inside of a month. If she is successful, Griff will propose; if not, his mother promises never to pursue the issue again.  Thinking himself quite clever, he chooses the least likely duchess he can find: a serving girl named Pauline.

Pauline has no social graces, but she works hard and cares deeply for her disabled sister. When Griff makes his offer, she decides to ride it out. He even sweetens the pot by offering her cash to foil his mother's plans. Unfortunately, neither counted on how quickly they would fall for one another.

Obviously, this is Pygmalion-esque, but there are other things going on to give it a fresh feel. Most notably, that includes the real reason Griff refuses to wed.  It's not a big shocker or anything, but his circumstances give his character much more depth --and make him very sympathetic.  True, he is an asshat at times, but it was never so much that I couldn't forgive or understand why he was acting the way he did.  Dare has crafted an emotionally fragile man who simply doesn't know how to deal with his own tragic loss.  And it's very satisfying to watch Pauline help him face his demons and allow hope back into his heart.

Pauline comes a long way in a short time, and I didn't completely buy that she would progress so much in just a few days. However, it was easy to push that away because I enjoyed the romance so much, I just wanted to concentrate on that.  The sexual tension is good. The payoff is hot.  --I loved that she wasn't a virgin and I equally loved Griff's reaction when he found out.

All in all, I really liked this one --and would definitely recommend.  You don't have to read the other Spindle Cove books to jump in. Though we do revisit some of the characters and events, this works great as a stand-alone.

Rating: B+

*ARC Provided by Avon

Click to purchase: Amazon
Any Duchess Will Do
by Tessa Dare
Release Date: May 28, 2013
Publisher: Avon

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