Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Series: Wayward Wallflowers #2
Title: I Dared the Duke
Author: Anna Bennett
Publisher: St Martin’s Press, St Martin’s Paperbacks
Published: April 4th, 2017
This is the second book in the series but works well as a standalone, too. The wayward wallflower in the story is Miss Elizabeth Lacey (Beth) who likes to be needed. After her sister married well, she’s no longer feeling needed at home so goes to be the companion to the Dowager Duchess of Blackshire. It is in this role that she meets the Duke of Blackshire, Alexander Savage (Alex). He has a reputation as a talented lover – especially of married women. As a child he was severely burned in a house fire in which his parents died and it was only the care and attention of his grandmother which helped him survive his injuries. He adores the old lady but is increasingly concerned by apparent threats on his life from an unknown source, so he’d like her to move back to the country and out of harms way. When he tries to sack Beth, he discovers she really isn’t a meek wallflower and is ready to stand up to and defy him. This is the start of a confrontational relationship between the two that leads on to them falling in love but, with a potential murderer having Alex as their next victim, how can he keep himself and those he loves safe?
I found this an engaging read to escape into. The characters are well developed and Alex is particularly easy to relate to. I didn’t, however, understand why he, as a wealthy Duke, didn’t get others to help determine the perpetrator of the attempts on his life. Beth is more of an enigma, feisty, stubborn, vociferous and suspicious though she was also caring and charming at other times. I loved how she blackmailed the Duke to enable her and the Duchess to stay! The mystery of who is attempting to kill the Duke is kept till very near the end of the story (though how the person managed to carry out the attempts is also somewhat mysterious, too). It is a steady paced book that flows well, keeping the reader guessing and providing some humorous banter, too.
I requested and received a copy of this story via NetGalley and this is my honest review after reading it.
DARE TO FALL IN LOVE
Alexander Savage, the Duke of Blackshire, is known throughout the ton for three things: the burn scars on his neck, his ornery disposition, and the trail of broken hearts behind him. None of which would concern Miss Elizabeth Lacey in the least—if she weren’t living under his roof. As his grandmother’s companion, Beth is all too concerned with the moody and compelling duke. Incensed by his plans to banish the sweet dowager duchess to the country, Beth refuses to do his bidding. If Alex wants her help, he’s going to have to take her dare…and grant her three wishes.
Alex adores his grandmother, which is precisely why she must leave. A string of unfortunate incidents has him worried for the safety of everyone around him—including the dowager’s loyal and lovely companion, Beth. But the notorious wallflower isn’t as meek as she appears, and as their battle of wills heats up, so does Alex’s desire. He’s dangerously close to falling in love with her…and revealing secrets he’d rather keep hidden. How can he convince her that his darkest days are behind him—and that, for the first time in forever, his heart is true?
I Dared the Duke continues Anna Bennett’s Regency-era romance series, The Wayward Wallflowers.