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?
Second in a series I’ve not read the first book in, I Dared the Duke had all the standards of Regency romance: a duke for a hero – who happens to be a rake (naturally), a heroine down on her luck, a bit of intrigue, and some behaviours that were more twenty-first century than early nineteenth.
If you’re a fan of the genre, there’s nothing terribly wrong here, and the book rolls along nicely.
I was confused by the hero’s behaviour. At the end of the first chapter we finally discover the reason he wants people out of his house is because his life is in danger, but up to that point his total rudeness was confusing. I still question that – danger or no danger – someone so highly ranked in the aristocracy would display such appalling manners to a lady of his social class.
After we learn this little snippet of information (the heroine does not), a significant portion of the book is devoted to the “sparring” between the two of them. One moment he is ordering her out of his household; the next he is refusing to bring the issue up.
It really didn’t make any sense for the plot, but drew out the “romantic tension”.
This is not a book I’m going to remember for long, but there’s nothing especially offensive about it.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.