At the recommendation of my fellow reading buddies, I picked up the start of Tessa Dare’s latest trilogy. I said I wanted a story that would be an escape in a book. I was looking for a tale that would not disappoint, that was lushly drawn with believable characters, a sweet romance that could bring a smile to my face, enough intrigue to keep it spicy and full, a satisfying ending … Tessa’s One Dance with a Duke fit the bill.
One Dance with a Duke tells the story of Amelia D’Orsay and Spencer Dumarque. We first meet and get to know Amelia at a ball, where she is talking with a group of women that can be described as nothing other than ninnies. They are awaiting the arrival of the Duke of Morland, a handsome recluse whose passion for horses and skillful luck has earned him membership into the exclusive Stud Club, an organization made up of unlikely members drawn together through games of chance surrounding a horse named Osiris. While the name brings a giggle to me now, it is a tie that links the characters together in that Amelia comes to Spencer demanding he forgive her irresponsible brother’s debt. Fascinated and astounded by her audacity, their story begins.
As our likable heroine and somewhat surly hero start to peel back each other’s layers, the reader starts to discover they are very much like you and me, in pursuit of love and happiness. Deftly written, time passes quickly as we watch familial ties, murder and scandal threaten to crush the blooming romance between Amelia and Spencer. There are times when you wonder if they will actually end up together, and applaud it when appears that they do.
As I enjoyed the satisfying ending, I made plans to go pick up or pre-order the sequels, Twice Tempted by A Rogue and Three Nights with a Scoundrel, no encouragement needed.