Thursday, August 12, 2010

"Never Dare a Duke" by Gayle Callen review

Never Dare a Duke by Gayle Callen
Release Date: Dec 1, 2008

I do believe this one of those times where you can successfully judge a book by it's cover. The cover of "Never Dare A Duke" is beautiful and captivating. It was what really drew me in. I'm glad it did. 

This is because Gayle Callen's book became the first romance i've read in a long long time where i literally could not put it down. The dogs even missed a walk because i couldn't stop reading. It was that good to me. Now it didn't contain any tragic or tortured hero. Nor were the chapters leaving on cliff hangers. Instead Gayle created an amazingly witty heroine whose sole desire is to find some scandalous past on the Duke aka Chris Cabot. 

Abigale's desire for this is to save her father's floundering newspaper and prove that women could write just as well as men can. So when her best friend Gwen asks her to accompany her to the Duke's sisters house party Abigale readily agrees. Together they set forth to find out the Duke's scandalous secret. Unfortunately things don't work as well as they plan. This is because everyone and anyone is so tight lipped about Chris's past. So Abigale makes a bargain with Chris that they should "pretend to be together". She does this in order for him to get away from the overbearing misses and for Abigale to secretly investigate Chris. Now Chris, of course, is extremely intrigued by Abigale and doesn't believe her for a moment when she said she wants nothing from him. This leads him into doing a little investigating of his own. These two separate investigation leads Abigale and Chris in finding more than they ever expected from each other. 

Abigale's and Chris relationship with each other was really brilliant. You could sort of say it was Nancy Drew meets Pride and Prejudice with a touch of Emma. Neither of them trusted each other to say the least. This is especially true of Chris. Yet during the course of the book they start to realize that each other is not as they seemed. That they both were wrong in the initial judgement of each other. This later leads them to having a more open and trusting relationship. One where they are on equal terms. 

I noticed that Abigale seems to get a lot of strife from other reviewers because they don't think she learned her lesson. I actually think she did. Her character had a lot of "Emma" in her and it took for her to see the possible consequences of her actions to realize they were wrong. She also makes up for them. After the horrid article was written about Chris she makes a point of writing one that contradicts it. She does this even though Chris swears he would never forgive her for doing so. Abigale loves Chris so much that she doesn't care. So not only does she write the article, but she makes sure that the world knows it was a lady journalist who did. Thus freeing herself to be what she truly wants to be while helping the damage done to her beloved name. Chris later uses this "lady journalist" scandal to propose to her in a really cute way. 

Final Rating:
5 Bunnies. Great set of main and side characters, interesting plot, and for being a non put-downer.