Never Dare a Duke is an enjoyable, lighthearted read with appealing, if fallible, hero and heroine. Our heroine is a budding journalist in a time when women
aren't really supposed to work. Her father owns a financially struggling newspaper, and Abigail Shaw has hit upon the idea of revealing the deep, dark secrets of the mysterious Christopher Cabot, the Duke of Madingley.
He's known as an upright, honorable man, but surely he has some skeletons in the closet? When Abigail's friend Gwendoline gets an invitation to a house party thrown by the Duke's mother, Abigail goes along as well in order to investigate the Duke so that she can dish the dirt.
Right from the start of her time at the duke's house, Abigail is unsuccessful at being unobtrusive. For some reason the duke has noticed her - and she's certainly noticed him.
Two other determined young women who want to become duchesses are pursuing him, so Abby dares the duke to pretend to be courting her so that the other women give up. The duke takes her up on the dare, but might a pretend romance turn into something more real? Is there a deep and dark secret in the duke's past?
Will Abby be able to write an exposť on him?
The pacing in Never Dare a Duke is very good, despite the fact that there
isn't much action. The romance seems believable - the duke and Abby are well-matched, despite the huge gulf in their social situations.
While Abby takes some rather unpleasant actions at times, it's always clear that she
is goodhearted, if a little naÔve. Historical accuracy and dialogue seem reasonable
here, and the side characters are also well-written. A good read!