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Afraid I can’t offer much of an excerpt yet. Please check back!

In the meantime, here is a true story.

Strangely enough, my books’ cover art is often finished before I’m even done writing the book! So I always try to make sure the heroine is wearing the dress on the cover at some point during the story. I made certain Susanna wore purple, and that Kate wore a gown of dark blue. (Minerva and her white sheets were easy!)

When I got the beautiful cover for Any Duchess Will Do, I was instantly in love with it – it’s one of my favorite covers I’ve had – but that gorgeous dress Pauline wears is a rather interesting pinkish-lavender shade. Attempts to name it resulted in interesting debate among my friends. Pink, lavender, mauve, fuschia, berry…all these and more were suggested. When I went to write that dress into the story, I still wasn’t sure what to call it.

So instead, I wrote the color-naming dilemma into the book. Here is your first excerpt from Any Duchess Will Do, short as it is.

“The color isn’t too awful?” She twisted a fold of the skirt. “The draper called it ‘dewy petal,’ but your mother said the shade was more of a ‘frosted berry.’ What do you say?”

“I’m a man, Simms. Unless we’re discussing nipples, I don’t see the value in these distinctions.”

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A “beguiling blend of sparkling wit and simmering sensuality that is guaranteed to captivate fans of clever, sexy historical romances.”

~Starred Review, Booklist

“Dare’s smart, funny, sensual tale is brimming with marvelous characters … A love story that’s so happy, your heart will be touched.”

~Top Pick!, RT Book Reviews

“Moments of laugh-out-loud humor, emotional intensity and sensual passion woven through an engaging plot and endearing characters make this a great read for romance fans.”

~Kirkus Reviews

“Rapier wit, clever dialogue and charming characters mixed into an enticing plot are exactly what readers expect from Dare. ANY DUCHESS WILL DO possesses all this and more!”

~Annie Tegelan, Fresh Fiction

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“Charming, smart and sexy, BEAUTY AND THE BLACKSMITH made me fall in love instantly.”
Fresh Fiction

“This classic story of love across the social divide matches two characters who are strong and compassionate in their love for each other. A great title for Regency romance readers.”
Library Journal

“…What a clever, hilarious tender and sexy romance! I devoured it and was so disappointed when it was over!”
Rogues Under the Covers

“Heartwarming with realistically portrayed characters, BEAUTY AND THE BLACKSMITH is another great read from Tessa Dare.”
The Romance ReviewsRead More »

Goodness. Just look at it. Thick as my ankle.

Diana Highwood took her glove and worked it like a fan, chasing the flush from her throat. She was a gentlewoman, born and raised in genteel comfort, if not opulent luxury. From an early age, she’d been marked as the hope of the family. Destined, her mother vowed, to catch a nobleman’s eye.

But here, in the smithy with Aaron Dawes, all her delicate breeding disintegrated.

How could she help staring? The man had wrists as thick as her ankle.

As always, he wore his sleeves rolled to the elbow, exposing forearms roped with muscle. He pumped the bellows, commanding the flames to dance.

Broad shoulders stretched his homespun shirt, and a leather apron hung low on his hips. As he removed the glowing bit of metal from the fire and placed it on his anvil, his open collar gaped.

Diana averted her gaze—but not fast enough. She caught a moment’s glimpse of pure, superheated virility. Sculpted chest muscles, bronzed skin, dark hair…

“Behave yourself,” he said.

The words startled her breathless.

He knows. He knows. He’s realized that refined, perfect, gently bred Miss Highwood comes to the smithy to gawp at his brute manliness. Behave yourself, indeed.

She felt ridiculous. Ashamed. Exposed.

And then—suddenly—relieved.

He wasn’t speaking to her. He was speaking to his work.

“That’s it.” Perspiration glistened on his brow. With a steady hand and a low, rich baritone, he finessed the broken clasp. “Be good for me … Read More »

At last, Diana Highwood gets a romance of her own! But with the last man anyone in Spindle Cove expects…

Beautiful and elegant, Miss Diana Highwood is destined to marry a wealthy, well-placed nobleman. At least, that’s what her mother has loudly declared to everyone in Spindle Cove.

But Diana’s not excited by dukes and lords. The only man who makes her heart pound is the village blacksmith, Aaron Dawes. By birth and fortune, they couldn’t be more wrong for each other…but during stolen, steamy moments in his forge, his strong hands feel so right.

Is their love forged strong enough to last, or are they just playing with fire?… Read More »

Dear readers, I have such exciting news. Many of you have written to me over the past few years, asking if there would be a Spindle Cove story for Diana Highwood.  At last, I am able and delighted to answer with a definitive yes! There will be a story for Diana, and you will be able to read it on April 30th.  The title of her novella is (spoiler alert!) Beauty and the Blacksmith.  (And if you are surprised by that pairing, just think how Mrs. Highwood will feel!)  I loved writing Aaron and Diana’s story, and I can’t wait until I can tell you more about it and post excerpts, the cover, and all that goodness.  But in the meantime, just know that it exists and is coming your way soon.

I have a few events coming up.  On Saturday March 9th, I’m speaking and signing at my local RWA chapter, OCC/RWA, and on March 15-17, I’m part of the California Dreamin’ conference in Santa Ana, CA.  As part of the conference, there will be a multi-author book signing open to the public on Sunday, March 17, from 1:00 to 2:30 PM.  Other authors signing include Julia Quinn, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Elizabeth Boyle, and many more–so if you’re in the area, don’t miss it!

 … Read More »

4-1/2 stars and Top Pick!, RT Book Reviews
“Dare’s second novel cements her place as a “not to be missed” author. Her gift is for creating stories that are filled with adventure, three-dimensional characters and exciting plots, yet she maintains the purest form of romance.”

All About Romance
B+ . “…A layered character-driven novel, with a fine supporting cast and excellent writing.”

Publishers Weekly‘s “Beyond Her Book” blog
“I had a rousing good time reading Surrender of a Siren… I could almost feel the wind in my hair and taste the sea salt in my mouth. Gray and Sophia are two people who were lost, adrift in their lives until they found one another.” (Reviewed by Kate)

Rakehell.com
“Dare’s prose is polished and refined, her descriptions superb, and her characters stunningly realistic…Goddess of the Hunt taught me to expect a lot of Dare, and Surrender of a Siren raised my expectations of her even more.”

The Romance Reader
“A delightful and entertaining story… Tessa Dare has an elegant writing style. Her descriptions of the sea voyage, of the seaman who serve on the ship, of the feelings of her characters are almost lyrical. She is perhaps the most promising new historical romance author I have encountered in quite a while.”

The Romance Readers Connection
“The passion between the two protagonists is H-O-T, and the unique characteristics of each individual keep the reader hoping for a happy outcome. Overall, SURRENDER OF A SIREN is a delightful follow-up to … Read More »

Gravesend, December 1817

In fleeing the society wedding of the year, Sophia Hathaway knew she would be embracing infamy.

She’d neglected to consider how infamy smelled.

She paused in the doorway of the fetid dockside tavern. Even from here, the stench of soured ale accosted her, forcing bile into her throat.

A burly man elbowed her aside as he went out the door. “Watch yerself, luv.”

She pasted herself against the doorjamb, wondering at the singular form of address implied in “luv”. The man’s comment had clearly been directed toward both of her breasts.

With one last deep breath, she sidled her way into the dank, drunken confusion, forbidding her gray serge skirts to brush against anything. Much less anyone. From every murky corner—and for a squared-off tea tin of a building, this tavern abounded in murky corners—eyes followed her. Suspicious, leering eyes, set in hard, unshaven faces. It was enough to make any young woman anxious. For a fugitive young lady of quality, traveling alone, under the flimsy shield of a borrowed cloak and a fabricated identity…

Well, it was almost enough to make Sophia reconsider the whole affair.

An unseen someone jostled her from behind. Her gloved fingers instinctively clutched the envelope secreted in her cloak. She thought of its brethren—the letters she’d posted just that morning, breaking her engagement and ensuring a scandal of Byronic proportions. Seeds of irrevocable ruin, scattered with the wind.

A cold sense of destiny anchored her rising stomach. There was no … Read More »

“Delightful… Lust, love, and witty repartee are perfectly balanced in this seamlessly plotted romance.”

~Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“A pick-me-up that delights, enchants and sweeps readers away.”

~RT Book Reviews, Top Pick!

“This is what romance should be! Tessa Dare has outdone herself with this delightful and thrilling romance between two unlikely souls who complement each other to perfection.”

~The Romance Reviews

“…A terrific book. The characters and the dialogue are smart and funny, and it’s a joy to read from start to finish.”

~All About Romance

“Colin and Minerva were perfect for one another, and their chemistry and romance has been my favourite couple so far in 2012.”

~The Book PushersRead More »

When a girl trudged through the rain at midnight to knock at the Devil’s door, the Devil should at least have the depravity—if not the decency—to answer.Minerva gathered the edges of her cloak with one hand, weathering another cold, stinging blast of wind. She stared in desperation at the closed door, then pounded it with the flat of her fist.

“Lord Payne,” she shouted, hoping her voice would carry through the thick oak planks. “Do come to the door! It’s Miss Highwood.” After a moment’s pause, she clarified, “Miss Minerva Highwood.”

Rather nonsensical, that she needed to state just which Miss Highwood she was. From Minerva’s view, it ought to be obvious. Her younger sister, Charlotte, was an exuberant yet tender fifteen years of age. And the eldest of the family, Diana, possessed not only angelic beauty, but the disposition to match. Neither of them were at all the sort to slip from bed at night, steal down the back stairs of the rooming house, and rendezvous with an infamous rake.

But Minerva was different. She’d always been different. Of the three Highwood sisters, she was the only dark-haired one, the only bespectacled one, the only one who preferred sturdy lace-up boots to silk slippers, and the only one who cared one whit about the difference between sedimentary and metamorphic rocks.

The only one with no prospects, no reputation to protect.

Diana and Charlotte will do well for themselves, but Minerva? Plain, bookish, distracted, awkward with gentlemen. In a word, Read More »