Jul 6, 2014

One Dance with a Duke by Tessa Dare (Stud Club Trilogy #1)

One Dance with a Duke by Tessa Dare
Genre: Historical Romance
Bottom Line: A sensual and romantic story with a mysterious hero and an incredibly lovable heroine.

Stud Club Trilogy
1.  One Dance with a Duke
2.  Twice Tempted by a Rogue
3.  Three Nights with a Scoundrel

Synopsis (Goodreads):

In One Dance with a Duke--the first novel in Tessa Dare's delightful new trilogy--secrets and scandals tempt the irresistible rogues of the Stud Club to gamble everything for love. 

A handsome and reclusive horse breeder, Spencer Dumarque, the fourth Duke of Morland, is a member of the exclusive Stud Club, an organization so select it has only ten members--yet membership is attainable to anyone with luck. And Spencer has plenty of it, along with an obsession with a prize horse, a dark secret, and, now, a reputation as the dashing "Duke of Midnight." Each evening he selects one lady for a breathtaking midnight waltz. But none of the women catch his interest, and nobody ever bests the duke--until Lady Amelia d'Orsay tries her luck. 

In a moment of desperation, the unconventional beauty claims the duke's dance and unwittingly steals his heart. When Amelia demands that Spencer forgive her scapegrace brother's debts, she never imagines that her game of wits and words will lead to breathless passion and a steamy proposal. Still, Spencer is a man of mystery, perhaps connected to the shocking murder of the Stud Club's founder. Will Amelia lose her heart in this reckless wager or win everlasting love?

My Thoughts:

How can I not read a book that's part of a series called the "Stud Club"? And written by Tessa Dare, none the less! This is one of those rare marriage-in-the-middle-of-the-plot romances that didn't force me into a fit of rage. I generally hate these plots, but Dare's humor and wonderful characters made it great. Spencer is adorable and so sweet, though incredibly lacking in knowledge of how to interact with other human beings. And he seems to have a knack for saying the worst possible thing to a woman. Luckily, he meets Amelia, a loyal, loving, and forgiving woman who instantly steals his heart.

The marriage in this book occurs early on...ridiculously early on in fact. We see Spencer and Amelia growing to love each other, while they also learn to appreciate the raw passion between them. As always, Dare's characters experience delicious sexual tension and quite a few passionate encounters without seeming to bog the story down with sex scenes.

The developing relationship between Spencer and Amelia was quite an emotional roller-coaster. I generally don't enjoy this kind of plot because the man always shoves his wife away for some stupid reason, but I didn't feel that in this story. Sure, Spencer managed to act like he had never interacted with a human female before...on several occasions.  But Amelia also made some mistakes. But through the whole plot I could feel the connection between them.

The one thing that I didn't particularly enjoy was the underlying murder plot. I just was not able to get into it, since nothing was really resolved in this book. I look forward to reading the rest of the series to see how this develops.    

Rating: 8

Find it on: Amazon | Goodreads | Tessa Dare      

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