“I Dared the Duke” is the second book in Anna Bennett’s Wayward Wallflowers novels, but you certainly don’t need to read the first one in order to enjoy this one. This was my first read from Bennett, and it turned out to be just the historical catnip I needed.
Beth is the new companion to the grandmother of the Duke of Blackshire. She is happy to be needed and cares greatly for the older woman. When the Duke intimates his plan to move his grandmother to the country, Beth proposes a deal requiring the Duke to grant three wishes for the woman in exchange for convincing her to make the move. Alexander has had multiple attempts on his life, and now only his grandmother’s new companion stands in the way of moving her to the country so that he can investigate the potential murderer with no danger to his family.
Initially, I thought Beth was going to be a boring character, but over and over, she stands up for herself and her companion. She has a wit that is not immediately obvious, and it soon becomes clear that Alexander needs her more than she needs him. I thought the plot clicked right along with never a clear lull, and the conclusion was completely satisfying. The characters are well-developed, including some secondary characters like the Duke’s best friend and grandmother.
The Bottom Line-
If you enjoy historical romance, you should not miss this one. It is a perfect little confection of happiness with a compelling plot and great characters. I’m definitely going back to read the first in this series! 4 1/2 stars