I received this book for free from Avon in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare
Also in this series: The Duchess Deal, The Governess Game
Series: Girl Meets Duke #3
Published by Avon on August 13, 2019
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Era
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.
NOTE: Content advisories are available for this book at http://tessadare.com/content-advisories/.
The Wallflower Wager is the third book in the “Girl Meets Duke” series and this is a story that I have been looking forward to all year. Of course, this is Tessa Dare we are talking about so its definitely one of the most anticipated book for many romance readers, including myself. However, I do want to put out a warning for readers. This is a book that won’t be authentic to the time frame that the story is set in. This is a stamp of the author, and its not a bad one, but don’t go into this story expecting a authentic dialogue, you won’t find it in this one. But now that I have that disclaimer out of the way, lets delve deeper into this book here.
Now The Wallflower Wager begins with our hero Gabriel Duke who moves in next door to Lady Penelope Campion. Penelope has a soft heart and is compassionate and has a deep love for every creature. She has a whole menagerie of animals in her home in London. When one of her creatures is found in her next door neighbor’s home and shegoes in search, she finds herself face to face with the “Gabriel Duke” who is feared among the Ton and high society for his ruthlessness but all Penelope feels for Gabriel is a strong sexual attraction, in a way she has never experienced before. When her brother and aunt give her an ultimatum, she seeks out Gabriel and they come to an agreement. As Gabriel and Penelope work together, the sparks between them fly and the chemistry they feel for each other is too difficult to be denied. But with these two opposites find a common ground in each other and the love that is blossoming between them…
Penny wasn’t unused to men, but there was a difference between friendly acquaintance and a close-range confrontation with sheer masculine physicality. It felt like someone had taken a mallet to a gong of femininity hidden deep in her belly, and now the vibrations traveled through her bones, summoning an ancient, primal force. Penny could think of only one name for it: lust.
Now in this beloved story, we have Penelope’s story and I have to say out of all them, I have been drawn to her the MOST. She has such a kind and loving nature and I was curious who Tessa Dare would pair her up with. These two couldn’t be more opposite from each other if they tried, but they do have some commonalities as well that you don’t quite expect to find. We have our heroine who is a introvert, loves all creatures and doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. Then we have our hero Gabriel, who is ruthless and grew up in the London Underground, a self made man who likes to tear down high members of society and destroy them financially. This is a true beauty and the beast retelling and what a sweet retelling it was in this installment. I truly couldn’t get enough of these two and their connection to each other.
“Listen to me,” he said sternly. “My motives are never kind. Neither are they generous or charitable or good. They’re money-driven and entirely selfish. You’d do well to remember that.”
I found their dynamics to be both steamy and entertaining. It was quite fun to see how they interacted with each other and boy the chemistry written in this one is probably the BEST of the whole series, in my honest opinion. I really wasn’t expecting it for Penelope’s book but Tessa Dare always likes to give me these curveballs of unexpectations and she delivered in this element. There are plenty of laughs though especially when we have the previous couples come into play….especially the men.
I’ll look. I’m not afraid. I intend to be there for every moment of the miracle of my own child’s birth.” He crouched and squinted. “And . . . I’ve changed my mind.” Chase retreated to the far corner of the stall and sat on a crate, his pallor having turned a pale, sickly green.
“Fine,” Ashbury said. “I’ll do it. If I could stomach my own injuries from that rocket blast, I can stomach this.” He went to look, then reeled a step backward. “Oh, God. Something’s coming out.”
“Of course something’s coming out,” Gabe said. “A baby goat.”
“No,” Ash said grimly. “No.”
“If it’s not a goat, then what is it?”
“It’s a punishment for all my earthly sins, is what it is.”
All I can say is they are HYPOCRITES and its hilarious the double standard they have. But you see how its them being protective and caring about Penelope. What I did love was seeing Penelope learning to stand on her own especially with the choice in the man she wants to be with even if that means against people she considers true family.
“Your Ladyship, you are anything but calming.”
“You’re not particularly cuddly yourself,” she said. “Luckily, I have some experience soothing prickly beasts.”
Overall The Wallflower Wager is bound to deliver plenty of laughs, lively dramatics, adorable fur babies and true delights of sensuality!!