The Wallflower Wager

by Tessa Dare

I appreciated this book for what it was, but it was definitely not one of my favorites. Penny was more comfortable with animals than people, rescuing several abandoned or hurt animals and taking them into her home. She reminded me of Snow White or Cinderella, a beautiful yet isolated woman surrounded by animals. 

‘I’ve wanted you from the first,’ he said. ‘I wanted you too.’ ‘Every time I close my eyes I see you in my bed.’

Gabriel Duke is cold and ruthless. He grew up on the streets and in workhouses and his past helped shape the man he becomes. Gabriel is looking to sell the house next door to Penny, and while he recognizes that having an aristocratic neighbor as Lady Penelope will add value to his home, the animals will not. 

“This man was so dangerous. He had a habit of blurting out these growly, possessive statements, punctuated by intense gazes and capped by displays of sheer virility.

What ensues is two people who have felt left out of society find their own ways forward with each other’s help. I did appreciate their love, and the love scenes were steamy and sexy. However, while I had sympathy for both characters, I didn’t really like either of them. I thought Penny was too sweet and Gabe too brash. It wasn’t until the very end that I liked them both, finally.

He shouldn’t be here. Didn’t belong in her arms. He was a street urchin trespassing in a fine house, forbidden to touch. But that was precisely why he ached to touch her, all over. To take what he’d always been denied. But once again she upended all his thinking, ‘even the lowest born of man couldn’t steal what was freely given.’

As a vegetarian myself, I did appreciate that Penny was too, and thought it was very romantic that Gabe plans an entire ball with vegetarian meals.

 I listened to this audiobook, narrated by Mary Jane Wells, who has narrated a few of my favorite historical romance audiobooks.  Please note that this book has a content warning that can be found on the author’s website here.

⭐️⭐️💫

Review by Michele W.

The Wallflower Wager on Goodreads.