I’m thrilled to be hosting the stop on The Duchess Deal blog tour today with an extract and a chance for one lucky person to win their very own copy of this gorgeous looking book!
THE DUCHESS DEAL is a perfect witty, sassy Regency Romance from the internationally bestselling author, Tessa Dare, with a definite hint of Beauty and the Beast. The book debuted at #6 on the New York Times bestseller list when the book released in the US earlier this month.
So what’s it about?
‘I am a Duke. I’m not asking you to marry me. I am offering to marry you. It’s a different thing entirely.’
When the Duke of Ashbury returns from war scarred, he realises he needs an heir – which means he needs a wife! When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress visits wearing a wedding dress, 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 secrets and some rules of her own:
– They will have dinner together every evening.
– With conversation.
– And teasing.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…
When a girl meets a Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…
Published 22nd February 2018 by Mills and Boon (UK)
Like the sound of this? Here’s an extract to give you a little taster of the book!
Well. Emma was grateful for one thing. At least now she had an excuse to stare at him. Ever since the duke had revealed the extent of his scars, she’d been trying not to stare at him. Then she’d started worrying that it would be even more rude to avoid looking at him. As a result, her gaze had been volleying from his face, to the carpet, to the coins on the desk. It was all a bit dizzying.
Now she had an unassailable excuse to openly gawk.
The contrast was extreme. The injured side of his face drew her attention first, of course. Its appearance was tortured and angry, with webs of scar tissue twisting past his ear and above his natural hairline. What was more cruel—his scarred flesh stood in unavoidable contrast with his untouched profile. There, he was handsome in the brash, uncompromising way of gentlemen who believed themselves invincible.
Emma didn’t find his appearance frightful, though she could not deny it was startling. No, she decided, “startling” wasn’t the right word.
He was striking.
As though a bolt of lightning had split through his body, dividing him in two, and the energy still crackled around him. Emma sensed it from across the room. Gooseflesh rippled up her arms.
“I beg your pardon, Your Grace. I must have misheard.”
“I said I will make you a duchess.”
“Surely . . . surely you don’t mean through marriage.”
“No, I intend to use my vast influence in the House of Lords to overturn the laws of primogeniture, then persuade the Prince Regent to create a new title and duchy. That accomplished, I will convince him to name a vicar’s daughter from Hertfordshire a duchess in her own right. Of course I mean through marriage, Miss Gladstone.”
She gave a strained laugh. Laughter seemed the only possible response. He had to be joking.
“You can’t be asking me to marry you.” He sighed with annoyance. “I am a duke. I’m not asking you to marry me. I am offering to marry you. It’s a different thing entirely.”
She opened her mouth, only to close it again.
“I need an heir,” he said. “That is the thrust of the matter.”
Her concentration snagged on that word, and the blunt, forceful way he said it.
“If I died tomorrow, everything would go to my cousin. He is an irredeemable prat. I didn’t go to the Continent, fight to preserve England from tyranny, and survive this”—he gestured at his face—“only to come home and watch my tenants’ lives crumble to ruins. And that means those laws of primogeniture—since I don’t intend to overturn them—require me to marry and sire a son.”
He crossed the room, advancing toward her in unhurried strides. She stood in place, unwilling to shrink from him. The more nonchalant his demeanor, the more her pulse pounded. His face might be striking, but the rest of him . . . ?
To distract herself, Emma focused on her own realm of expertise: attire. The tailoring of his coat was immaculate, skimming the breadth of his shoulders and hugging the contours of his arms. The wool was of the finest quality, tightly woven and richly dyed. However, the style was two years behind the current fashion, and the cuffs were a touch frayed at the—
“I know what you’re thinking, Miss Gladstone.”
She doubted it.
“You’re incredulous. How could a woman of your standing possibly ascend to such a rank? I can’t deny you’ll find yourself outclassed and un-befriended among the ladies of the peerage, but you will no doubt be consoled with the material advantages. A lavish home, generous lines of credit at all the best shops, a large settlement in the event of my death. You may pay calls, go shopping. Engage in some charitable work, if you must. Your days will be yours to do whatever you wish.” His voice darkened. “Your nights, however, will belong to me.”
Any response to that was beyond her. An indignant warmth hummed over every surface of her body, seeping into the spaces between her toes.
“You should expect me to visit your bed every evening, unless you are ill or having your courses, until conception is confirmed.”
Emma tried, one more time, to understand this conversation. After running through all the possibilities, one alternative seemed the most likely.
The duke was not merely scarred on his face. He was sick in the head.
“Your Grace, do you feel feverish?”
“Not at all.”
“Perhaps you ought to have a lie-down. I could send your butler for a physician.”
He gave her a quizzical look. “Do you need a doctor?”
“Maybe I do.” Emma touched one hand to her brow. Her brain was spinning.
If he wasn’t ill . . . Could this be some sort of ploy to make her his mistress? Oh, Lord. Perhaps she’d given him the wrong impression with her willingness to disrobe.
There seemed no way to say it but to say it. “Your Grace, are you trying to get me into your bed?”
“Yes. Nightly. I said as much, not a minute ago. Are you listening at all?”
About The Author
Tessa Dare is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty historical romances. Her books have won numerous accolades, including Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® award (twice) and the RT Book Reviews Seal of Excellence. Booklist magazine named her one of the “new stars of historical romance,” and her books have been contracted for translation in more than a dozen languages.
A librarian by training and a booklover at heart, Tessa makes her home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, their two children, and a trio of cosmic kitties.
Fancy owning a copy of your own? Simply head over to follow my twitter account @vicki_cosybooks where I’m giving away one copy (courtesy of the publisher) and ReTweet my pinned post – you can find me HERE
Closes March 9th at Midnight GMT, Winner will be selected at random and contacted for mailing address to be passed onto the publisher. Open Internationally!