October 19, 2011

In the Span of One Breath • One Dance with a Duke

One Dance with a Duke book cover
One Dance with a Duke by Tessa Dare
Series: Stud Club #1
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: May 25, 2010
Source/Format: Bought || Kindle e-book

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 love a good romance novel tossed into my reading pile every now and then. It's a refreshing break from the many contemporary, classical and young adult novels I read, and plus, it usually only takes me a day or two to finish. I discovered Tessa Dare through The Ballroom Blog and decided one day to randomly try reading one of her novels, One Dance with a Duke.

Ms. Dare writes a beautiful little love story between Amelia d'Orsay and Spencer Dumarque, the Duke of Moreland. While there are a great many things that happen through the course of One Dance with a Duke, I was intensely drawn to the story of the love affair between these two, rooting for them, even when there seemed to be no hope! It's a crazy, emotional ride and one I thoroughly enjoyed taking.

I found it a little difficult to like Amelia d'Orsay at first, but then I realized it was mostly because she reminded me a bit of myself - caring deeply for her family, clinging on to fond memories and choosing to be happy in spite of her unfortunate circumstances. It was lovely seeing her stand up to Spencer and the others in One Dance with a Duke, and it amused me to see how strong and self-sufficient she could be.

Spencer was a bit of an enigma at first, because he appeared to be unfeeling/uncaring, except when it came to his horses. But I like how we discover a softer, more vulnerable side to him, especially when he starts realizing how he feels about Amelia. Plus, imagining how he looks in my head and knowing that he loves books AND horses? Instant addition to my romance novel heroes I love list.

Speaking of horses, I thought the premise of the "stud club" was quite interesting, to say the least. It sounds like the type of crazy thing that people of that age (especially young, privileged people) might have come up with, and it added an interesting aspect to the whole story.

It is my pleasure to report that I was instantly hooked on One Dance with a Duke and I will definitely be reading more of her novels in the future!


  1. This is exactly my thing!!! WAAAAHHH!!! I"m getting giddy just reading the synopsis and your review! :D :D :D

    1. You need to read Tessa Dare's stuff! She writes some of the best romances I've read in a while :)

  2. Oh my dear romance novels. I just started getting into the romance genre and ohhh do I love. Sounds infinitely fascinating and I feel I'm going to have to pick it up in the near future :) Great review!

    xoxox Victorie :)

  3. Hi Victorie! Thanks for the review. Yes, Tessa Dare's books are a new favorite. But if you're looking for romance novel recommendations, I've got plenty more!

  4. Oh goodness yes! I love recommendations :)


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