ROMANCE

The Wallflower Wager

Avon. (Girl Meets Duke, Bk. 3). Aug. 2019. 368p. ISBN 9780062672162. pap. $7.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062672155. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
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Lady Penelope Campion loves nothing more than collecting and caring for the stray animals nobody else wants. And she’s got her heart set on one particular dark, brooding, and lonely creature: her neighbor, the notorious Gabriel Duke. The notorious Duke of Ruin rose from the slums of London by sheer hard work, here and there causing the undoing of a few aristocrats. His plans for renovating and marketing his new house include using his neighbor’s highborn status as a selling point, so he’s less than pleased when Penelope’s motley crew of animals begin wreaking havoc on his lawn. But his icy manner begins to thaw as he helps kindhearted Penelope rehome her menagerie so she can stay in the city. Their mutual attraction quickly flares into heated trysts that have Gabriel questioning whether he truly is incapable of love.
VERDICT Dare (The Governess Game) has created a deliciously sexy take on Lady and the Tramp. Laugh-out-loud scenes involving a runaway otter, a foul-mouthed parrot, and a scene-stealing hedgehog balance out the darker, more introspective topics of the characters’ childhood abuse and neglect.

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