Tessa Dare is a force to be reckoned with in the modern historical romance category. I haven’t read many historical romances, in fact I’ve only read one before and will leave that review here. Tessa Dare’s romances are known for being true to the time and feminist, putting consent to the forefront. This is apparently a newer development to the genre as a whole, however she is not alone nor the first to do so. However, I will admit that because I haven’t read a lot of the genre, how I talk about it may not hold up to other people (if you want booktube recommendations, Jess from PeaceLoveBooks reads a lot of historical romances).
The first thing I want to point out is that the time period of this book made me feel like it was Pride and Prejudice. The story itself isn’t very P&P, but the vibes, you know? Lol anyway… The main characters of this book are Emma, a vicar’s daughter and seamstress who needs to find a way to be safe and comfortable and Duke of Ashbury, a man who is scarred from the war and was dumped by his former fiancé. He’s looking for a bride to make and heir, and she’s looking to save herself instead of waiting for someone else to do the saving.
The Duke of Ashbury is the Beast to our Beauty Emma. He is scarred physically and has a grumpy, rude attitude and is being set up for one hell of a redemption arc. I think for most reader’s, he is the more engaging part of the story. I see a lot of swooning in the reviews I’ve read. For the most part, yes, he is very swoony, but I think their romance together is what I like the most. There is a scene at an play that I’m specifically thinking of.
Basically, this is fun and has an overwhelmingly positive review presence on Goodreads so if you’re interested in the slightest, I recommend this! If you have any other historical romance recommendations, let me know! I’m slowly dipping my toe into the genre and need a bit more guidance.