Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Review: One Dance With A Duke by Tessa Dare

Title: One Dance With A Duke
Author: Tessa Dare
Genre: Historical Romance
Sub Genre: Regency
Read because it's a possible selection for the Season's June book of the month, and because Mandi at Smexybooks wrote such a great review of it.

This was such a cute  book. It has everything you could ask for in a historical romance: a spunky heroine, brooding Duke, a wastrel brother, sulking ward and a mystery to be solved.

Spencer Dumarque, the Fourth Duke of Morland is a member of the secret Stud Society (It's about horses, really!) a society that is so secret it only has 10 members and once can only be join by those with luck The ton has given  him the nickname "the Duke of Midnight" because he shows up to balls and parties exactly at midnight, and dances with one girl. All the eligible girls in the ton can't wait to dance him. That is all of them except for Lady Amelia d'Orsay. She really could care less about the Duke-until she learns that her younger brother Jack has lost  money he couldn't afford to lose  to him in a card game. Lady Amelia takes a risk and snags a dance with the Duke. Spencer is shocked at how Amelia steals his dance from someone else, and is even more shocked when she demands that he return the money he won from her brother. 

Each member  of the club has a token, and the Duke means to win them all, even if it means taking away the spirit of the club. No one knows why he wants the tokens-and when the founder of the club is murdered-and the token missing, everyone suspects the Duke.  As Spencer works to clear his name, Amelia wonders if he really could have done this foul deed (I can't believe I just wrote foul deed! I think I've been reading too many historical romances!) but knows deep in her heart that he's innocent-but with so many things working against them, will she be able to trust him?

I really liked the heroine- Lady Amelia. She wasn't afraid to speak her mind, and gave the Spencer a run for his money. If she didn't like his actions-she wasn't afraid to say so-it didn't matter if he was a Duke or not. Amelia constantly surprised the Duke by standing up to him-he just was so used to getting his way that he wasn't quite sure what to do with Amelia. I loved seeing him struggle to let someone close to him, and accept that it was ok to have someone there to help you out.  I'll be honest though-these two annoyed me at different times with their stubbornness. I'm still not sure why it annoyed me as it's also one of the qualities that I liked about them. I also was also kind of confused by one scene in the book between Spencer and Amelia, that just left me going "what the heck?" because it didn't seem to fit with either of their characters, and almost made me write Spencer off as an Unlikable Hero.  The two redeemed themselves after that, and I still enjoyed the book, and I'm still wondering why that scene bothered me so much.

An added bonus to this book was that there were a couple of different story lines going on in the book-and they all blended together nicely. However, .I thought the book dragged a bit in the middle, but the action picked up again at the end. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series, Twice Tempted by A Rogue. 

Edited to add: I feel like I should add a disclaimer that I read this during the work week-something I normally don't do, so that may have affected my meter judgment  and may have something to do with why  my thoughts are so scattered.

Sigh Meter: Medium
Crush Meter: Medium
Barrons Hero Hotness Meter: Medium
Sizzle Meter: Medium High