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They call him the Duke of RuinTo 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 evenLoyal and passionate Lady Penelope Campion never met a lost or wounded creature she wouldn’t take into her home and her heartWhen 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 homesDone Gabriel says How hard can it be to find homes for a few kittens?And a two legged dogAnd a foul mouthed parrotAnd 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 himNot if he ruins her firstNOTE Content advisories are available for this book at


10 thoughts on “The Wallflower Wager

  1. says:

    ugh now I am caught up SAD


  2. says:

    the slytherinhufflepuff ship we deserve


  3. says:

    Tessa Dare writes historical romance like no other and I will forever bow to the ueen This was SO heckin' charmingTW pedophilia in the past grooming in the past


  4. says:

    45 STARSTessa Dare has proven once again why she is one of the BEST historical romance writers of all timeconsistency I cannot say a bad thing about any of her books and this one ranks top tooLady Penelope loves animalsspecifically wounded and abandoned animals Her love of animals leads her into a rather sexy introduction to our hero Gabriel Duke Gabriel has dragged himself from the gutters of London and he has become what we would consider today a real estate mogul But he also takes pleasure in bringing the hated aristocracy to their knees financially When he meets Penny he presents as very hard and serious but he has a soft side that he has kept hidden for fear of vulnerabilityI loved the romance between Penny and Gabe Talk about serious laugh out loud moments especially with Gabe’s interaction with the animals and the guys interaction with each other true bro moments I was in stitches And the steam factor was off the charts They truly had odds to overcome but you as the reader are pulling for them hardTessa Dare has a way with words and her stories flow fast I read this in one sitting and my attention was glued to my IPAD Her use of dialogue makes the story come to life and develops the characters magnificently My only real complaint if you can call it that is I wish the Epilogue was longer and in depth I wanted to hear about some babies Readers so far the historical romance writers are coming out fully loaded and ready with some awesome books this summer They are bringing some heat to the often overlooked genre of historical romance and I for one say HEAR HEARAdd this one to the pile ladies and don’t wait to readit is part of a serIes and you will definitely want to read the others to understand fully Chase and Ash HIGHLY RECOMMEND


  5. says:

    8202019AAAANDDD TRYNA START MY COME BACK FROM BOOK DEATH WITH A BANGGGWhat better way to ease my way back into reading than a Tessa Dare novel?Here goes5 UNSURPRISING TOTALLY KNEW I'D LOVE IT STARSOops Guess who did it again?Tessa FUCKIN Dare That's WhoYou know the one thing I love about her books is that they're feel good don't take themselves too seriously with the perfect amount of romance passion and emotion Her men are all the same lol But It's not like them old highland novels where all the men are just like grunt and point Her men have humor which is honestly all I can ask for when using the same formula for all your heroes Her heroines on the other hand are what MAKE all the novels I love how she definitely improved here from the Governess Game The last book in the series was rushed and I was annoyed on how she completely brushed over the heroine's hobbies and career It was supposedly a big part of her life but wasn't even discussed Here I absolutely loved Penelope and her dedication to animals and how aware of herselfNot gonna lie Gabriel wasn't that special however they had wonderful chemistry and he was so so sweet and funny I loved the humor I definitely laughed out loud several times The sex well can't complain can I The plot was cute and fun and not too heavyNow if you're looking for a realistic historical lol you won't find it here The year is 2019 The audience is mostly middle aged women with MANY sexual fantasies lmao Therefore if you're looking for a realistic very non independent non sexually empowered victorian heroine you will most definitely not find it hereRead the book read all her books know what you're signing up for and don't take it too seriouslyThat's all folks xxxAnother Tessa Dare novel? ABOUT AN ECCENTRIC SPINSTER ANIMAL LOVER WITH A HOT GRUMPY ENGLISH PEER WE HAVE SEEN AGAIN AND AGAIN IN ALL OF HER BOOKS WHO DOESN'T HAVE A JOB BUT HAS ABS AND IS GREAT AT SEX???COUNT ME THE FUCK IN BABYOH MY GOooOOOoOD THAT COVER FUC ME COVER OH LORDY THATS A BEAUT COVER HOLY SHITE GAH I JUST WANT A MAN TO LOOK AT ME SWEETLY N DO THAT WITH ME LITERALLY CRYING RN K BYE^^me looking at dat cover while im single in the lib procrastinating on my essay wearing an oversized graphic tee eating 4 bars of chocolate


  6. says:

    Hm Well I'm going to be working through some things here and this is 100% spoiler filled and without tags Enter at your own risk This is really rough and I will probably continue to edit at will So forewarned is forearmed These are first thoughtsCONTENT WARNINGS Childhood sexual assault As always there is some delightful banter and if that's your jam then that will be pleasing in this book Penny is a likable heroine of course but I have some real concerns about her character development I think this book has some very big structural problems that undermine it entirely Under developed HeroListen can you just tell readers a few times that the hero is a villain without showing your work? There's very little to work with here In the first 23 of the book we only see Gabe when he arrives to do something with Penny The entire I need to make money off flipping this house plot really doesn't make any sense sorry And even if it did he never interacts with another human outside of the people introduced by Penny or in the setting Are you really that dastardly of a villain without any people around you? He doesn't even have a valet a man of affairs a banker a lawyer a henchman? I have struggled in the past when a character has no people but this is pretty extreme He doesn't even seem to have his own interests Somehow anything he had in process just comes to a grinding halt to deal with Penny her menagerie and selling this house I guess Some of Penny's pets have character development than Gabe and most of the heavy lifting about his character is done in chapter 21 when he decides to deliver a baby goat Maybe I'm just real churlish but an entire chapter devoted to baby goat delivery at the 70% mark as the primary way of convincing your readers that he's really loves her and is a really good guy? I wish you could see my face Chapter 24 I have a lot of feelings about this reveal First of all I want to say that I think survivors deserve HEAs but I also think survivors deserve to see their stories told with dignity and respect and not as a plot twist This big reveal really comes out of nowhere and it felt to me like a craft mistake OF COURSE women who have been molested keep secrets but they also presumably develop a set of very finely honed defenses for how to cope with their feelings when they come up For example it could have been done when she thought about her brother and extended family when she embarked upon a sexual relationship with Gabe when she thought about her past and her life as a spinster ANY NUMBER OF PLACES Instead given there was almost no forecasting of her past this reveal came out of fucking NOWHERE It's just air dropped in and it made ME feel as a reader feel like the message is women who are molested just turn into lovable old kooksAnd you know what that did not feel great From a craft perspective if an author is going to introduce a big hidden secretThen do the work As a reader I am very interested in the ways in which characters reveal their truths to others Here is a story that Penny has kept to herself for most of her life Now she is going to tell someone How exactly did she do that? We get the story she tells herself about what happened but we don't get the way in which she tells it to Gabe This is also true later in the book when she tells her friends and then her aunt and finally her brother It's all internal and so for me as a reader it didn't feel real I had to reread the scene several times what did she actually TELL him The only way we know it took a Long time is because she got thirsty Could this be an attempt on the author's part to show that she's trying to keep an emotional distance? I guess but it just felt like a scene that needed a lot work Even Gabe's response in this moment is entirely passive As she talked a series of objects drifted in and out of her hands She didn't notice them being placed in her grasp and she didn't recall setting them aside They were merely there in easy reach exactly when she needed themAt some point the objects ceased moving into and out of her grasp and she found herself clinging to one steady source of comfort Gabriel's hand Part of me doesn't mind this passivity it is after all Penny's story But this becomes a problem when later in the book Gabe explodes into fucking action in the worst way How are we to believe that the man who apparently SAT AND LISTENED DIDN'T ASK A SINGLE UESTION DIDN'T MAKE A SINGLE SOUND DOESN'T REVEAL A SINGLE FEELING then later jumps straight to dueling? And I found myself feeling like this was honestly an emotional cheat Why is this moment which should be an emotionally weighty scene the scene of the most important emotional connection between these two characters why is this scene less carefully developed then a scene where Gabe delivers a baby goat? If this chapter and this plot point disappeared from the book would it change who Penny is? Would it change who they are? I'd say no Literally NOTHING about the first 23 chapters would have to change at all if chapter 24 were gone and that is very damning because that means it's not a real part of her character These two big reveals about their childhood traumas felt clumsy and ill conceived I hated that the molester appears again at the end how convenient She's successfully avoided him for how fucking long but there he is again The aunt suddenly appears to save the day I guess I'd call it all deus ex machina but honestly is the last third of the book even thematically related to the first 23? It's not god in the machine It's a new machine A book with virtually no conflict for the first 23 then turns into a huge amount of buried conflict which is just as easily swept away I was disappointedUPDATEPART TWO I don't read historical romance because I care about history So for example I don't really care that Penny walks herself down the aisle and says she is her own person and wants to give herself away But I don't think that an author can have it both ways Penny embraces a very modern sensibility about her body and her identity but it is paired with a very old fashioned type of belief about whywhen she should disclose her past to her family She thinks that she should only disclose the abuse if her brother happened to have girls so thank god he had boys This did not sit well with me AT ALL and in a way I am very much struggling to describe I'm including the actual language here which I'm hiding behind a spoiler tag bc I feel like it has the potential to be very triggering view spoiler On the day of her brother's wedding Penny had vowed that if Bradford and Alice ever had a baby girl she would break her silence No matter how painful But they'd only had sons thank heavens and by now speaking the truth seemed pointless hide spoiler


  7. says:

    penny has the RANGE darling


  8. says:

    On Kindle sale today 20th Jan 2020 USD 199 Tropes Unstarched him Wallflower Spinster Class Difference Enemies to Lovers Opposites Attract 45 starsI’ve been on a pretty lousy romance reading path lately so last night I bought Tessa Dare’s latest as I needed a “sure thing” And boy did it deliver I started it this morning and read it in one sitting It’s got adorable charming and rude animals hilarious revisits and interaction with characters from book 1 and 2 amusing dialogue that made me laugh out loud plus plenty of hot sweet sexy and tender moments There is also a couple of punches to this book which will be surprising but it adds very good value to the story and just shows what a brilliant writer TD is This book had it all “Good God” he said “What have I unleashed?” “Me” She lifted his hand and kissed it “I’m in control of my life and my body and you can’t know what that means I’m not sure I know what it means But I’m all anticipation to find out”uick plot When Gabriel Duke is finishing his new house for sale to make profit to his already vast fortune he is not prepared for the continuous challenges presented by his pretty neighbour and her brood of animals It becomes uite clear that these two will butt heads Repeatedly Nothing pleased her than looking after those around her Feeding them warming them protecting them giving them a home She doled out affection from an endless supply The only problem was she was running out of people to claim it Lady Penelope Campion had a softness for animals Gabe had no softness at all But there is no denying they have noticed each other There was nothing off putting about her whatsoever She was on putting in every way Penny wasn’t unused to men but there was a difference between friendly acuaintance and a close range confrontation with sheer masculine physicality It felt like someone had taken a mallet to a gong of femininity hidden deep in her belly and now the vibrations traveled through her bones summoning an ancient primal force Penny could think of only one name for it lust It's a good thing they have such a like for animals in common “Certainly I like animals Roasted animals Fried animals Minced and baked in a pie animals” He gestured expansively “I like all kinds of animals” And it doesn’t take long for Gabriel to expose his soft underbelly “Listen to me” he said sternly “My motives are never kind Neither are they generous or charitable or good They’re money driven and entirely selfish You’d do well to remember that” And they get along swimmingly “Your Ladyship you are anything but calming” “You’re not particularly cuddly yourself” she said “Luckily I have some experience soothing prickly beasts” She clenched her hands into fists “You are so maddening You have a way of provoking me unlike anyone I’ve ever known It’s as though I become a different person when I’m around you and I’m not certain I like her” He pulled her to him “I like her” He would not put his hands on Lady Penelope Campion again Absolutely not Definitely not Probably not Damn “For the good of us both you have to cease gazing at me” “Then you have to cease wooing me” “Wooing you” He grimaced as if the words were a pickled lemon on his tongue “I don’t woo” “You do too woo” “But all the money and influence in the world can’t change my nature” “There’s nothing wrong with your nature Your nature is fine” For that sentence alone she could have kissed him it’s not “We are who we are I suppose” “We are who we are” she agreed Gabe despised the defeated note in her voice He liked who she was beneath the mask And when he was in her company he almost liked who he was too


  9. says:

    45 stars“No one can be reduced to numbers in a ledger or a stack of banknotes or a single silver coin We are humans with souls and hearts and passion and love Every last one of us is priceless Even you”“Gabriel Duke You are priceless”One 2020 goal; read historical romances They’re so good and freakin enjoyable to read This one was so hilarious I really enjoyed it Something that I love about historical romances is that subtle sense of humor I don’t know I just enjoy it so much Gabe and Penny’s interactions were so fun and heartwarming The book was so enjoyable Their banter left me with a goofy smile on my face The dialogue was so amusing Such an adorable read Penny was such a fun adorable character And Gabe was her absolute opposite And all those “pets” A two legged dog a goat and my favorite a parrot with a smart dirty mouth


  10. says:

    5 STARS She was a fool A naïve trusting sheltered fool And Gabe wanted to corrupt her so damned badly his bones ached See that pile of satisfied reader goo in the corner? The one clutching her kindle to her chest and making moon eyes at the sky? That my friends is this girl after downright binging on the absolute perfection that was this storyI don't know how it's possible for Tessa Dare to outdo herself with each book in this series but my GOD does she I loved the first book and thought nothing can top it then I felt the same about the second book And now reading the third I'm convinced that this author is a mythical unicorn that farts rainbows and creates pure swoony magic with her stories Yes I realize most likely it's immense skill and talent but just go with me here I'm still on cloud nine after finishing this phenomenal romanceNow let's talk about this story and everything that it hadFirst the third wallflower that gives the word eccentric a whole new meaning A spinster by choice and an animal lover by nature Penelope has an innate ability to find the weak and wounded and nurse them back to health And over the years she's developed uite the collection of animals Dear Mr Duke As reuested here is an inventory of the animals in my care Bixby a two legged terrier Marigold a nanny goat of unimpeachable character who is definitely not breeding Angus a three year old Highland steer Regan Goneril and Cordelia—laying hens Delilah a parrot Hubert an otter Freya a hedgehog Thirteen kittens of varying colors and dispositions But Penny's skill of attracting the wounded and lost doesn't just stop with animals Enter Gabriel Duke or the Duke of Ruin as he's known to the lot Three things however never altered He always woke with the dawn He always woke hungry And he always woke up alone He had a set of rules when it came to sexual congress—he didn’t pay for it he wouldn’t beg for it and he damned well wasn’t going to wed for it I say this every time I read a book from this series but I swear Gabe was my favorite hero to date Broody tortured and hiding a heart of gold this man absolutely stole mine There's something so vulnerable to his intensity Beyond the ruthless and cold demeanor there's a boyish charm to him that you can't help but gravitate towardsThen there's Tessa's signature brand of banter that will leave a goofy smile on your face and completely incapable to set the book down Every time I speak three words you look as though you’re going to swoon into my arms” “I do not” Penny objected knowing very well that she probably did “You sigh like a fool blush like a beet Your eyes are the worst of it They turn into these these pools Glassy blue pools with man eating sharks beneath the surface” “I hope you’re not planning a career in poetry” “For the good of us both you have to cease gazing at me” Penelope has made a deal with the devil when she agrees to allow the Duke of Ruin to help her meet the terms she's promised to her aunt in order to not be forced to go back to her brother and eventually be forced to marry Those terms? Finding a loving home for her beloved animals while letting the Duke introduce her back to the ton as something than the uirky spinster The story is full of lovable secondary characters including past favorites and some of the most memorable and funny animals to grace the pages of a book I couldn't get enough of thisDid I also mention the cameos? I’ll look I’m not afraid I intend to be there for every moment of the miracle of my own child’s birth” He crouched and suinted “And I’ve changed my mind” Chase retreated to the far corner of the stall and sat on a crate his pallor having turned a pale sickly green “Fine” Ashbury said “I’ll do it If I could stomach my own injuries from that rocket blast I can stomach this” He went to look then reeled a step backward “Oh God Something’s coming out” “Of course something’s coming out” Gabe said “A baby goat” “No” Ash said grimly “No” “If it’s not a goat then what is it?” “It’s a punishment for all my earthly sins is what it is” This book was everything I've come to expect from the amazing Tessa Dare and so much It was romantic and heart warming It had a tortured and protective hero It had a uirky heroine with an understated inner strength that you can't help but connect to And it had the most swoony romance full of laughs that you never want to end In a word? PERFECTION An absolute must read for any historical romance fans out there ARC courtesy of publisher in exchange for an honest reviewFind me on