Review: To Dare a Duke (Girls Who Dare #1) by Emma V. Leech

Print Length: 279 pages
Publisher: Emma Leech (March 29, 2019)

From  To Dare a Duke

Robert George Adolphus, The Duke of Bedminster, is in no hurry to marry. He's done it once, and repeating that disaster is the last thing he desires. Yet, an heir is a necessary evil for a duke, and one he cannot shirk. A dark reputation precedes him, though. His first wife may have died young, but the scandals the beautiful, vivacious and spiteful creature supplied the ton have not. A wife must be found. A wife who is neither beautiful nor vivacious but sweet and dull, and certain to stay out of trouble.

Dreams of true love and happy ever afters

Dreams of true love and happy ever afters are all well and good, but all Prunella Chuffington-Smythe wants is to publish her novel. Marriage at the price of her independence is something she will not consider. Having tasted success writing under a false name in The Lady's Weekly Review, her alter ego is attaining notoriety and fame, and Prue rather likes it.

Dared to do something drastic

The sudden interest of a certain dastardly duke is as bewildering as it is unwelcome. She'll not throw her ambitions aside to marry a scoundrel just as her plans for self-sufficiency and freedom are coming to fruition. Surely showing the man she's not actually the meek little wallflower he is looking for should be enough to put paid to his intentions? When Prue is dared by her friends to do something drastic, it seems the perfect opportunity to kill two birds.

However, Prue cannot help being intrigued by the rogue who has inspired so many of her romances. Ordinarily, he plays the part of handsome rake, set on destroying her plucky heroine. But is he really the villain of the piece this time, or could he be the hero?

Finding out will be dangerous, but it just might inspire her greatest story yet.


My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

I struggled to get into this story. There was nothing redeemable or likable about Prue and the way she treated Robert throughout this entire novel. Sure, it was understandable why at first she was leery of meeting him (she thought he was about to oust her for the horrid "story" she was publishing about him in which she made him out to be a villain based on nothing but the gossip she had heard). And of course, Robert's idea of a marriage proposal would have turned anyone off.

However, this book quickly became a constant back and forth of Robert trying to show her what kind of man he was and her being snappish and shrewish for no reason other than she didn't want him to find out that she was the author responsible for the stories being written. She leads him on asking him to dance with her at midnight (to fulfill a DARE her friends gave her), then asks him for a "token to remember the night by" only to then, once again be like Oh no. I don't want you whatever gave you that idea? I was even more turned off about the fact that his own uncle told him that he had known Prue for many years and that if Robert hurt her he would "never forgive" him. So I guess that just gives Prue to continue to play with his emotions and act the shrew? No thanks.

Eventually, the truth comes out, and she runs away like the mature adult that she is. But she ends up coming back and they finally have an adult conversation that puts everything to rest just as easy as you please (which was a bit anti-climatic to be honest especially when we aren't even privy to what he wrote in the "story" that he got published himself). In fact, I think much of this story would have been improved if instead of letters between "friends" breaking up different scenes some of the story that Prue was publishing weekly had been included as well. 

I'm sure there are others to whom this story will appeal to more than it appealed to me. However, I would give this author another chance. 

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