The Dare and the Doctor
Kate Noble     

Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Winter Takes All
Book: 3

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?

The perfect novel for fans of Regency Era romance, The Dare and the Doctor is a clever and passionate love story worth sharing.

The Dare and the Doctor begins with our heroine, Margaret Babcock, and our hero, Dr. Rhys Gray, properly and professionally corresponding.  The two have such an amazing rapport, that soon their formal letters become much less so, and they become corresponding best friends.  Margaret is a spinster, and a horticulturist, who has been working for years on creating a special hybrid rose.  Rhys arranges a meeting for Margaret with some London experts, and she plans to come to town for the meeting, her plants and tools in tow.  While there, she will stay with Phoebe and Ned, whose home is like a second home to Rhys, so she can expect to see a lot of him. 

As Margaret and Rhys spend time together, it's obvious that their chemistry is off the charts.  They are truly amazing friends, and they both insist that's ALL they are, but there is that simmering attraction.  And there is also an obstacle to their relationship going any further - a very serious one.  Rhys' family considers him engaged to Miss Sylvia Martin, though there is nothing formalized yet.  The engagement, if Rhys finally agrees to it, will end a serious breach between the two families due to a scandal that happened, causing Rhys' father and older brother to flee the country.

Oh, how I love this book and its protagonists!  Rhys is to die for - the lengths he goes to - arranging outings and meetings for Margaret, picking things sure to appeal to her nerdy nature is just swoonworthy.  His dedication as a physician is stellar, and his character and honor are above reproach.  He tries his best to make sure Margaret has no expectations of him that he can't fulfill, and he tries his best to do the right thing for his family though it's breaking his heart.  I found Margaret so endearing,  too tall, too nerdy, and too unsure of her own physical attraction.  Though she's crazy for Rhys, when she learns of his almost engagement, she tries her best to be honorable, as well.

It's soon clear that Margaret and Rhys must be together, no matter the cost.  What's the worst that could happen?  It seems that someone is out to sabotage their happiness and will take extreme steps to ensure that Rhys marries Miss Martin.  I adore how this tangle was resolved - it was perfect.  It was fantastic to see Rhys fight for his love and future, and to see Margaret not lose faith in him when the situation looked hopeless.  This couple was so, so perfect for each other and their happy ever after was especially sweet.  I absolutely recommend reading this book, in fact, I dare you.

~ Bonnie