There’s nothing like a charming rake to make a historical romance instantly likable. In this witty novella, Tessa Dare introduces the swoon-inducing Mr. Harry Wright, heir to a dukedom and all-around notorious bad boy. Miss Eliza Cade has the amazingly good (mis?)fortune of continuously finding herself alone with Harry. Thanks to a silly adolescent indiscretion, Eliza is doomed to wait for her coming out in society until all three of her older sisters are married, but that doesn’t stop a delightful romance from growing between her and this loveable rake.

Not surprisingly, Harry has depths of character hidden behind his messy, roguish exterior and Eliza is a far cry from a good English Miss. The unmasking of their true natures is a lovely catalyst for romance, revealing Eliza’s barely concealed free-spirit and Harry’s deep capacity for love and loyalty. Dare’s gift for witty banter and passionate inner monologue are on full display in this novella.

Clever barbs, emotional confessions and passionate desires are all shared in such a way that insight is given to both characters, which is my favorite kind of romance writing. There’s no missed perspective, no “what was s/he thinking?” You’re able to get inside Harry and Eliza’s love-and-lust-addled brains until you too are thinking, OMG JUST KISS RIGHT NOW!

Rating: A+
Because let’s be real, it’s Tessa Dare y’all.

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