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Monday, June 18, 2012

How To Marry A Duke

by Vicky Dreiling

Tristan, the Duke of Shelbourne is a man with a mission: find a wife he can tolerate as long as they both shall live. Love is not necessary--nor desired. But how to choose among a dizzying array of wealthy-yet-witless candidates? Hire London's infamously prim and proper matchmaker. Then pretend she's not the most captivating woman he's ever met...
Helping a devilish Duke create a contest to pick his perfect mate is the kind of challenge Tessa Mansfield relishes. Her methods may be scandalous, but she's determined to find the notorious bachelor more than a wife--she'll bring him true love. Yet when Tessa watches the women vie for the Duke's affections, she longs to win his heart herself. And after a stolen kiss confirms Tristan's desire, Tessa knows she has broken a matchmaker's number one rule: never fall in love with the groom.
Book reviewed by Cybil Solyn
Ugh. I so much wanted to like this book. I really did. But with every page I turned I dreaded the ultimate outcome - our hero and heroine marrying. Tessa is a wholly unlikeable heroine. She is supposed to be this amazing matchmaker, but honestly I don't know how. She has no morals, no class, and no brain. As a matchmaker her priority should be to help people find the perfect mate in a quiet and no nonsense manner. But from her first interaction with Tristan, all she can think about are her needs (she wants to make a name for herself by finding a duke a bride), her wishes (she wants him to realize how important love is), and how this will help her (her emptiness will be filled when he's married to the right woman).

When Tristan straight up tells Tessa that he doesn't want anyone to know that she's helping him find a bride because he's sick of the limelight, what does she do? Publicly announces that he's going to be seeking a bride out of a pool of 24 women she hand picked. Mmmhmm. That'll keep him out of the limelight all right. Poor, poor, Tristan. All he wants is to have a regular marriage of convenience, and instead he discovers that he's fallen in love with a selfish, know-it-all, manipulative, idiot. Poor, poor man.

And really it just gets worse from here. At every turn Tristan is trying to be honest and upfront about his needs. But Tessa keeps manipulating him and putting him, and the 24 girls, into bad positions. When he finally realizes he loves Tessa (WHY??!?!?!), her "terrible secret" (yeah I bet you can guess what it is too because, like I said, she ain't bright and has a tendency to give into her own desires) gets in the way. *sigh* Really, it was all just terrible to watch unfold.


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