i dared the duke pairs up "wilted wallflower" elizabeth lacey with alexander savage, the duke of blackshire. they find themselves at odds over alex's grandmother, he wants to send her into the country for her protection, but beth believes that he's only doing it because he wants to get rid of her.
the truth is that alex has been the target of some attacks that have threatened his life and after losing his parents in a horrific fire, one in which he almost perished, he would do anything to protect his grandmother. sending her away seems like the best way to keep her safe. but beth is worried about her feelings, and since alex feels guilty about not being as attentive as he should be, he lets himself get guilt tripped into letting beth and his grandmother stay in town.
the agreement is that he will fulfill his grandmother's heart's desire three times, and then beth will convince her to go visit the country. and all this plotting about his grandmother means that beth and alex start spending a lot of alone time together late at night. alone and free of society's restrictions for an unmarried duke and young lady, both alex and beth start to let down their guard. they share things with each other that they don't share easily. but there is one thing alex should share and doesn't. he doesn't tell beth that it's his fault she and her sisters were labeled the "wilted wallflowers" during their first season. it was a throwaway comment that took on a life of its own, but he feels immensely guilty about it. and if only he bothered to share this with her before someone else spills the beans it would have only been a tiny roadblock, instead of a big one.
alex and beth have amazing chemistry and when they are not being willfully stupid are an entertaining pair to read about. i haven't read my brown-eyed earl, the first book in the series, but am going to definitely check it out.
**i dared the duke will publish on april 4, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/st. martin's press in exchange for my honest review.