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Any Duchess Will Do

Any Duchess Will Do - Tessa Dare 4 stars

Griffin York, the Duke of Halford is highly exasperated by his mother and her incessant matchmaking. But she truly went too far when she brought him to "Spinster" Cove, to that poor excuse for a tavern and told him too pick a girl to be his duchess. So, to spite her, he chose the most unlikely duchess he could imagine: the mud-splattered, sugar-covered serving girl.

The said serving girl, Pauline Simms isn't having a good day. It started out bad, and now to top it all there's this arrogant duke mocking her. But she'll show him. And then he'll leave and she will never be forced to see him again.

But, they decide to strike a bargain - a thousand pounds for a failure. After all, how hard can it be to fail in being a lady? Surely not that hard for a country lass.

A charming story, with some echoes of the Cinderella story. I liked both Pauline and Griff. True, Griff did have some not so good moments, but he is an unhappy man with strong walls built around his heart, and when Pauline threatened those walls, he lashed out. He makes for a good hero, nevertheless. He could be so charming and true, and sometimes just perfect.

As for Pauline, I truly admire her. She was pulled away from everything she's known and throw into the shark-infested water that is called the Ton, and she thrived. And I'm not only talking about her clothes, speech or manners, she actually shown them what it means to be a lady. True, she did have some moments when things got out of hand, but at her heart she is the noblest of them all.

Then there's their relationship, which is truly amazing, right until the very end. There's something I noticed about the latest of Ms. Dare's novels. At the end, there's usually some really dramatic twist, that honestly putts me off. Maybe I'm just a person who cringes when she even thinks about public Grand Gestures. I don't know. But what I do know, is that it spoils my enjoyment of the book.

What else? Hmm...

Oh yeah, then there's the duchess. The current duchess, that is. Griff's mother. I adore her. :-) I have no idea how old she is, but I kind of wish she could get her story. :-)

One more thing, there are moments in the story which were hard to believe. But, I do prefer to look at the novel as I would look on a fairy-tale. Anything can happen, from a village like Spindle Cove, to a duke wandering in it, picking the perfect bride for himself, to a duke marrying a serving girl. Not historically accurate, but a true pleasure to read.

In the end, I just want to say that I do love Ms. Dare's work and that I will definitely be reading [b:Romancing the Duke|18052985|Romancing the Duke (Castles Ever After, #1)|Tessa Dare|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1373079443s/18052985.jpg|25337669], which appears to be her next book and the beginning of a new series.