As all you friends already know, I’m not much of a reader of historical romances, but when I discovered this series at the end of last year, I was surprised by how fun I found it and have been very excited for this third installment since then. I never ever expected to get this ARC though, so that was another delightful surprise.
Lady Penelope Campion aka Penny was always the most eccentric of the group and it was finally nice to get to know her better. She is a warm, kind and compassionate person with lots of love to give, and shares it with the horde of animals she has rescued. I adore the idea of her giving love to those who have been abandoned, and it’s very obvious that she would fall for Gabriel because he needs some of it too. He has a bad boy reputation, having built his empire from the ground up by ruining quite a few aristocratic families, but in his heart he doesn’t believe that he is worthy of being loved. They have the most adorable meet cute and an instant attraction to each other, followed by lots of sexual tension. I loved watching them grow closer, especially on the pretext of rehoming her animals, and realize that they actually like each other’s company. They both are also surprisingly sex positive which kinda feels more like a contemporary romance, but I thought it was done well and was quite organic to the characters themselves.
We see the whole gang back again and I was so glad for it. While reading about Emma, Alex, Nicola and Penny together is a joy, I was much more amused by Ash and Chase. They were quite protective of her and gave Gabriel a hard time initially, but the way those three developed a friendship was lovely. The bromance was a complete delight and I couldn’t contain my chuckles at their antics. I really want to see more of them together too.
The first thing I expect from a Tessa Dare romance is lots and lots of banter and this book was no different. There’s some absolutely silly situations, hilarious banter, lots of animal antics which left me laughing to no end and a swoon worthy romance. And among all this entertainment, we also see some hard hitting topics discussed and I thought the author wrote it all beautifully. I loved the emphasis on what defines a person’s worth and how it’s not wealth or station in life or virtue in case of a woman, and that everybody deserves love.
If you’ve already read the previous books in this series, then I’m pretty sure you will read this too and I’m 100% sure you’ll love it. If you haven’t, but would love to read a historical romance series full of sassy and strong female protagonists, slightly roguish and broody heroes, lots of wicked banter and swoons, then go back and pick up The Duchess Deal first because I promise you, it won’t disappoint.
PS: Thank you to Edelweiss and Avon for providing me with this advance copy. All opinions expressed here are unbiased and solely mine.