Tessa Dare is a bestselling author of more than twenty historical romances. What sets her stories apart from other Regency era romances for me is the promise of humor. Not chuckle quietly to yourself humor. I’m talking laugh-out-loud, did-I-just-pee-a-little-in-my-pants humor.
Her books usually feature unconventional heroines who butt heads with broody, headstrong heroes – with results that are equal parts sexy and hilarious.
If you love historical romance and haven’t tried Tessa Dare (or you’re already a fan who wants to know which of her novels to read next) here are five of my favorites that would be perfect for your next read:
If your favorite romance trope is marriage of convenience read The Duchess Deal.
The first book in Dare’s Girl Meets Duke series, this story brings us the Duke of Ashbury. After a disfiguring war injury and being dumped by his betrothed, Ash lives a secluded life hiding himself away from society. This leaves him in a conundrum on how to find a wife to secure his family legacy through an heir. When the local vicar’s daughter, a seamstress named Emma, shows up with his ex-fiancée’s wedding gown looking for payment, he decides that she’s the perfect answer to his problem. He proposes an agreement. A marriage with no kissing, no conversation, and no more sex once she’s pregnant. But as Emma’s feelings grow, she’s not ready to give up on a love match and real family with him.
If you swoon over Scottish heroes and awkward heroines try When a Scot Ties the Knot.
Afraid of embarrassing herself during her first London season, Maddie invents a pretend Scottish suitor. Logan MacKenzie. He’s a tall, handsome war hero who’s hopeless in love with her. And the fact that she doesn’t think he’s real, doesn’t stop Maddie from using him to get out of awkward situations or writing deeply personal letters to her imaginary love. Eventually, she kills him off and goes through the societal motions of grieving. So, imagine her surprise, when the real war hero Logan MacKenzie arrives on her doorstep years later. He blackmails her with the secret letters, which he’s been receiving all along, to marry him. She’s recently inherited a Scottish castle and he’s trying to protect and find stability for the traumatized men who served under him in the army. Can what starts as a hilarious battle of wills, shift into a romantic alliance? This is not a rhetorical question. The answer is a resounding, swoon-worthy yes!
If you love a good mystery read Do You Want to Start a Scandal.
Spindle Cove is one of Tessa Dare’s most popular series. If you don’t mind skipping ahead, this fifth book in the series brings together the precocious Charlotte Highwood and the seemingly boring and emotionless Lord Granville. When it’s discovered that two lovers met for a tryst in the middle of an important ball, rumors start buzzing that it was this unlikely pair. Now Charlotte must uncover the identity of the true couple, or she’ll have to marry Lord Granville. But he has a few secrets himself and a mystery of his own to investigate. As Charlotte soon learns that there’s more behind his boring exterior than she originally thought. This is such a fun read because of the ridiculous situations Charlotte gets into while trying to find the real lovers. It also doesn’t hurt that the physical chemistry between Charlotte and Lord Granville comes through strong on every page
If you prefer to begin at the beginning of series and are looking for a feminist battle of the sexes pick up A Night to Surrender.
This is the first book in Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cove series and the 2011 RITA Award winner for Best Regency Historical Romance. It is full of physical comedy, feminism, and deliciously flirtatious banter. The book introduces Spindle Cove, a seaside town that advertises itself as for ladies with “delicate” constitutions. In reality, it is a haven for women who don’t fit into society. Susanna lives on the neighboring estate and serves as the matriarch of these spinsterly misfits. So, she’s not at all happy when Victor, the new Earl of Rycliff, is given the mission to create a militia in town to protect the coastline from a possible French invasion. He’s determined to drum of masculine fervor with his new recruits, but Susanna doesn’t want Spindle Cove to change. Both have vowed not to fall in love with anyone but… this is a romance novel, so we’ll see how that vow goes.
If have a soft spot for a governess/rogue matchup read The Governess Game.
In economic straits, Alexandra takes a position as governess to two uncontrollable orphans in the home of their guardian, the rake Chase Reynaud. He’s a libertine who refuses to settle down and doesn’t know anything about raising children. But Alexandra knows what her young charges need is a stable family. So, she sets her mind on reforming him and he decides to counter-attack with some lessons in physical pleasure. Against the farcical family backdrop, both characters seem on track to get more than they bargained for.