One Dance with a Duke is the 1st book in Tessa Dare’s Stud Club series. From the back cover.~
A handsome and reclusive horse breeder, Spencer Dumarque, the fourth Duke of Morland, is a member of the exclusive Stud Club, an organization so select it has only ten members-yet membership is attainable to anyone with luck. And Spencer has plenty of it, along with an obsession with a prize horse, a dark secret, and, now, a reputation as the dashing “Duke of Midnight.” Each evening he selects one lady for a breathtaking midnight waltz. But none of the women catch his interest, and nobody ever bests the duke-until Lady Amelia d’Orsay tries her luck.
In a moment of desperation, the unconventional beauty claims the duke’s dance and unwittingly steals his heart. When Amelia demands that Spencer forgive her scapegrace brother’s debts, she never imagines that her game of wits and words will lead to breathless passion and a steamy proposal. Still, Spencer is a man of mystery, perhaps connected to the shocking murder of the Stud Club’s founder. Will Amelia lose her heart in this reckless wager or win everlasting love?
I’ve said before, I buy books as soon as they come out, but don’t always get to read them right away. I loved Tessa’s first trilogy and had high hopes for The Stud Club trilogy, and with One Dance with a Duke, the trilogy gets an amazing start.
I am a huge fan of Tessa Dare’s books. In fact, her books are what got me back to reading historical romances after going years without going near one. She writes some of the best characters ever, and Amelia and Spencer are among my favorites (yes I’ve said this about some of her other characters before). I liked how strong Amelia is, even though she really doesn’t see herself that way. I love strong female characters in historical romances. Amelia actually approaches Spencer at the ball so she can ask him to forgive her brother Jack’s debt. Spencer didn’t know what to expect when Amelia stepped up to take his one midnight waltz at the ball. In fact, she overwhelms him to the point that he has to carry her outside so he can catch his breath. Once outside, they soon learn that Leo Chatwick, founder of the Stud Club, has been murdered. When Spencer returns Amelia home the next morning he decides they will be married and it will happen within the next 24 hours.
Amelia is attracted to Spencer from the first, but wants to get to know him better before she will make love with him. Spencer has wanted Amelia from their very first dance together, but isn’t happy about having to tell her personal information. Amelia and Spencer have some of the best chemistry from the very first. Amelia is attracted to her husband and once they make love for the first time, she can’t get enough of him. I really love that she never felt the need to hide her desire for her husband. There are a few bumps in the road that keep their relationship from being too easy. One would be Amelia’s brother Jack and his gambling problems that seem to get between Spencer and Amelia. Two would be Spencer’s young ward, Claudia, who is ugly to Amelia from the beginning. Three would be the murder of Leo and the other members of the Stud Club and the fact the 3 remaining members can’t seem to agree on anything.
Both Spencer and Amelia make a great couple. They are both strong, yet need one another to be stronger. They each find a way to put their relationship above any of the roadblocks that have been thrown at them. With each page, I found myself loving them more and more as a couple, and as individuals.
I have the next 2 books in The Stud Club series in my TBR pile and plan to read them soon. I really do love having an entire trilogy in my hands before I read the first book, since I hate having to wait for the next book to come out. I highly recommend Tessa Dare’s books to anyone who enjoys historical romances.