Last year, during sweet November, I decided to try the erotica genre. It certainly wasn’t my first tryst with a book highly graphic in nature. I have read the entire ‘Fifty Shades’ series, but back then I was a little naïve to understand a lot of stuff explained in the book. Yeah, I am a big-time prude. A little weary of reading fantasy and contemporary novels, I thought of taking the forbidden path of lust to explore a new land and see if it manages to lure me and keep me for long. After devouring three Tessa Dare books back-to-back in a week, I can safely say that yes the land is indeed seductive. With romance being my favourite genre, I wasn’t surprised at how easily I breezed through the stories and enjoyed them. If you too are an innocent soul like me then let me warn you beforehand that Dare’s books can be quite a revelation for the uninitiated.
Of the three erotica books that I binged on, ‘The Duchess Deal’ is my favourite. I loved this book so much that I quickly purchased the other two popular books by Tessa Dare. With most of my favourite tropes used in the story, Dare did a great job of carving a magnificent love story with words and characters that kept me warm on an unusually cold evening.
The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
Publisher: Avon Books
After being badly injured in a war, the Duke of Ashbury hates his deformed face and body and decides to never appear in public again. Restrained to his palatial mansion, he is now in a fix as he needs an heir to inherit his property. Like a prayer answered by God, enters the pretty and feisty Emma Gladstone who needs her money for her service provided to his ex-fiancée. But Ash has other plans for this young seamstress. In the quest for a son, he offers Emma a deal by which he will marry her and she will bear him a son who will inherit his property. However, his insecurities rise up and he adds conditions such as she cannot kiss him and the light will be off when they make love. She will not ask him anything about his scars. And lastly, their marriage is only an obligation and once she is pregnant they will live separately. Emma needs money which the Duke is offering in abundance. However, she is not someone he can have his way with. She lays her conditions in the relationship that are they will have dinner and conversation regularly like a normal couple. She is allowed to tease him and lastly, he cannot stop her from falling in love. They then tie the knot and waste no time at getting started with the business that got them together.
I LIKE The Duchess Deal Because,
…the romance, the sexual tension between our hero and heroine was smoking hot! Ash and Emma are in a contract marriage by which all Emma has to do is bear Ash a child and then live the life she wants but without him. Ash is only concerned about having an heir to inherit his property. Though he kinda likes Emma he is afraid of her rejecting him because of his disfigured face. So, he decides to maintain his distance instead of having his heart broken. But, our heroine is not repulsed by his scary appearance and instead finds his flaw attractive. Wow! That’s my heroine! Emma may be indigent and must have married Ash only for the safe and comfortable future that he offered, but somewhere she falls for Ash and accepts him with all his flaws. She could’ve stuck to the contract and not have to deal with Ash at all but the pure-hearted lass that she is, she sees the good in him falls for the man she calls her husband. He is a guarded man who finds himself hideous because of the war scars that mark half his face and shoulder. She very slowly manages to break every barrier between them and finally have him as a husband in the true sense of the word. I like Emma for seeing the Ash behind the scars. I like her for doing her best to keep her husband happy even when there is no real need for her to do so. She loves him and knows that he might eventually discard her someday but that does not deter her from hoping to melt his heart for her. Such a romantic she is! Her lack of experience in lovemaking and his nervousness in the same makes up for interesting love scenes. The two of them indulge in some heaty sexy romance that would make my heart beat wildly. Their private encounters are every romantic’s dream. I like it when the writer does not give readers that ‘intimate union’ easily and makes you wait for it.
I Do NOT Like The Duchess Deal Because,
…nothing in particular. The book was very enjoyable. Yes, it has its flaws but read the book for what it primarily focuses on that is ‘sexy romance’. As long as you focus on that, your journey too will be smooth and happy like mine.
Final View: Is contract marriage your favourite trope? If yes, then just go for it!
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