Published by Avon on May 28, 2013
Genres: Historical Romance, Romance
Source: Advance Reader Copy, edelweiss
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?
Oh my. This was a great romance. In case you didn’t know, I’m a huge Tessa Dare fan (see last year’s Tessa Dare Week) and this book made my week. In fact this is the last Spindle Cove book we’re getting. When I asked Ms. Dare (ie I went crying to her on twitter), she said that while she doesn’t have anything planned, she’d love to revisit Spindle Cove later down the road. But for now she has a new project coming up. Which I of course, can’t wait for!
Pauline is a waitress in Spindle Cove at the Bull & Blossom, and she’s a bit late for work when she walks in on an interesting scene. There’s some gentleman standing in the tearoom with all the ladies gawking at him. Griffin York, Duke of Halford points directly at Pauline and states, “Her. I want her.”
See, Griff thinks he can pull one over on his mother. She wants him to marry and tells him to pick any woman in the room and she’ll make her a duchess. Griff chooses Pauline, the waitress.
For her part, Pauline isn’t having it. She’s saucy, and irascible, and in general, perfect. She and Griff have no illusions about how this week will pan out. He will pay her to not follow his mother’s instructions, and she will then use that money to start up a library back in Spindle Cove and therefore be able to take care of her sister.
In the meantime, though, the two have to try not to like each other too much.
Griff and Pauline have a fabulous story. I don’t want to give too much away, but oh it’s just a fun one. Pauline is both quick-witted and witty, and even Griff’s mother likes her. This is normally a good thing, but remember, Griff has sworn never to marry (and once we find out his reason, well, it’s a heartbreaking reason, we see why he has sworn that his line will die with him). Along with swearing off marriage, Griff is breaking his mother’s heart.
I loved this book. I think it’s my favorite in the Spindle Cove series, and I can’t wait to see if Ms. Dare does return us to Spindle Cove in the future. Witty, sexy, and passionate, Ms. Dare’s latest novel delivers, and how!
***ARC courtesy of Tessa Dare and Avon Books