DARE TO FALL IN LOVE
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?
Alex returns to London to try to persuade his grandmother that she would be better living in the country, he has got an unknown person attempting to bump him off, he isn’t going to risk his one last relatives life so he has to get his grandmother off to her secluded country home. But there is a flaw in his well made plan, and that is what he finds when he gets home, is not what he expects.
There is a bossy and beautiful young woman working as a companion to his grandmother, Beth is all too known to Alex as years before he cruelly branded her and her sisters “The Wilting Wallflowers” but Beth is far from that. She is bossy, nosey and too intuitive for her own good, she sees past his rakish bravado and sees what’s lurking beneath what he hides from the world and he needs to get rid of her. But as ever, there is a problem – his grandmother adores Beth and even more irritating is that the only way he is going to be able to get his grandmother out of the city to the safety of the country is to do exactly what the beautiful companion asks.
Beth knows the Duke’s famous reputation of being a bit of a Lothario, a charming experienced and down right; too handsome or his own good rogue. So when the scarred, handsome Duke returns home unexpectedly she knows something isn’t quite right. He never visits his grandmother, he doesn’t give a stuff about her, all Alexander Savage is bothered about is his own pleasures, so when he tells her that she is fired and his grandmother is going to the country, Beth sees red and tells the Duke a few home truths and extracts a bargain with him.
As passion starts to blossom between Beth and Alex they both realise they are getting in over their heads. Beth soon finds out about the attempt on Alex’s life, and how much danger both herself and his grandmother are in, and as they try to figure who is behind this plot they grow closer and closer, until they both see the other in very different lights. He no longer see’s a nosey wallflower and she sees past the roguish mask. Can they foil the plot on Alex’s life and start something new of their own?
“… I shall retire. Good night, your grace— er, Alex.”
“Good night, Beth.” Halfway to the door, she hesitated .
“Will you be able to manage the staircase?” Ah, hell no. It might as well have been Mount Olympus. “I’m going to sleep here.” He pointed at the ancient leather chair.
Frowning, she said, “Wouldn’t you be more comfortable in your bed?” He shot her a wicked smile. “Are you propositioning me, Miss Lacey?…”
Alex is a torture soul after losing his parents in the fire that nearly took his own life and which scarred him, he is guilt ridden about the events and he is highly self-conscious about his burns and his looks. He has built up his defenses to protect himself from getting hurt and apart of that is the scandalous reputation that is branded about that he is a sex mad, rogue. When in actuality that is as far from the truth as you can get. Even as he starts giving in to temptation with Beth he is still so reluctant to let her in. But when he does it is quite special.
He isn’t the callous and rakish man who society thinks him to be, he is such a charming and fascinating character, he is proud and protective especially to those around him, he may think he is a monster because of the burn scars but I can tell you now that this man could charm the birds from the trees with just the smallest smile. He is a fit and athletic man in his prime who unfortunately has a self destruct button. But like all flawed heroes I love him.
“There are all sorts of moans, Miss Lacey. Moans of pain … moans of pleasure. They sound remarkably similar.” Her eyes went wide.
“I do not pretend to be a connoisseur of moans, your grace, but I shall take your word for it.”
“It’s Alex. And maybe you shouldn’t.”
“I beg your pardon?” She tossed her head, tousling her wavy tresses and exposing the delicate column of her neck. “You shouldn’t take my word for anything. A moan of pleasure is something you should experience for yourself…..”
Beth is a real smart arse, she is bolshy and independent and she knows her own mind and what’s more she isn’t afraid of telling a few home truths especially where the Duke’s concerned. She knows what is said about Alex but more importantly she has a grudge against the charming Duke after he nicknamed her and her sisters “The Wilting Wallflowers” after that, off course the whole of society started calling it her, which resulted in Beth having a horrific first few seasons being bullied and tormented. But surprisingly Beth isn’t sour, she has tried to put the past behind her. That is untill the man himself turns up. She is at first highly suspicious and knows that his lordship is up to something but on learning the truth of why he is demanding that they all set out to the country, because someone is trying to harm Alex she knows that she would go above and beyond to help him.
She starts seeing him in a completely different light and is drawn to him. He tantalizes her not with his rakish ways but by being himself. The honest, open and vulnerable Duke of Blackmore is far, far more seductive then the rake ever could be.
This is the first Anne Bennet book I have read and I am very impressed by it, I am really looking forward to reading more of her work. I thoroughly enjoyed I Dared The Duke, the story flows effortlessly, I was gripped by the twists and turns of the assassination plot against Alex and the seductively charming romance between out two leads. It is a strong and highly Enjoyable, a smart and tantalising read and one that I highly recommend. Even though this is book two of The Wayward Wallflowers Series, a series that I hadn’t read before, I read it very much as a standalone.
This was an ARC version from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.