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I found this one rather disappointing. It lacked the oomph of the other books and while I felt that the story should have had lots of impact as it dealt with some weighty issues it felt flat to me. The story was slightly dull. I love Tessa Dare but this was definitely not her best.
I really struggled with this book. So many animals, a wealthy young women living with just one servant in Mayfair. Animals in and around the house and grounds. Wild sex against a wall in the slums of London.
Gabe was a great character and very likeable and believable. I didn't connect with Penny in any way. I'm sure many readers will love this book. It's the way of series, some books connect with readers some don't.
Also when sex scenes are plentiful it suggests to me the author is struggling to create a believable story.
I got the book in pre-order because I read the others book of the series and I loved them, and because I read the teaser. The book is really great till the last quarter... then became " artificial" to me. The "duke" is fantastic and real: wit and funny. While I think she is too " nice heart" and almost too sweet and in the end she show a character that does not belong to her.... too bad. Still the book is enjoyable and the narrative very fluid.
Uneven entry in a disappointingly lackluster series by one of my favorite romance writers.
Girl Meets Duke started off sweetly enough, but things - plot, characters, animals, subject matter, everything really - began to unravel around the halfway point; then, at the 82% mark, it all disintegrated completely into a weirdly empty, rote romance ending. It was one of those truncated romances, where the first half is nothing like the second, which is always frustrating.
My main problem was with Gabe, the hero. He’s a cardboard cutout instead of an actual character, and it’s impossible to know - and root - for him and his relationship with Penny.
Who is fine. Penny’s a great character, until she’s not. And the reason she’s not is my secondary problem with the book. Namely, the inclusion of all that childhood trauma. The romance, which truthfully never gets a chance to become romantic, is subsumed by it, and the book’s beginning promise of a frothy, zany Dr. Doolittle love story morphs into manipulative contemporary angst with a side of female empowerment.
Which, what? I mean, c’mon. It’s Tessa freakin’ Dare. She’s best when writing cotton candy spun romance...let her do that. Not try and cram tragic, contemporary issues into one of her perfectly great romantic premises for...reasons? Ugh.
She can still write a hot sex scene, however, and the book does include a few. It would have been nice to watch Penny and Gabe go from lust to love, though. And for them to have found a new home for that awful parrot.
Though I cheered for Penny as she fought to overcome misplaced shame, part of me still cringed at the pedophilia element. Victims of such heinous crimes should be championed. I'm not sure if the story successfully tackled this serious subject. For me, the attempted counterbalance of humorous anecdotes just didn't work. This issue either needed more focus or a different venue than romantic comedy. But I cannot fault author for trying to shed light on the challenges of dealing with a crime which, sadly, is still a large problem today.
This book started well, disintegrated rapidly. It’s a by-the-numbers production with some of the numbers missing Even the characters can’t seem to take it seriously, except for the single-minded heroine whose friends don’t want her to hear any truths (I.e., about her tea sandwiches). Look at all the stupidity of the dueling scene. Yes, the book lurches it’s way to a Happy Ever Arter ending. Yes, the villain gets his comeuppance. Yes, the goat is pregnant and two lords witness the birth of its kid. Who cares? Not even the reader. And maybe the mysterious behavior of the hero’s housekeeper is explained somewhere but by then I was too bored to notice. Save your money and read or re-read any of her earlier books.