Twice as Nice: Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare


Any Duchess Will Do (Spindle Cove #4) by Tessa Dare
Avon (May 28, 2013)

Rating: B+
Heat: Hot

Heroine: Pauline Simms – Serving Girl, Loves Books 
Hero: Griffin York – Duke, Harboring a Secret




Griff York, Duke of Halford, was drugged, kidnapped, and taken to Spinster Cove aka Spindle Cove by his own mother, the Duchess. She wants him to find a wife before it’s too late for her to have grandchildren. The Duke adamantly refuses to marry. But, because the Duchess is so determined to marry her only son off, they end up making a deal: if she can turn a commoner into a Duchess within a week’s time, he will marry her. If not, he remains unmarried and she will leave him be. Griff picks out Pauline Simms, a serving girl, thinking there is no way his mother could turn this girl wearing rags and mud into a duchess. Pauline is utterly astonished the Duke has chosen HER of all the girls in the tavern. She is not as pretty or interesting as any of the other girls, but she goes along with this ridiculous ploy not knowing that her life is about to change exponentially.

Our heroine, Pauline, is wickedly brilliant, bold enough to stand up to the Duchess, not afraid to be herself, protective and loyal to her sister, honest, quick with the witty and smart remarks, and she uses the word ‘bollocks’ quite often. Pauline wants more out of life than being a barmaid. She’s tired of people defining her as a nobody. She wants to be somebody. So, when Griff offers her a thousand pounds to fail miserably as his mother’s pupil, Pauline decides it’s a grand idea. She can pursue her dream of opening a circulating library with the money and escape her father’s clutches with her sister. But, while in London, Pauline doesn’t fail miserably at being a Duchess. In fact, she shines and thrives quite well. She’s deftly smart and ends up enchanting the Duke. And, in turn, she becomes quite enthralled by him as well. But Pauline doesn’t care about being a Duchess or being a part of the ton. Her sister and dreams come first. Falling for the duke is not part of her plan. But she does fall and now she must accept the fact they cannot be together.

When I first met Griff, our tortured hero, he came across as an arrogant, surly duke who more than earns his reputation of being a rake. However, the author doesn't waste any time proving to us there is more to this man. The duke has a kind heart and is not the same man who used to sleep with many women while drinking his days away. Griff has changed his ways and is now quietly suffering over a painful secret he's been harboring. This secret is why he refuses to ever marry. My heart went out to him. Even before I knew his secret, I became quite smitten with him. But when the secret is finally revealed, I realized this man is simply amazing with his big heart. And let me tell you... on top of being a good man, he is incredibly sexy and charming and fierce…

“I’m the Duke of Halford,” he said plunging deep.
She shut her eyes, trying not to cry. It was all too much – the emotion, the pleasure. The hopelessness.
I’m the Marquess of Westmore.”
“I’m also the Earl of Dingham, Viscount Newthorpe. Lord Hartford-on-Trent.”
Thrust, Thrust, Thrust.
“And I am your slave, Pauline.”

Oh yes, the chemistry between Griff and Pauline sparks and sizzles. They mesh well together not only physically, but as friends too. Titles, fancy dresses, money... none of that matters between them. What develops between them is real and honest. They let their walls down for each other and find comfort in each other’s arms. There are so many great moments with them interacting that had me giggling, smiling, and sighing. So, when these two people from different worlds fall for one another, will love be enough for them to finally have their happy ending?

I love the rags to riches storyline. But this storyline has an original spin to it. Griff and Pauline may be the kind of couple the ton of London will never accept, but the boundaries are pushed and the social gap between Griff and Pauline works in a way only Tessa Dare can pull off. Miz Dare definitely has magical writing skills, because she continues to write delightful, whimsical stories with sparkling characters that captivate me every single time. Her stories make me believe in fairytale happy endings. I’m sorry to say this is the last and final book in the Spindle Cover series. *sniffles* I am, however, very excited to see what Miz Dare comes up with next.

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