I Dared the Duke
Anna Bennett     

Genre: Historical Romance
Series: The Wayward Wallflowers
Book: 2
Heat: Sensual


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?

Other books in the series:

Elizabeth Lacey, the middle sister of the Lacey trio, has been one of the “Wilting Wallflowers” for as long as she can remember. When she accepts a position as the companion to a duchess, Beth finally has the opportunity to feel needed. What she didn’t bargain for was being told to leave by the duchesse’s handsome grandson, the Duke of Blackshire.

Alexander Savage, the Duke of Blackshire, is a rogue with a reputation for leaving women, shall we say, satisfied? Oh, and someone is trying to kill him. Because of this, he is adamant that his grandmother move to the country so that she is out of harms way…except he didn’t account for his grandmother’s new, surprisingly beautiful, companion.

This is the second book in The Wayward Wallflowers series by Ms. Bennett and, in my opinion, it surpasses the first by a mile! Both Beth and Alex were extremely likeable characters, and although they had their secrets, they both had good reasons for keeping them.

One of the things I liked best about this story is that neither of the characters were pretentious or unlikeable. Throughout the whole book, I was rooting for both individuals to grow as people and to find love (ahem, each other). They had such cute moments together and genuinely seemed to recognize the worth of the other, even if they may have judged the other before knowing them.

“’It hasn’t been a complete loss.’ Impulsively, he reached for her hand, laced his fingers through hers and gave a little squeeze.

She blinked in surprise and looked up at him.

He held his breath, wondering if she’d pull away. Hoping she wouldn’t.

Because holding her hand was the best part of his whole damned day. Hell, it might be the best part of his year.”

Now, while the story followed their buding romance, that does not mean that their relationship was without difficulties. Both Alex and Beth had to overcome some presumptions they formed based on the opinions of others. They managed though, and Ms. Bennett kept the plot rolling with the suspense of who was trying to murder Alex.

Some of the best parts of the whole book were instances when the secondary characters made an appearance. Since the duchess is the reason that Beth and Alex met in the first place, it is only fitting that she is a steady character throughout the whole novel. Some of my favorite lines in the whole book came out of the duchess’ mouth. Additionally, the Marquess of Darberville, Darby to Alex, was a great character in contrast to the duke. He was light-hearted and always had Alex’s back, so it would be nice to see a book about him in the future.

Overall, I highly recommend this book to any fans of Julia Quinn, that maybe want a little less heat and a little more love. While it is part of a series, I feel that it could be read alone and you wouldn’t be totally lost.

~ Megan