The Wallflower Wager
by Tessa Dare
Synopsis: 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.
Tessa Dare can do no wrong when it comes to romance and this is no exception. The third book in the series, The Wallflower Wager, is just as good, if not better, as the first two books. I loved both heroes, Penny and Gabriel, and I loved their banter and their chemistry, the swoons and the humor.There’s a conflict in the book. A beautifully articulated, smart conflict, in fact. But still, The Wallflower Wager feels so easy to read, so effortlessly written, like the story was inevitable.
Lady Penelope was such a sweet heroine and she and Gabriel were perfect for each other, it was just perfect to see them falling in love. Penny was a very relatable and likable heroineand I absolutely loved her compassion and brood of animals. I totally understood Penny’s preference for spending time with her animals instead of people, particularly those catty members of the bon ton. I loved her growth in this one. I have never read a romance that had rape, recovery, and victimization as such a main, strong storyline. I thought Tessa handled it beautiful and gave Penny a wonderful arc.
Gabriel was also an interesting character and for some reason i loved how grumpy he 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. Gabe is your classic workhouse orphan, sold by his own mum for gin money, who has pulled himself out of the gutter, fueled by ruthless hunger and dreams of revenge.
They both have history that is holding them back from what could be if nothing else a hot, sexy affair. They may give in to their carnal lust, and they may have hot fantastic steamy times, but can that be enough for either of them?
This series is full of great heroines and not that bad heroes.This was a very cute, very lighthearted read that I thoroughly enjoyed. Simply put, this book is probably the few that I could keep on re- reading.
Thank you to Mills and Boon for gifting me a copy of The Wallflower Wager.