Any Duchess Will Do

Written by Tessa Dare
Review by Monica E. Spence

In this Regency romance, Griffin York, the Duke of Halford, finds himself a reluctant guest in Spinster Cove, an English seaside village that’s a refuge for single women. Furious at his mother, the force behind his erstwhile kidnapping, and her demand that he marry “anyone,” he chooses Pauline Simms, a barmaid and serving girl. Pauline, despite her father’s abuse and her poverty, has good looks and a quick mind and dreams of opening a bookshop. When Griff offers her a substantial sum for a week’s work enduring (but intentionally failing at) “duchess training” at the hands of his mother, Pauline sees a way of making her dream a reality. Pretty Woman and “Cinderella” come to mind when reading this story. There is a subplot involving Pauline’s mentally challenged sister, and the death of Griff’s baby daughter gives the story pathos and depth. The reader wants these two people to fall in love, to have their happily-ever-after. And they get it.