The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare
They call him the Duke of Ruin.

To an undaunted wallflower, he's just the beast next door.

Wealthy and ruthless, Gabriel Duke clawed his way from the lowliest slums to the pinnacle of high society—and now he wants to get even.

Loyal and passionate, Lady Penelope Campion never met a lost or wounded creature she wouldn’t take into her home and her heart.

When her imposing—and attractive—new neighbor demands she clear out the rescued animals, Penny sets him a challenge. She will part with her precious charges, if he can find them loving homes.

Done, Gabriel says. How hard can it be to find homes for a few kittens?

And a two-legged dog.

And a foul-mouthed parrot.

And a goat, an otter, a hedgehog . . .

Easier said than done, for a cold-blooded bastard who wouldn’t know a loving home from a workhouse. Soon he’s covered in cat hair, knee-deep in adorable, and bewitched by a shyly pretty spinster who defies his every attempt to resist. Now she’s set her mind and heart on saving him.

Not if he ruins her first.

Title: The Wallflower Wager
Author: Tessa Dare
Series: Girl Meets Duke
Pages: 368
Genre(s): Historical, Regency, England
Hot Buttons heroine experienced childhood sexual abuse, confronts abuser (and family don't believe her)  <-- highlight to reveal (may contain spoilers)

Release Date: 13th August, 2019


The last time I read a Tessa Dare book I wrote that I couldn’t understand why this woman wasn’t on my auto-buy list. Now I’m wondering why I don’t have a shrine to this woman and her writing. It’s just so. Damn. Good.

This is the third book in the Girl Meets Duke series - and I’m loving how we managed to get a lowborn hero in the series because he’s Gabriel Duke. Fear not - you don’t have to have read the first two books to understand and enjoy this one, even though both our couples from the first two books do appear in this one. I have read the first two books and all this book did was remind me of how brilliant - and hilarious - those first two books in the series were and make me want to go back and re-read them!

This time, Lady Penelope “Penny” Campion is our heroine. That’s Lady Penelope with the menagerie of animals living in her home. And the same Lady Penelope who makes the most god-awful sounding, experiments in finger sandwiches.

Gabriel Duke is a boy from the streets who’s made good. Very good. Oh, and he’s also turned into a man with a very bad reputation. But what a man! Anyway, when he moves in next door to Penny, he realises that having aristocracy next door will drive the price of his home up when he decides to sell. But only if she rids herself of her pesky pets.

Luckily for him, Penny also needs to find her pets new homes after a bargain with her aunt will take her out of hiding and back into society. So from the first, our hero and heroine forge a tentative friendship and are working towards the same goal. And I can’t tell you how wonderful that interplay is. Penny is finally free to be herself while Gabe realises that there are some people in the world - some people in the aristocracy - that are actually good people. They are honest with each other. Themsleves with each other. And it's kinda great.

It’s so subtly done - I really couldn’t tell you if their love was an instant thing or a slow burn. The chemistry just sizzled and I loved how Penny and Gabe were with each other. They were soulmates finding each other - and finding out that happiness was all they had ever wanted or needed. Gah - it pierced my heart! Do they make men like Gabe in this day and age?

There’s a secret of Penny’s that gets teased throughout the book and finally revealed in the last third of the book. At that point, the love story takes a very slight back seat for what is, or could be for some, uncomfortable or upsetting. It’s not done in much detail but perhaps read yourself some spoilers if you’ve got specific triggers.

I liked the fact that the sex in this book was more of two consenting partners who were all in from the get go. Penny was taking control of her life and I liked that it was her who pursued Gabe and propositioned him! It was an adorable about-play for an unlikely pairing. And that’s without mentioning the delicious build-up to said sex. That first encounter in the inn? Damn near set my Kindle afire!

With any Tessa Dare, not only are you getting a vivid romance with rich characters and hot sex - you’re also getting a huge dose of humour. It's laugh out loud funny without being silly. But having said that, Ash and Chase’s bickering and back-and-forth was delightfully childish and I couldn’t get enough. I hope to read more of them in the future - hopefully with Gabe’s no-nonsense attitude thrown into the mix.

Nicola is the final friend in the four and I cannot wait to read her story. A massive tease was dropped in this book… and then nothing. Nothing. Damn you Tessa Dare - I need more right now!

I feel like it's a bit of a betrayal to note a few American turns of phrase in the book. Hardly surprising but a little jarring to my British ears, especially in a Regency book. But it's only a few tiny slips rather than anything horrific!

If you love Tessa Dare’s writing or you’ve never read her before, and like a smart and sassy historical romance, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Give it a try. I hope you love Penny and Gabe (and Bixby, Delilah, George, Marigold etc etc) as much as I did. 5 stars.


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* I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. *


The Girl Meets Duke Series:


COVER REVEALS: Kiss Me Series by Emma Hart

Let me make this clear right here, right now: I, Halley Dawson, do not care that Preston Wright is kissing other women.

Not a lick. Not at all. Nuh-uh-freakin’-uh.

I do care that he’s doing it six feet away from me behind a gaudy velvet curtain—making him my competition in this year’s kissing contest.

Why do I care, you ask? Because I’ve had an unfortunate crush on the insufferable idiot since I was sixteen years old, but I also know it’s never going to happen.

He’s the Creek Falls bachelor to die for, and I’m the Creek Falls racoon lady who puts peanut butter sandwiches out for them every night.

I’m not going to let him break my four-year-long reign—no matter how many times he breaks the rules and slides the curtain across to do the one thing he’s not allowed to:

Kiss me.

Title: Kiss Me Not
Author: Emma Hart
Series: Kiss Me Series
Pages: tbc
Genre(s): Contemporary, US, romcom, romantic comedy
Hot Buttons: tbc
Release Date: 27th August



What do a wrong number text, a burning building, and a quirky florist have in common?

A hunky firefighter with an extra-large…hosepipe.

In hindsight, I never should have opened that text message. The last thing I needed first thing on a Monday was a picture of some stranger’s, um, eggplant, in my inbox.

I also should have replaced the batteries in my fire alarm, because my Friday night did not need to end with my apartment building going up in flames.

But it’s fine. It’s fine. Everything is fine.

I’m only lying in a hospital bed with more split ends than I’ve ever had, almost all my Earthly possessions have turned to ash, and apparently, they don’t serve wine to patients in this place.

But like I said, it’s fine.

Until he walks in.

The guy who saved my life. My hero. Noah Jacobs.

And the universe is amusing itself at my expense, because the dirty photo I woke up to on Monday?

It’s his.

Title: Kiss Me Tonight
Author: Emma Hart
Series: Kiss Me Series
Pages: tbc
Genre(s): Contemporary, US, romcom, romantic comedy
Hot Buttons: tbc
Release Date: 24th September, 2019



WANTED: ROOMMATE. Must be tidy, polite, and absolutely not my brother’s hot as sin best friend.

I have no idea why I said yes.

Maybe I’d had one too many wines. Maybe I’d done it accidentally. Maybe I’d been sleep-texting.

One thing I know for sure is this: I absolutely do not want Ethan Hawkins in my apartment, up in my business, taking over my space.

Yet he’s here. Moving his stuff into my spare bedroom. Sending a wave of panty-melting, musky man-scent my way every time he walks past me.

Here’s the thing.

We don’t get along—at all. We never have, and I don’t think we’re going to start now that we’re under one roof.

There’s also that little issue where I’m kinda, sorta, totally in love with him…


Title: Kiss Me Again
Author: Emma Hart
Series: Kiss Me Series
Pages: tbc
Genre(s): Contemporary, US, romcom, romantic comedy
Hot Buttons: tbc
Release Date: 22nd October, 2019






Emma Hart is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels and has been translated into several different languages.

She is a mother, wife, lover of wine, Pink Goddess, and valiant rescuer of wild baby hedgehogs.

Emma prides herself on her realistic, snarky smut, with comebacks that would make a PMS-ing teenage girl proud.

Yes, really. She's that sarcastic.



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COVER REVEAL: I Hate You by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Blaze Townsend: I hate you.
Charisma Rossi: I hate you more.

She’s been expecting this ever since their latest showdown. She had good reason.

Hottest guy she’s ever seen.
Former fling.
Dumped her in front of her friends.
At her own party.

So no, she’s not about to forgive and forget just because he sits next to her in class.
He thinks all he has to do is turn on those baby blues, and she’ll melt right back into his arms. Please. She’d be crazy to let this cocky player affect her again. (Tell that to her body.)

Charisma Rossi.
Nerd girl with a dash of bad.
The one who got under his skin.
The one he cut loose.

Blaze knows she’s the riskiest prospect at Waylon University, but none of the interchangeable girls he hooks up with have ever made him feel the way she did. There’s absolutely no way he can have the girl and the game.

So why can’t he stop trying to win her back?

Can this wide receiver score the girl or will he make the biggest fumble of his life

Title: I Hate You
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Series: Standalone
Pages: tbc
Genre(s): Contemporary, US, New Adult, Sports Romance
Hot Buttons: tbc

Release Date: 19th August, 2019




Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is best known for her contemporary romances ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

Seven of her ten novels have placed in the Amazon US Store Top Six Best-seller List: Dirty English hit #1; Fake Fiancée and I Dare You hit #2; I Bet You, Filthy English, and Very Bad Things all placed #6 in the Amazon US Store. The Last Guy, her collaboration with Tia Louise, hit #4.

A former high school English teacher, she adores all things Pride and Prejudice, and of course, Mr. Darcy is her ultimate hero.

She's addicted to frothy coffee beverages, cheesy magnets, and any book featuring unicorns and sword-wielding females. Feel free to stalk her online.






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