Malin’s #CBR Review #57: Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare

4.5 stars

Mrs. Julien has already reviewed this book, and excellently as well, but that’s what I get for letting myself get so far behind on my reviewing.

Griffin York, the Duke of Halford, used to be a rake, drunkard, libertine and scoundrel of the highest order. He has no intention of ever getting married, and furthering the family line, but his mother, the Dowager Duchess, has other plans. Desperate for grandchildren and stability for her beloved son, she drugs Griff, and forces him to Spindle Cove, the idyllic seaside village where all manner of well-born spinsters reside. She wants him to pick any one of them, and she will make the girl duchess-worthy material.

Griff agrees that if she can turn any woman in the village into a suitable duchess candidate in a week, he will marry her. Then, to thwart his mother’s plans, he picks Pauline Simms, a barmaid who appears clumsy, coarse and wholly unsuitable. Pauline, whose father is a drunken oaf and sister clearly had Down’s syndrome, refuses to leave with their Graces. Only when Griff promises her a thousand pounds to come to London for a week, submit to his mother’s training, and deliberately fail, does she agree, as the money will allow her to finally escape her tyrannical father and open a lending library in the village. Continued on my blog.