The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare meets Taming of the Shrew in the start to a new Regency series from award-winning author Amalie Howard.
Lord Nathaniel Harte, the disagreeable Duke of Beswick, spends his days smashing porcelain, antagonizing his servants, and snarling at anyone who gets too close. With a ruined face like his, it’s hard to like much about the world. Especially smart-mouthed harpies―with lips better suited to kissing than speaking―who brave his castle with indecent proposals.
But Lady Astrid Everleigh will stop at nothing to see her younger sister safe from a notorious scoundrel, even if it means offering herself up on a silver platter to the forbidding Beast of Beswick himself. And by offer, she means what no highborn lady of sound and sensible mind would ever dream of―a tender of marriage with her as his bride.
This was such a delightful romance! I had read a couple of favorable reviews for this book so I knew that I wanted to read it and was thrilled to get the chance. I don’t read a ton of historical romance but I do tend to enjoy them every once in a while so I was ready to give this Beauty and the Beast story a try. I was swept away by Thane and Astrid’s story and didn’t want to put the book down for any reason.
Astrid is considered a spinster at twenty-five after a scandal during her first season. Her entire focus on her sister’s happiness and wants to make sure that she is able to make a good match. Imagine her surprise when her uncle makes plans for Astrid’s sister to marry the man that caused her scandal. The only way that she can have any influence is to find a husband so that he can take over as Isobel’s guardian. Astrid knows the right man for the job.
Thane fought in the war and came back scarred. So many scars that people call him a beast, stare, and don’t want to be around him. The scars on the outside are only the beginning. His personality is a little rough and he can be rather short with his staff and those around him. When Astrid shows up with her plan, he is less than impressed.
I loved these two! Astrid was incredibly smart and didn’t hesitate to make any sacrifices necessary to ensure the well-being of her sister. She didn’t think that she was any less capable than any man and resented the fact that she had no rights. Thane liked to act gruff but he really had a soft heart underneath it all. He pushed people away because he didn’t want them to have to deal with the scrutiny of being with the beast. I felt like the personalities just fit together and they had fantastic chemistry.
I would highly recommend this book to fans of historical romances. It was such a joy to watch Thane and Astrid fall for each other. There were more than a few moments that I couldn’t seem to stop smiling. I definitely plan to read more from Amalie Howard in the future!
I received a review copy of this book from Entangled: Amara via Bookish First.
About the Author
Amalie Howard is the award-winning author of several young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, PW, VOYA, SLJ, and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Kids’ Indie Next selection highlighting East Indian mythology. She is a national IPPY silver medalist and Moonbeam Award winner. She is also the coauthor of the #1 bestsellers in regency romance and historical fiction My Rogue, My Ruin and My Hellion, My Heart. Of Indo-Caribbean descent, she has written articles on multicultural fiction for The Portland Book Review, Ravishly magazine, and Diversity in YA. She currently resides in Colorado with her husband and three children. Visit her at www.amaliehoward.com.