Type: Historical Romance
My 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?
I have to say I love this series and Any Duchess Will Do is a wonderful addition, it may be my favorite, however they are all so good.
Griffin Eliot York (Griff) has woken up in a moving carriage without any knowledge of where he is. As he spies his mother across the way he realizes she is up to no good, she has drugged and kidnapped him. As he has often been told, he has been a disgrace to his mother for years and Griff is interested to see what she is up to.
Judith York is a duchess in the truest sense, she is all about decorum and phlegm, and she has plans for her son. She is taking him to Spindle Cove to find a bride. She is sure that most of the young women in Town have begun to think Griff is getting too old, and she knows there are many marriageable women in Spindle Cove. Griff has told her time and again that he will never marry so when they go to the Bull and Blossom and see a group of women, he makes a decision that should end his mother’s meddling forever, and he chooses a tavern woman named Pauline.
Griff is the Eighth Duke of Halford (among several other titles) and one of the wealthiest men in London, yet lately he has withdrawn from society and kept himself away from friends and family. If it was not for his mother, he would probably never see anyone but his servants. His mother is worried about him and herself as her grandmother time clock is ticking very loudly.
Griff is pleased with his choice and is sure his mother will never be able to turn Pauline into a duchess in a week, the amount of time Pauline feels she can be away from her sister Daniella who is a little simple. And as soon as his mother realizes this, he will be off the hook and can go back to his brooding self. And Pauline is also pleased since Griff will give her a fortune (by her standards) at the end of the week, she is taking this opportunity so she and Daniella can open a lending library for the ladies of Spindle Cove. As the three travel to London, Pauline begins her first duchess lessons in the coach and is amazed at what she hears, she knows that Griff will easily win his standoff with his mother because she will never be one of them.
What a great book, I am not sure I can find anything I did not like about it so I may not try. I loved Pauline, she is charming, bold, brass and so engaging as she stands up to both Judith, Griff and society. I loved her relationship with his mother as they became unlikely friends and then allies in a sense, to break Griff out of his self imposed melancholy. You can tell that Griff is troubled about something, he has turned his life completely around from the fun filled days of when we first met him, and as he lashes out at both Pauline and his mother you know he is hurting. The relationship between Griff and his mother is priceless and brings many moments of laughter. Oh and his mother’s knitting, I laughed every time she had needles in her hands. Those poor kids.
I loved Griff and Pauline together as they go from being partners to stop his mother’s meddling to almost friends as they fight the attraction between them, to lovers as the chemistry wins, yet they both know they can’t be together. Pauline knows she does not belong in his world yet she wants to help him, she sees how upset he is at the Foundling Home and you just want to cry as Griff describes how he feels about babies.
The story is engaging from beginning to end as you follow the three during the week of duchess training. I loved the witty banter between all the characters, I truly laughed out loud at the confessions scene and when Griff goes to answer the door, hilarious. Ms Dare has a way with characters that seems to bring out the best in them, they are smart, witty and fun. I loved how past characters were here, it was fun to see Colin and Minerva and of course the Rycliff’s. I could go on and on about this book – just read. You do not have to read any of the other books as they are fairly stand alone however the others are just as good. Dukes and their problems!
I give Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare 5 stars!