March 13, 2020
Happy Women’s History Month! Today’s book rec is something lighthearted and funny because times are tough out there at the moment. Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare is basically everything you want in a historical romance: about a playboy duke (check!) whose mother wants him to get married and basically kidnaps him and takes him to a place where eligible young ladies gather and tells him to pick a woman and she’ll make sure the woman is marriage-worthy in like, a month. (Absurd premise? Check!) The duke really likes annoying his mom, so he picks a disheveled waitress who had a bad day and was being really rude to everyone treating her like a peasant, including the duchess (customer service people will know the feeling). His mom reluctantly agrees to try to make her worthy of being his wife and taking on the title of duchess. (Pygmalion storyline? Check!) But the duke secretly is like, Listen, put up with her for a month and I’ll reject you and give you enough money to set you up for the rest of your life so you can take your sister and get away from your awful, abusive parents. And she’s like, Perfect, I don’t like you anyway and don’t want to be a duchess, I’ll gladly take your money. So she goes to London with them and gets a makeover and etiquette lessons and all that stuff, but she just messes with the duchess the entire time, and it’s hilarious. But oh no, it turns out she’s falling in love with the duke for real, but he’s got a secret. (Of course he does! The duke is secretly sensitive? Check!) And oh lord, he’s falling in love with her too! This is bad because he has sworn he’ll never get married, for past emotional trauma reasons. Angst! Sex in a fancy library! Examination of class differences in a highly stratified society! Everything you want in escapism! I like my romcoms to have more comedy than romance, so I really enjoyed how funny this one was. Read this and enjoy yourself for a couple of hours.