Tag Archives: Tessa Dare

Holiday Anthology- How the Dukes Stole Christmas by T. Dare, S. MacLean, S. Jordan & J. Shupe

How the Dukes Stole Christmas

Title: How the Dukes Stole Christmas
Genre: Historical Romance /Holiday/Anthology
Author: Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan, Joanna Schupe
Publisher: Amazon Digital, Oct. 15, 2018
Source: Purchase for Kindle
Pages: 392
Rating: 4.5
Sexy Rating: 5
Violence Rating: 5
Christmasy feeling: 4
Descriptions from Amazon.com:
Christmas magic is in the air… From the ballrooms of London, to abandoned Scottish castles, to the snowy streets of Gilded Age New York, four bestselling authors whip up some unforgettable romance…with a little help from some enchanted shortbread.

“Meet Me in Mayfair” by Tessa Dare
Louisa Ward needs a Christmas miracle. Unless she catches a wealthy husband at the ball tonight, the horrid, heartless Duke of Thorndale will evict her family from their beloved Mayfair home. But when her friend begs to switch dance cards, Louisa finds herself waltzing with the enemy: the horrid, heartless—and unexpectedly handsome—Thorndale himself. Now the duke’s holding her future in his hands…and he’s not letting go.
Deet’s review: Delightful! This is Regency romance how we like it: desperate heroine, clueless Duke, magic shortbread, witty repartee and even a romp in the snow. Tessa Dare at her best. 5-stars, very sexy Christmasy feeling: 4

“The Duke of Christmas Present” by Sarah MacLean
Rich and ruthless, Eben, Duke of Allryd, has no time for holidays. Holidays are for whimsy and charm—the only two things his money cannot buy. Lady Jacqueline Mosby is full of both, even now, twelve years after she left to see the world. When Jacqueline returns for a single Christmas, Eben can’t resist the woman he never stopped loving…or the future they’d once been promised. It will take a miracle to convince her to stay…but if ever there were a time for miracles, it’s Christmas…

Deet’s review: This is the most emotional of the four novellas. We ache for Eben’s heartache and we try to figure out if Jack is in it for revenge or something else. Maclean is the mistress of perfect prose and the long awaited HEA. 5-stars, very sexy, Christmasy feeling: 5

“Heiress Alone” by Sophie Jordan
When Annis Bannister’s family leaves her behind in the rush to escape an impending snowstorm, she finds herself stranded in the Highlands, left to fend off brigands terrorizing the countryside, robbing homes locked up for winter. Her only hope falls on her neighbor, a surly hermit duke who unravels her with a look, then a kiss … until she fears the danger to her heart outweighs the danger of brigands and snowstorms.

Deet’s review: The romance felt a bit rushed. There is no denying that this novella was based on the movie HOME ALONE. There is a breath holding action scene. This one needed a bit more emotional feeling. 3.5-stars, very sexy, Christmasy Feeling: 2

“Christmas in Central Park” by Joanna Shupe
Women all over America devour Mrs. Walker’s weekly column for recipes and advice. No one knows Rose, the column’s author, can’t even boil water. When the paper’s owner, Duke Havemeyer, insists she host a Christmas party, Rose must scramble to find a husband, an empty mansion, and a cook. But Duke is not a man easily fooled and she fears her perfect plan is failing—especially when Duke’s attentions make her feel anything but professional. To save her career will she give up her chance at love?

Deet’s review: This novella is based on the movie CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT. This novella is so well done I wish it had been a full length novel. I wanted more romance between Duke and Rose although this was very sexy, but the romance was rushed.
4.5- stars, very sexy, Christmasy feeling: 5

Deet’s Over All Opinion: You can’t go wrong with this anthology. Every story is a page turner. I finished it in two nights and wanted more. Highly recommended!!

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HR Review- Do You Want To Start A Scandal by Tessa Dare

Do You Want To start a Scandal

Title: Do You Want To Start A Scandal (Castles Ever After)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Tessa Dare

Publisher: Avon, Sept. 2016

Source: Purchase

Pages: 387

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:

On the night of the Parkhurst ball, someone had a scandalous tryst in the library. Was it Lord Canby, with the maid, on the divan? Or Miss Fairchild, with a rake, against the wall? Perhaps the butler did it. All Charlotte Highwood knows is this: it wasn’t her. But rumors to the contrary are buzzing. Unless she can discover the lovers’ true identity, she’ll be forced to marry Piers Brandon, Lord Granville–the coldest, most arrogantly handsome gentleman she’s ever had the misfortune to embrace. When it comes to emotion, the man hasn’t got a clue. But as they set about finding the mystery lovers, Piers reveals a few secrets of his own. The oh-so-proper marquess can pick locks, land punches, tease with sly wit . . . and melt a woman’s knees with a single kiss. The only thing he guards more fiercely than Charlotte’s safety is the truth about his dark past. Their passion is intense. The danger is real. Soon Charlotte’s feeling torn. Will she risk all to prove her innocence? Or surrender it to a man who’s sworn to never love?


This book was a lot of fun.  Charlotte is a naïve, but intelligent young woman and Piers is a spy for the crown. They are inadvertently caught in a compromising situation that compels Piers to propose marriage to Charlotte.  Charlotte has other plans for her immediate future and proceeds to attempt to solve the mystery surrounding her compromise. Of course, much of the investigation leads to hilarity but also drama and yes, true love.

I enjoyed this book but I was put off by the too-convenient wrap ups to the mysteries and some quite unbelievable happenings.  Still, it was an entertaining read.

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Free on Kindle and NOOK- Novella by Tessa Dare

I’m always on the hunt for a bargain for you and for me, too.  Here is what popped up today.  Available for FREE in the USA and UK and on Kindle and NOOK. (check out some other books by Tessa Dare, I saw one or two for $.99 and $1.99)


How to catch a wild viscount

She’s on the hunt for a hero…
Luke Trenton, Viscount Merritt, returned from war a changed man. Battle stripped away his civility and brought out his inner beast. There is no charm or tenderness in him now; only dark passions and a hardened soul. He has nothing to offer the starry-eyed, innocent girl who pledged her heart to him four years ago.

But Cecily Hale isn’t a girl any longer. She’s grown into a woman–one who won’t be pushed away. She and Luke are guests at a house party when a local legend captures their friends’ imaginations. While the others plunge into the forest on a wild goose…er, stag chase, Cecily’s on the hunt for a man. She has only a few moonlit nights to reach the real Luke…the wounded heart she knows still beats inside the war-ravaged body…or she could lose him to the darkness forever.

This is a novella of approximately 20,000 words, or 80 pages. It was originally published under the title The Legend of the Werestag.

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Review- Say Yes To The Marquess by Tessa Dare

Title: Say Yes To The Marquess (Castles Ever After, book #2)

Say Yes To the Marquess

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Tessa Dare

Publisher: Avon, Dec. 2014

Pages: 390

Source: Purchase for Kindle $1.99

Rating: 2

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:         

Your presence is requested at romantic Twill Castle

for the wedding of Miss Clio Whitmore and … and …?

After eight years of waiting for Piers Brandon, the wandering Marquess of Granville, to set a wedding date, Clio Whitmore has had enough. She’s inherited a castle, scraped together some pride, and made plans to break her engagement.

Not if Rafe Brandon can help it. A ruthless prizefighter and notorious rake, Rafe is determined that Clio will marry his brother–even if he has to plan the dratted wedding himself.

So how does a hardened fighter cure a reluctant bride’s cold feet?

  • He starts with flowers. A wedding can’t have too many flowers. Or harps. Or cakes.
  • He lets her know she’ll make a beautiful, desirable bride–and tries not to picture her as his.
  • He doesn’t kiss her.
  • If he kisses her, he definitely doesn’t kiss her again.
  • When all else fails, he puts her in a stunning gown. And vows not to be nearby when the gown comes off.
  • And no matter what–he doesn’t fall in disastrous, hopeless love with the one woman he can never call his own.
  • ***********************
  • I can’t believe I had to give a Tessa Dare book a rating of “2”!! I was truly looking forward to this book and when it popped up on Kindle for $1.99 I jumped on it. This was so over the top silly to the point of ridiculous. It read like a contemporary romance, and might have been better if it had been set in modern times. The prizefighter aspect was a total turn-off for me. I’ve never been a fan of gratuitous violence and a hero who didn’t feel like himself unless he was hitting someone. But not just anyone only other prizefighters, that made it okay. Huh? The side characters were other shades of silly. The heroine was an innocent who turned into a submissive slut during her first night of Sex. Okay, I’ve said enough. I don’t understand all the five-star reviews. This author is much better than this effort.

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Recent Release Review- Romancing The Duke by Tessa Dare

Title:  Romancing The Duke (Book #1, Castles Ever After series)  

Romancing the Duke book    

 Genre:  Historical Romance

Author:  Tessa Dare

Publisher:  Avon, Jan. 2014

Source: Purchase (yes, I do buy books)

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com

As the daughter of a famed author, Isolde Ophelia Goodnight grew up on tales of brave knights and fair maidens. She never doubted romance would be in her future, too.  The storybooks offered endless possibilities.

And as she grew older, Izzy crossed them off.  One by one by one.

  • Ugly duckling turned swan?
  • Abducted by handsome highwayman?
  • Rescued from drudgery by charming prince?

No, no, and… Heh.

Now Izzy’s given up yearning for romance. She’ll settle for a roof over her head.  What fairy tales are left over for an impoverished twenty-six year-old woman who’s never even been kissed?
This one.


Have you been yearning to fall into a fairytale and lose yourself for several hours of humor, semi-drama and sizzling romance? Here it is in all its knights and handmaiden glory.  Yes, there are knights, a ghastly, ghostly Gostly Castle, a resident scarred and tortured  Duke, handmaidens (on demand it seems) and a feisty, innocent young woman who refuses to be pushed around.

Izzy is described as not a beauty, at least in her own eyes her super curly, untameable hair and her nose make her unattractive.  But Ransom, the duke, and the reader know that she is beautiful inside and out.  She has a pet ermine that attacks at will and also with encouragement.  She has knights and handmaidens at her beck and call.  Yes, it is true, but I will leave you to find out why.

Romancing the Duke Izzy hair


Romancing The Duke knight

Romancing the Duke handmaiden

Ransom is scarred and physically injured from a short-sword fight that occurred several months ago, but he is a handsome man in spite of the injuries, but irascible and not at all tolerant of having Izzy invade his space.  Duncan his manservant of all tasks just tries to help where he can.

Romancing The Duke Jason Momoa

Romancing The Duke Duncan michael-gough-jpg

This book is Tessa Dare in top form.  Her dialog and prose is laugh out loud:

She tilted her face to his.  He could feel her breath against his neck.  Soft wisps of heat.

“And ever since I was a girl,” she whispered, “I’ve dreamed of my first kiss.  I just knew in my heart that it would be romantic and tender and knee meltingly sweet.”

“Well now you know you were wrong.  By this age, you should be accustomed to disappointment.

Or perhaps this passage:

“Adolescence,” he said, “is awkward.  Attending a past lover’s wedding is awkward.  Making love on horseback is awkward.”

She was in agreement, so far as the first part.  She’d have to take his word on it when it came to the second and third……..

….She had a hundred questions she wanted to ask him.  Nay, a thousand.  And the stupidest questions were the ones that clamored loudest to get out. Have you truly made love on horseback?  She wanted to ask.  How does that even work? Was it how you were injured?

I recommend this book to all who want a feel good, smile friendly, sexy romance.

P.S.-thanks to blogger friend, Carol, for the idea to put faces with these characters.


Filed under Book review, Books, Historical Romance, Humor, Romance

Tessa Dare Week: Review- Beauty and The Blacksmith

Title:  Beauty And The Blacksmith (Spindle Cove, book #3.5)


Genre: Historical Romance Novella

Author: Tessa Dare

Publisher: Avon Impulse

Source: Purchase, Kindle $1.99 available now, Paperback preorder $3.72 July 2, 2013

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

Beautiful and elegant, Miss Diana Highwood is destined to marry a wealthy, well-placed nobleman. At least, that’s what her mother has loudly declared to everyone in Spindle Cove.

But Diana’s not excited by dukes and lords. The only man who makes her heart pound is the village blacksmith, Aaron Dawes. By birth and fortune, they couldn’t be more wrong for each other…but during stolen, steamy moments in his forge, his strong hands feel so right.

Is their love forged strong enough to last, or are they just playing with fire?


Rounding out Tessa Dare week is this delightful novella about our sweet, asthmatic Diana Highwood, one of the spinsters of Spindle Cove.  We have seen how her mother has been bullying her to marry a titled Lord and how Diana has done everything in her power to thwart her mother’s intentions all because she is in love with the town blacksmith, muscular, handsome commoner, craftsman, Aaron Dawes.

Tessa Dare can sway us to totally fall in love with her characters.  We want for Diana what she wants and for Aaron what he so rightly deserves.  She shows us why these two are meant for each other and she does it with her signature witty dialog and her boundless sense of humor.

This is the last Spindle Cove novella before the full length Spindle Cove novel ANY DUCHESS WILL DO, which debuted last Tuesday, May 28, 2013. ( I am reading it now and loving it!) I think I’ve said it before but I would love to step back in time and spend a holiday in Spindle Cove.  What fun to go on the outings with the ladies, learning to shoot pistols, meeting for tea at the Bull and Blossom and don’t forget how all those hunky gentlemen just happen to come to town and sweep pretty, sweet someones off their feet.


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Tessa Dare Week-Review- Any Duchess Will Do

Title:  Any Duchess Will Do (Spindle Cove Series)


Genre:  Historical Romance

Author:  Tessa Dare

Publisher: Avon, 2013

Source: purchase

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

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?


Yes, this book was released on Tuesday and here it is Thursday and I’m ready to review it.  This was such a delight to read that I could not put it down until it was finished.  And then I was sorry it was over.

Tessa Dare had me rolling on the floor with laughter and a few pages later dabbing tears from my eyes.  Any author who can wring those emotions from me deserves a 5-star review.  This was a Cinderella story (Pauline actually loses a shoe running from the ball) crossed with Pygmalion.  The Dowager Duchess, Griffin’s mother, is delightful and sincerely wants him to be happy so she is doing everything in her power to turn Pauline into Duchess material and failing that, has no qualms about just throwing them together. Pauline is convinced that marriage is not an option and we need to turn the pages quickly to see how this impossible union could possibly happen.

Once again from this author we get superb, witty dialog.  The scenes are sometimes heart wrenching and at other times hilarious. The characterizations are spot on.


“What was happening to her?  She knew the answer to that question.  Griff was happening to her.  When the duke kissed her, her head spun, her knees melted….and her elocution improved.  Limber tongues and all that.  ‘Bloody Hell’ she mumbled…..”

Griff and the dowager Duchess:

“You are not ill,” he said.  “I command you to rise from that bed and be well.”

She fixed him with a droll gaze.  “Griffin, you are a duke.  You are not St. James curing the lepers.”


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Tessa Dare Week: Review- The Scandalous, Dissolute, No Good, Mr. Wright

Title:  The Scandalous, Dissolute, N0 Good, Mr. Wright

The Scandelous, Desolute no good Mr Wright

Genre: Historical Romance Novella

Author: Tessa Dare

Publisher: Avon (Originally published in the anthology: THREE WEDDINGS AND A MURDER)

Source: Purchase: Kindle $.99, Paperback $3.99

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

Miss Eliza Cade is a lady in waiting. And waiting.

Because of a foolish mistake in her youth, she’s not allowed “out” in Society until her three older sisters are wed. But while she’s trying to be good, she keeps bumping elbows—and, more distressingly, lips— with notorious rake Harry Wright. Every moment she spends with him, she risks complete ruin.

The sensual passions he stirs in her are so wrong . . . but Eliza just can’t resist Mr. Wright.


This is another Classic Tessa Dare. There is witty repartee, a hero to swoon over, a naïve, sweet heroine and just enough angst to keep it all interesting.  Not to mention a satisfying steamy scene.  This is a favorite of mine.  This novella does not connect to any of Ms Dare’s series, it stands alone.  I recommend it to all Tessa Dare fans and anyone who wants a light hearted, humorous, book that can be read in an evening.

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Tessa Dare Week: Release Day- Any Duchess Will Do


Today is the Release Day for this, the next Spindle Cove Series novel.  I’ll be getting mine today and will have a review up very soon.

any duchess will do ad

Tomorrow Tessa Dare Week continues on La Deetda Reads: The Scandalous, Dissolute, No Good, Mr. Wright


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Tessa Dare Week:Review- A Lady By Midnight

Title:  A Lady By Midnight (Spindle Cove, Book #3)

A Lady by Midnight

Genre:  Historical Romance

Author:  Tessa Dare

Publisher: Avon, 2012

Source: Kindle Purchase $.99

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Author’s website:

After years of fending for herself, Kate Taylor found friendship and acceptance in Spindle Cove–but she never stopped yearning for love. The very last place she’d look for it is in the arms of Corporal Thorne. The militia commander is as stone cold as he is brutally handsome. But when mysterious strangers come searching for Kate, Thorne steps forward as her fiance. He claims to have only Kate’s safety in mind. So why is there smoldering passion in his kiss?

Long ago, Samuel Thorne devoted his life to guarding Kate’s happiness. He wants what’s best for her, and he knows it’s not marriage to a man like him. To outlast their temporary engagement, he must keep his hands off her tempting body and lock her warm smiles out of his withered heart. It’s the toughest battle of this hardened warrior’s life…and the first he seems destined to lose.


Tessa Dare has another Spindle Cove Series novel being published tomorrow, May 28,2013, ANY DUCHESS WILL DO.  A LADY BY MIDNIGHT, is the full length novel that precedes along with the novella, BEAUTY AND THE BLACKSMITH, which I will review on Friday of this week. All novels in this series are stand-alone but they are all delightful so don’t miss any.

Tessa Dare can write dialog better than most.  She is witty and light hearted with her characters.  She creates a place that is fairytale happy and we all want to travel back in time to holiday at Spindle Cove.  Most of the mishaps are of the silly sort and we know that somehow Kate will convince Thorne that they are meant to be together in spite of the not so terrible lies of omission.  This is classic Tessa Dare, sweet, lovely and so hot the pages scorch.

Tessa can write lovely romantic dialog, too:

“I don’t know what is between us, but I know I’ve hungered for it all my life.  Maybe other women could walk away, but not me.  Never me.”

Tessa Dare Week at La Deetda Reads:

Monday A LADY BY MIDNIGHT A Lady by Midnight





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