Feature book: What a Duke Dares
When Penelope Thorne was nineteen, she said ‘No’ to the Duke of Sedgemoor’s offer of marriage, before fleeing to Europe. It broke her heart to turn him down, but living with the knowledge he would never love her made it impossible for her to accept his proposal. In Europe she built a reputation, unknown to him, that was in keeping with the rest of the Thorne family. All were known for their ramshackle ways, and society embellished any small snippet about Penelope Thorne to suit their own views.
When she becomes caught in a very threatening situation, which looks precariously like she might have run out of luck, her childhood hero, Camden Rothermere (Cam), appears just in time to save her as he had done so often in her childhood. But now she must travel with him back to England with no escort. Despite her protests, Cam is not willing to sully her reputation any further, and so, despite their strong mutual attraction, both do their best to keep the travel arrangements secret. But a change of weather will force them into a commitment Pen has spent ten years trying to avoid.
A deathbed promise to his old friend Peter Thorne has Cam rushing to Europe to rescue Pen. Determined to marry a young woman who is a pillar of society, he puts his proposal on hold while he keeps his promise. His first glimpse of his childhood friend has Cam gritting his teeth and holding on to his sensible plans. Pen is the wrong woman to help him overcome the legacy his wayward parents left him. He has worked hard to become the most upright of upright citizens and a hoyden like Pen is all wrong for him. But as the attraction between the two heats up, his plans take a dangerous turn or two, and suddenly Cam is questioning his need for the perfect woman, waiting at home for his proposal. Then, the choice is taken from them with a suddenness neither could have predicted.
Doesn’t Anna write the most gorgeous heroes? I really loved Cam’s denial of love. He had so much of it tucked away inside, especially for his Pen. It melts the heart just reading his struggles to do the right thing for all. Adding to the complications is the secondary romance—that of Pen’s brother, Harry, and the young beautiful heiress, Sophie, sister of Cam’s arch rival, Leath. It might be young love, but they have no doubt their feelings are real and true. Pen and Cam are just as determined to ignore theirs. Ah! Young love.
I think I see another book coming, Anna. Lucky for all of us fans.
Reviewed by Rosalie
A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher. All ARRA members who leave a comment by 24 June 2015 will go into the draw to win this book. (The giveaway is closed. The winner was Suzi.)