Dr. Rhys Gray and Miss Margaret Babcock are friends—strictly friends. But over the course of the year, as they exchange dozens of letters, they share personal details that put them on the path to something more. When Dr. Gray helps Margaret realize her dearest dream and she comes to his defense in the uproar that follows, it seems that their connection cannot be denied. But will their relationship stand the scruples of society and jealous intendeds, or are they destined to be only friends, and nothing more?
Kate Noble writes wonderful historical romances. They are full of truly unique characters, have plenty of plot rather than just having characters flit around ballrooms for no good reason, and they bring nineteenth century England to life.
I’d give The Dare and the Doctor five stars if it wasn’t for the fact the entire book is written in out of place US English (perhaps the most mistakes I’ve ever come across), and a few times it nearly drove me to distraction! Noble writes a lot of books set in or about England; there’s no excuse at this point.
Otherwise, I really loved this one. The author takes us into different parts of the London of the day, exploring the day-to-day as it was, and bringing the city to life. She gives her characters interesting occupations, and researches them thoroughly, but we are never bogged down in boring details.
I love how distinctive each one of her characters is. Our heroine here is SO socially awkward, and yet she is aware of it and not unhappy with who she is. Our hero is such a genuinely decent and thoughtful man, but stands up for himself when he needs to.
I also like that there’s not time wasted on mental lusting and too much sex, and we get a complete romance instead. Too many authors are forgetting to have their characters fall in love these days, but that’s never a problem with this author’s books.
However, it’s disappointing to have the fantastic atmosphere of the book ruined with wording that stood out like a sore thumb and made me groan with frustration.
I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect an author of many books set in Britain to know words like autumn and arse. Astley’s Amphitheatre was a real place, and that is a real name, and the spelling of places like these cannot be changed just because they brought up red squiggly lines on the editor’s Word document!
I also sort of wish the characters had stopped blinking all the time. Double blink was used as a reaction so many times it nearly made me start doing it!
This book will work fine as a standalone, as it is a story pretty well self-contained. I think there’re two points where events of past books are referred to directly, but they are easy enough to understand.
For me, The Dare and the Doctor was a really good read. I liked the uniqueness of the characters and the plot they found themselves caught up in, and I would happily recommend it.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.
A side note:
I was reading an ARC, so maybe the actual book will be fixed, but I’m not the only one who has noticed Noble’s books tend to come chock-full of typos and other errors. I do hope this is fixed, but seeing as the blurb on the cover of the last book mixes up loose and lose, I’m not so sure…