The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

There’s a line at the end of this book calling something “toothache-sweet” – i think that about covers it.

Emma meets the Duke of Ashbury, and they agree on a marriage of convenience – each seeking a personal and private benefit from their understanding. Ash has some physical scarring and is incredibly self-conscious. There’s a total Beauty and the Beast vibe. Emma is cute and spunky and has a couple of issues of her own. As their marriage blossoms both Ash and Emma stumble over obstacles created by their pasts.

It’s a surface-book – remaining light and fluttery and sparkly throughout. Easily read in a couple of hours – it’s the perfect escape from…everything. Compared to some other readers i had a pretty lowkey response to this read – i grinned a few times and never cried, but i know it wrested both guffaws and tears from many. I’ve been reading so much Sandra Brown – where intensity is in every sentence – TDD provided both a respite from that and a reminder that i love a book that goes just a little deeper and wrings a little more out of my heart.

(Reading over this – uptight/old-fashioned style writing created a pretty prissy review on my part. Basically – i liked the book. It’s sweet – maybe a little too sweet – but it’s fun with a nice Beauty and the Beast feel.)