The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare


Blurb:

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.


Review: I didn't read the blurb before delving into this book and I was so afraid that it would going to be yet another book where there's a wager on the rake bedding the virginal hero. Thankfully, it wasn't that. It was a surprisingly refreshing, yet still adorable with that spark of heat that we can expect from Tessa Dare.


Finally, a heroine I truly relate with. Penny is probably the sort of woman I would be if I lived in 1800s England, no doubt. She was exactly the sort of heroine I'd been dying to read about--selfless, quirky, and independent--without being too much those things, like so many of the historical heroines these days. And she wanted Gabriel and wasn't going to be the shy little virgin waiting to be "plucked" by the hero. Penny took what she wanted.


I can say I'm sick of rakes all day, but then the perfect one comes across my page. Gabriel was *muah*, amazing. He was just a little bit of an asshole, but mostly a sucker for Penny and her myriad of animals. I could have read a whole series centered around these two and their crazy household.


Chemistry was off the charts. So much wit and banter and humor, I was laughing out loud the entire time. A definite winner.

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