Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare ~ Review

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.

Now Available from Avon Books

The blurb really drew me to this book.  I could just see the two-legged dog and the foul-mouthed parrot making themselves known in the story.  And boy, did they.  I laughed so much through this one and just devoured it.

Historical is not my normal genre.  I enjoy it but usually have to be in the mood for it.  Something about this one had me picking it up, though.  And I was so glad I did.

I haven't read the first two books in the series, I don't think it matters.  Yeah, there are couples I don't know but the story didn't depend on me knowing them.  I'm thinking I need to go back and read those two books because I can tell just from meeting these characters that I will enjoy their stories as well.

This author is always good.  I haven't read a book of hers that I didn't enjoy.  I love how she creates strong female characters despite the time period that doesn't favor that.  And I love that she deals with difficult issues even in today's world.  This book has plenty of both.

Both main characters in this book have reasons to not fit in their world.  Gabriel was book in poverty, a street urchin.  He is a self made Duke.  But that's not admired during this time and he likes to make his money off the mistakes of others.  That doesn't make him popular.  Penelope has a huge heart.  She cares for injured animals but isn't comfortable at a dance.  Her history is more than it appears and I love how her secret plays out in the story.

Needless to say, they belong together.  Neither would agree when they first meet but they have a great time getting to know each other as Gabe tries to help her find homes for her animals and Penny tries to meet the demands of her family.  The animals are amazing.  They help bring them together and capture even Gabe's tough heart.  I just loved them all together.

There is this part, which of course I can't really tell you about, where Gabe defends Penny.  But Penny finds her own way.  I expect that it's not fitting to the times but I loved it.  She plays the game and hands out what's due to a complete and utter a$$.  I was so proud of her.  I was happy Gabe wanted to help but Penny did it herself.  So proud.


I laughed and I swooned, this one is pure magic.

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