The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare is the third book in the Girl Meets Duke series, but it was great as a stand-alone. This book caught my attention from the first page when at the time no other book seemed interesting. I don’t know if it was due to the witty banter of the characters, the hilarity of the animals, or the originality of the plot line but I couldn’t stop laughing or put the book down!
Lady Penelope “Penny” Campion was not only a wallflower, but a forgotten wallflower. After an embarrassing event during her first season, she is happy taking care of her animals and not attending social events. She is compassionate, kind and a “gatherer” of abandoned animals and “misfit” friends that are on the outskirts of society as she is. She emphasizes that a person’s worth is not measured in wealth or social status and everyone deserves love (even animals that are abandoned). Penny’s brother has decided that she should return to the family estate, but Penny wants to stay in London. Penny makes a wager with her Aunt Caroline who help her convince her brother to let her stay in London if in three weeks; she will get a new wardrobe, get rid of all the animals, and attend some society events. Getting a new wardrobe was no problem, but finding safe, loving homes for her animals and receiving invitations were not so easy!
Gabriel Duke, known as the Duke of Ruin, was wealthy and ruthless, having clawed his way up from the streets. He has bought and moved into the house next door to Penny and is determine to renovate the house and make a large profit since there is a “lady” in the house next door. He insists that Penny get rid of all her animals and that she must maintain her “good reputation” in order for him to get the most money from the sale. But in order for him to get the most profit, Penny must stay in London. So he decides he will help her find “safe, loving” homes for the animals. As time passes, he realizes he wants her to stay in London for more reasons than just the profit he would make.
Penny’s friends from the previous books are there to protect and help her anyway they can. They are an odd group of friends but are all bonded together by Penny’s friendship. Then men in the group slowly grew to like each other and the event for “male bonding” was very entertaining, but I won’t spoil the fun by mentioning how. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. I’m sure Nicola’s story will be just as fun and entertaining.
Publication: August 13th 2019 | Avon | Girl Meets Duke #3
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.