The Duke of Daring
Miss Lucinda Parnell is out of money. A dismal failure at the Marriage Mart, she’d just as soon leave Society far behind. Desperate to earn funds to retire with her grandmother to the country, Lucy disguises herself as a man to gamble in London’s hells. But the Earl of Dartford, an Untouchable she never imagined speaking to let alone spending time with, is onto her in a trice. When he insists on acting as her protector, Lucy fears her chance to remain an independent woman is destined to go up in flames.
After losing his entire family, Andrew Wentworth, Earl of Dartford built a wall to keep attachments at bay. He believed he could keep Miss Parnell safe without compromising his defenses, but she’s exciting and irresistible. Their deepening relationship makes him even more determined to push her away. Nothing will stop him from trying to avoid reliving the anguish of loss. Love is the one risk he doesn’t have the heart to dare.
One of my favorite tropes was used in this story. I love it when the heroine disguises herself as a male. It’s one of those things that adds to the mystery of it all and I enjoy seeing the hero try to figure out what is going on. It also adds humor to the story which always makes for an enjoyable experience.
Lucinda also plays the part of Smitty, who likes to visit gaming Hells and shoot guns. Totally not ladylike for Lucinda but rather acceptable for Smitty. Lucinda’s means to an end is through her character of Smitty. After being left penniless by her own father’s gambling habits, Lucinda finds herself having to do the same thing to recoup. It’s when Andrew sees through her disguise that made this a page turner for me. I loved reading about their camaraderie. Lucinda’s strong characteristics bloom when she’s in her disguise. Doing the exciting things that ladies in Society are not allowed to do.
Both Lucinda and Andrew share some common ground. They do not want to get married, which creates a sort of bond between them. Naturally, that bond turns into more and Lucinda begins to see Andrew’s demons. They were both well developed characters and are worth investing in.
A summary of the aspects I enjoyed:
1. Heroine in disguise trope
2. Complex hero with somewhat of a PTSD thing going on.
3. The first kiss-sexy
4. The first sex scene-Oh my, but Lucinda is naughty!
5. Lucinda’s friends. They have their stories and I’m itching to read about them!
There is a tiny bit of suspense in the story and wished there was more. The big reveal was a little less exciting than what I was expecting. But other than that, it was a really enjoyable read.
This can be read as a standalone.
*I received a copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*