ARC Review | The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare

The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare
Series: Girl Meets Duke
Genre: Historical Romance
Publication Date: August 13th, 2019
ARC from Edelweiss

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.

| Book Review |

The Wallflower Wager is the third book in Tessa Dare’s Girl Meets Duke series, and if you’re a fan of historical romance, you’ve probably been waiting on this one. This series is so addictive and fun and poignant; it’s impossible not to love. The friendship between the women in this book, and then the men they bring into the fold is sweet as all get out.

When Lady Penelope Campion gently breaks and enters into Gabriel Duke’s home to rescue her pet parrot, an attraction that neither can deny starts to simmer, and it eventually becomes too potent to resist. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Gabriel’s initial attraction is based on the fact that she’s an earl’s daughter, which will fetch him – pardon the pun and anachronism – a pretty penny for the house he’s renovating. What he doesn’t count on is Penny’s biggest eccentricity – her love for all creatures in need of healing. The two eventually strike a deal, and things…simmer over. I loved how grumpy Gabriel was. He tried to be kind in a perfunctory kind of way, always insisting he was a brute of a man; he even tried to be. But Penelope’s not so patient patience paid off, and her persistence wore him down.These two started the book at odds, but that changed pretty quickly. Though not in an insta-love kind of way; they just realized how much easier it would be to reach their goals if they worked together. There were a lot of funny scenes in this one, which is a good thing, because parts of this book were very deep, especially when diving into Penelope and Gabriel’s pasts, and there was a lot of poignancy as Gabriel struggled to see any good in himself. But the just brought something out in each other, and I love that it was nothing they worked at. Just by being who they were, they drew each other out of the solitude they’d been living in, and they were just so perfect together.

If you’ve been a fan of this series from the beginning, you’ll be happy to know that the previous characters make a lot of appearances in this book – the women standing by each other as always and the men going into protective mode. The other characters in this book that were standouts were Penny’s pets, especially the cursing parrot and the chubby goat. They really highlighted Penny’s loyalty and love, and it was so sweet to see her with them.

A gripe I have about this story is that it felt very contemporary, and that was disappointing because I feel like Tessa Dare is one of the very few authors in the genre who can straddle the line of making story lines pertinent to today while staying true to the period, and I didn’t feel that here. But this won’t stop me from picking up her future books. Her characterization is too stellar to miss out on. My other issue is that near the end of the story, Penny does something incredibly dumb and irresponsible, and it felt out of character when I think of the woman I’d been reading about all along. But again, this is just a blip in the book that didn’t hinder my enjoyment so much as leave me shaking my head.

Overall, I think The Wallflower Wager is another win by Tessa Dare, and if you’re a Historical Romance fan, I’m willing to bet you’ll love this one!

| Rating |

Series Reading Order


12 thoughts on “ARC Review | The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare

Add yours

  1. What a hoot! I’m definitely missing out by not having read her books yet. Now, I want to plunge in- way out of order- with this one. 🙂


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