"The Duchess Deal: Girl Meets Duke" by Tessa Dare

Although some reviewers complained that this book wasn't compliant with the era said to encompass, I still loved this story! The main characters' depth and imagination impressed. Witty repartee and chemistry abounded between Ash and Emma; their teasing banter made me laugh, and heated love scenes burned up the pages. Each had emotional wounds and sympathetic backstories that shaped their personalities and kept them from surrendering to their feelings; Ash's physical scars held him captive in a world of loneliness. Although he cast himself in the role of a monster, his kind tenderness and intellectual curse words won me over. Several whacky sub-characters also rose; even the cat had a persona that added to the amusement. Yes, it contained silliness, and I didn't always believe the era portrayed factually, but it entertained.