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: A
Heat: Hot

Heroine: Pauline Simms – Serving Girl, Aspiring Businesswoman 
Hero: Griffin York – Duke, Confirmed Bachelor 





Well, it’s officially official: If I want a good cry, I’ll pick up one of my favorite Tessa Dare books. Each and every time she creates heroes and heroines who worm their way into my heart and tug on those heartstrings. Kate and Thorne? Made me bawl my ever-loving eyes out. Minerva and Colin? When they weren’t making me laugh, they put tears in my eyes. Pauline and Griff? Yeah, those two got the water works going pretty good and pretty often. I love the ladies and gents of Spindle Cove, and Pauline and Griff are no exception.

Pauline Simms, serving girl at the Bull and Blossom, is a hard worker. As a poor farmer’s daughter, no one expects great things from Pauline. Her hands have calluses and her dresses often have mud at the hem. Her hair coiffure is the least of her concerns. And, in a town full of women, genteel ladies at that, Pauline is often overlooked. Not that she minds really. She has dreams but none of them revolve around a prince charming or a fairy tale Cinderella ending.

Until Griffin York, the Eighth Duke of Halford, comes strolling (or, well, stumbling) into the Bull and Blossom. Yes, that Griffin York—the debauched and hedonistic sometimes friend of Colin Sandhurst (A Week to Be Wicked). Or, that’s who Griff was... but no longer is. Griff’s changed, things have changed, and no one seems to notice. Not even his mother, who in her quest for grandchildren, has drugged and kidnapped her son to take him to Spindle Cove.

Where he's forced to pick a lady, any lady, from the Bull and Blossom. His mother, the current Duchess, will teach whatever lady he picks to be a duchess. In one week, no less, or she forfeits her rights to ever bother him with matrimony talk ever again. And who does Griff set his sights on? Pauline. Because if anyone will fail his mother’s duchess training, he believes it will be poor Pauline.

Pauline’s family may be poor but they’re well fed thanks to her. Not that her awful father appreciates all she does, but it’s not him that Pauline works so hard for. No, everything Pauline does is with her sister Daniela in mind. Pauline will do anything for her sister, who some rude town’s people would call simple or feeble-minded. Pauline is the only one who cares for Daniela. And the money Griff offers, to go along with the sham engagement, is all going toward a better future for Pauline and Daniela.

I’ll be honest, Griffin nearly broke me. The way he first treats Pauline, the way he's so careless with his words and actions, had me fuming. An arrogant duke to the core, or so he pretends to be. But Griff’s a smart man, thankfully, and it doesn't take long for him to be set straight. To start actually seeing Pauline as the bright and beautiful woman she is. Honest and open. Caring and thoughtful… and exactly what Griff needed. The only person who could see him, just as he can see her. I loved Pauline for never backing down or cowering to him. For forcing him to let go of the darkness inside him. A sadness that’s been eating away at him for so long.

Any Duchess Will Do is an enchanting tale of unlikely love. A depressed duke known for his philandering, libertine ways meets his match in a courageous serving girl who curses like a sailor and wobbles in high heeled slippers. Pauline and Griff’s difference in class, how it made Pauline feel and the difficulties it caused, broke my heart over and over. A duke's world is no easy place to be but, in the end, it’s exactly where Pauline was meant to be. Griff and his prickly seduction is impossible to resist.

Favorite Quote:

"Let's set a few things straight at the outset," he said. "I might wear fine clothes and possess a splendid carriage, and I've rolled into your life on something that might resemble a whirlwind. Perhaps even a romantic one, to the untutored eye. But this isn't a fairy tale, and anyone who knows me could tell you .. I am no prince."
She laughed a little. "With all due apologies, your grace, I hadn't formed any opinions to the contrary. I stopped believing in fairy tales long ago."


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