Review

In this newest release from Tessa Dare, ONE DANCE WITH A DUKE—Midnight truly becomes the “magic hour”. The first novel of the Stud Club trilogy introduces us to three very unique and very intriguing members of this highly exclusive club with the story of Spencer Dumarque, the fourth Duke of Morland and Lady Amelia d’Orsay.

Dubbed the “Duke of Midnight” by the fashionable set of London society for his famously dramatic appearances at the stroke of twelve, to choose one lucky young lady for a single dance and then simply disappearing from the crowd, Spencer’s appearances have become the anticipated highlight of the season.

Lady Amelia has quite resigned herself to accepting the role of the ugly duckling among the twittering flock of young, graceful swans that surround her and could care less about being singled out for the notorious dance. Comfortable in her near invisibility she keeps her mind on dreams of a beautiful summer escape to the family’s lovely stone cottage overlooking the River Wye. The only dancing she is interested in is the one in her head where brilliant new recipe ideas twirl around happy memories of home and hearth.

When Amelia learns a lost wager to the famous Duke of Midnight could result in the loss of her precious Briarbank, she resolves to take matters into her own hands and dares to boldly claim the midnight dance for herself in hopes of gaining a reprieve on the debt. What she doesn’t realize is that one dance with the Duke will change her life forever.

Under the shroud of mystery revolving around the death of the Stud Club’s founder, Leo Harcliffe, a hasty marriage and almost immediate retreat to the Duke’s country estate, leaves Amelia breathless with misgivings about the choices made in the mind-numbing haze of a “proper” kiss. Did this stranger she married truly have a hand in Leo’s murder? Why is he so determined to obtain the exclusive rights to the retired racehorse, Osiris, for which the Stud Club was created? Does she dare risk her heart on the devilish rogue who seems to care more for his horses than human beings? What a predicament!

Tessa Dare’s wonderful story for Spencer and Amelia is all about transformations.

Spencer is confounded by his desire to make this voluptuous, out-spoken spinster his bride. At every turn Amelia undermines his precious control, calls him to the carpet on his words and actions and disregards the power of his station—she’s perfect! But he soon learns that simply gaining possession of something you want does not always make it yours. In order to win the love and fierce loyalty his bride has in abundance for her family, he must first prove his innocence in Leo’s murder and dare to reveal the warm secrets that dwell within his heart.

Tessa Dare’s wonderful story for Spencer and Amelia is all about transformations. In some way each character is gently nudged into a metamorphosis of heart, spirit and mind in order to find an inner happiness, an acceptance of love and the power to let go of the constraints of their pasts.

As predicted in my earlier blog on this author, Tessa Dare, does not disappoint in the least and honestly dear readers, at several highly seductive points in Amelia and Spencer’s tale this writer was forced to take a moment and clear the steam from her glasses. No one does passion like Tessa Dare and when mixed with a dash of humor and a heaping handful of emotion you have the perfect recipe for an unforgettable romance.

On June 22nd, the second installment of the Stud Club trilogy, TWICE TEMPTED BY A ROGUE, continues to explore the mystery that holds these three men together through the darkly troubled war hero, Rhys’ story and concludes with the July 27th, release of Julian’s tale in THREE NIGHTS WITH A SCOUNDREL.

I can hardly wait!

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About the Reviewer

Teresa Spreckelmeyer
Teresa St. Mary - Teresa, is a wearer of many hats (figuratively) including, mother, wife, graphic designer, event planner, web developer and a self-admitted, avid reader of historical romance novels. Although Teresa is a “small town girl” (again, figuratively) from Missouri, through her various workings with clients and events, in and out of the west coast entertainment industry, she laughingly refers to Los Angeles as her second home. Teresa has produced marketing design work for actors, directors, writers and film studios, among others and played a strong behind-the-scenes role in the creation of entertainment oriented, fundraising events in both Los Angeles and Las Vegas over the past nine years.

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