Thursday, August 8, 2019

The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare

They call him the Duke of Ruin.

To an undaunted wallflower, he's just the beast next door.

Wealthy and ruthless, Gabriel Duke clawed his way from the lowliest slums to the pinnacle of high society—and now he wants to get even.

Loyal and passionate, Lady Penelope Campion never met a lost or wounded creature she wouldn’t take into her home and her heart.

When her imposing—and attractive—new neighbor demands she clear out the rescued animals, Penny sets him a challenge. She will part with her precious charges, if he can find them loving homes.

Done, Gabriel says. How hard can it be to find homes for a few kittens?

And a two-legged dog.

And a foul-mouthed parrot.

And a goat, an otter, a hedgehog...

Easier said than done, for a cold-blooded bastard who wouldn’t know a loving home from a workhouse. Soon he’s covered in cat hair, knee-deep in adorable, and bewitched by a shyly pretty spinster who defies his every attempt to resist. Now she’s set her mind and heart on saving him.

Not if he ruins her first.

Add to Goodreads –

Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

The Wallflower Wager is the third installment in the Girl Meets Duke series. Can it be read as a standalone or out of series order? Most definitely. While I did read the last in the series, I did so without reading the debut. I had zero confusion, just rolled with it. However, I do eventually plan on going back and reading the beginning.

Penny is on the shelf, done so deliberately, living alone in her family's Town home. She spends her time rescuing helpless, wounded creatures, because the life she wished to have was destroyed long before she left childhood. Penny is irresponsible, sometimes irrational, but not to a too stupid degree. She's naive, endearing – her gift is loving everyone fiercely, putting herself last in the equation.

Gabriel Duke has clawed his way up from the gutter, earning the title the Duke of Ruin. He'll do anything to get ahead, ruthless and determined to prove his worth as a human being. Renovating a house to flip to an investor with new money who would love to live in the heart of Town with ladies and lords, Gabe has to get his lady neighbor in line.

Having spent a decade fostering animals, when she was supposed to be finding a husband, Penny's brother is calling her home to the country, to live as a spinster should. the devoted aunt, where her entire existence will be rearing her nephews and living under the sufferance of her brother, nothing but a burden, no longer seen as a person.

When the reader digs beneath the surface, sensing the growing frustration and pain, the reality of how it must have been for a spinster, it's almost too much to swallow. Kind and loving, Penny still has a backbone and determination to make a life of her own. She's not giving up, even if it means making a wager with her well-meaning aunt.

The interactions between Gabe and Penny, alongside the menagerie of animals, it was hilarious yet heartwarming. Lust-filled tension eased slightly by witty banter and zany situations. I couldn't get enough of Gabe and Penny, rooting for them from the first chapter. The flow and progression felt real, where I didn't want the book to end. Both of them are suffering from the past, there's a rawness to their pain since they simply tried to ignore it, not heal it.

Emotions running the gamut, from teary-eyed moments to outright hilarity, The Wallflower Wager was a delight to read. Most memorable, aside from the main characters and the animals, the banter of the secondary characters from books past, fighting over who got to be the second and best man, not the second's second and best man's best man. It offered levity to the novel, where some of the content was emotionally dark.

I highly recommend to historical romance readers and fans of Tessa Dare. I can't wait for the next in the series, as well as going back to read the beginning.

Also Available in the Girl Meets Duke Series

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our The Governess Game post.

TESSA DARE is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty historical romances. Her books have won numerous accolades, including Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® award (twice) and the RT Book Reviews Seal of Excellence. Booklist magazine named her one of the “new stars of historical romance,” and her books have been contracted for translation in more than a dozen languages.

A librarian by training and a booklover at heart, Tessa makes her home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, their two children, and a trio of cosmic kitties.

Connect with Tessa

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
The Secret Society of Damsels Who Dare Facebook Group

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Wallflower Wager (Girl Meets Duke #3) by Tessa Dare to read and review.

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