The Wayward Wallflowers #2
by Anna Bennett
Published on April 4, 2017 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance
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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?
This book was provided by the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
For my first read of anything by Anna Bennett, I have to say I found I Dared the Duke fun and entertaining…but not a standout. As someone who reads historical romances fairly often, especially lately, this one was light and all sorts of fluff fun but once I was done reading it didn’t stick with me. Which, honestly, isn’t a bad thing because I can’t think of many romances that do.
I Dared the Duke is the second of the Wayward Wallflower books and while I haven’t read the first one (and I do plan to now), I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything so you can definitely read this one as a standalone.
I liked Beth. Some aspects of her personality didn’t really connect for me, like the constant need to be needed. I just couldn’t relate to that. But she wasn’t a doormat and used her wit to trick Alex into spending more time with his grandmother which I found both hilarious and unusual for a romance. Generally there are side characters in a romance but I don’t often see them play a larger role, but Alex’s grandmother was definitely the third member of this little party and it made for an interesting dynamic. Alex is a bit rough around the edges and has his reasons for pushing Beth away but they don’t last long when attraction enters the game. I enjoyed watching his character develop because he wasn’t the most likable person at the beginning but at the story progressed, he opened up more and grew on me until I cheered him and Beth on at the end.
Much of the story actually centered around these two interacting so the story took a backseat as well as all the action that could have come with it (which all seemed to be saved up for the end of the book when everything happens all at once. Unfortunately, the lack of story meant the story didn’t quite fit was I was looking for in a romance but it had some elements I wanted to see.
My favorite part of I Dared the Duke was definitely the banter between Beth and Alex. this isn’t a book I’d recommend for the story because despite all the tension that’s hinted at, the book was a pretty light read and didn’t really play up the action like it could have. Which was a bit disappointing. And honestly, this book didn’t have the true feel of a historical romance to me, in the way the characters talked and interacted. There was definitely a modern edge, but I found I didn’t mind? Again, I didn’t keep reading this one for the story so much as the characters so it wasn’t much of a bother.
Now I can’t say I would recommend this book to those of you who read historical romances pretty often because it likely won’t live up to your expectations. This is definitely just a light, fun read and I do plan to read the first in the series as well as any others that release because it was definitely enjoyable if you’re not looking for anything heavy.