Monday 16 March 2020

The Duchess Deal & The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

Both The Duchess Deal and The Governess Game are full-length Regency romances from Tessa Dare. Her books are well written, full of humour and both her leading ladies and her men are loveable and easy to like.

I don't know how long my regency kick is going to last but I can definitely see why Tessa Dare gets a lot of love from fans of the genre!
The Girl Meets Duke series is one I'll definitely be continuing to read.



When girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

His terms are simple:
- They will be husband and wife by night only.
- No lights, no kissing.
- No questions about his battle scars.
- Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:
- They will have dinner together every evening.
- With conversation.
- And unlimited teasing.
- Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…

This book felt like a regency retelling of Beauty and The Beast! I’m not sure that it was supposed to be a retelling but that doesn’t change the fact that it triggered B&B vibes in my brain!

You’ve got a seriously battle-scarred Duke who is bitter and grumpy expertly manoeuvring a kind natured young woman into marrying him as he desperately needs an heir.
The deal is that once he has an heir, she needn't ever share his bed but she’ll be taken care of for the rest of her life and expected to raise the child well.
Sounds like a sweet deal right? Especially when you’re estranged from your family and barely making ends meet as a seamstress!

I love that Dare doesn’t dilly-dally in getting to the point. The Duke (aka Ash) and Emma meet in the first few pages and they’re married within a few chapters. It’s quick and transactional just like it’s supposed to be because all the fun stuff comes after they’re married!

Ash has a heart but it has been badly damaged by people’s cruel words and actions since returning from the battle of Waterloo badly disfigured. Emma has her work cut out for her to tear down the walls and reach his heart but she isn’t a cold, nor faint, hearted ninny so goes for it!
Watching the pair of them fall in love, and watching Ash learn to accept himself, was a pleasure and I inhaled the book over the course of a single evening as I couldn’t put it down.
It was the perfect little escape from the real world…

I’m very much looking forward to reading the other books in the series and watching Emma’s friends meet their matches, for I think this is quite possibly the quirkiest and most interesting bunch of women I’ve seen crop up in regency romances ever!



He’s been a bad, bad rake—and it takes a governess to teach him a lesson...

The accidental governess.

After her livelihood slips through her fingers, Alexandra Mountbatten takes on an impossible post: transforming a pair of wild orphans into proper young ladies. However, the girls don’t need discipline. They need a loving home. Try telling that to their guardian, Chase Reynaud: duke’s heir in the streets and devil in the sheets. The ladies of London have tried—and failed—to make him settle down. Somehow, Alexandra must reach his heart... without risking her own.

The infamous rake.

Like any self-respecting libertine, Chase lives by one rule: no attachments. When a stubborn little governess tries to reform him, he decides to give her an education—in pleasure. That should prove he can’t be tamed. But Alexandra is more than he bargained for: clever, perceptive, passionate. She refuses to see him as a lost cause. Soon the walls around Chase’s heart are crumbling... and he’s in danger of falling, hard.

This was my second Tessa Dare book and it was delightfully different than the first!
It had the same charm and humour but the characters and their journey was completely different than Emma and Ash (from The Duchess Deal) so I was very happy about that.

This book belongs to Alexandra and her “bookshop rake” Chase.

Alex is a common-born lady who has a good education and works for her living but through a series of minor misfortunes ends up having to accept an offer to be Chase’s governess in order support herself and generate the income needed to pursue her goals.

Chase is a man-whoring charmer with a heart of gold.
He has gone from 4th in line to inherit a dukedom to the heir over a few short years of pain and misfortune and along with the incoming title he has inherited the guardianship of two delightfully morbid young girls who had me laughing out loud more than once with their antics.

Watching the inevitable befall Chase (i.e falling in love with Alex and his two wayward charges) was super enjoyable and I adored Chase’s goodnatured acceptance of the daily funerals and excentricities of the girls, even if he was bloody-minded for so long about sending the girls off to boarding school!

I found it easy to read and thoroughly enjoyable but there was something about Chase's past man-whoring ways that felt, I don't know, almost sleazy... It wasn't that he did anything wrong, it's just the I struggled to accept how much he'd spread it about in the past thus I would not have wanted to take him on even if he was charming, lovely and utterly devoted to me (if that makes any kind of sense...) Still, I was happy he was able to accept love and family in the end and become a one-woman man with Alexandra.

It was lovely catching up with the rest of the gang throughout the book and despite not loving this one as much as The Duchess Deal, I was left looking forward to reading more!


  1. I so want to try this author yet I never seem to make the time for her. I need to make a list of authors I need to try this summer and just do it! Glad these were both fun reads.

    1. I made one of those for this year! I've been hit and miss on actually reading some of them but it does help! :)

  2. It’s been so, so long since I read a historical romance.And I’ve never read anything by Tessa Dare. Sounds like I need to add her to my list of authors to try.

    1. It had been years for me too but this year they seem to be ticking my boxes... In small doses at least!

  3. I don't often read historicals but the first book sounds really good. I love a grumpy hero.

  4. I think the whole reformed-whore bit would be hard for me, too. Like, this dude has hooked up with tons of women...yeesh. But either way I am glad you loved other parts of the novel and series!


Blogger Template Created by pipdig