April 15, 2009
Back Cover copy:
Abigail Shaw is a proper young lady, hardly the sort to boldly offer a deal to London's most distinguished and perfect duke. But Abigail, desperate to save her father's newspaper business, is after a good scandal. She'd have the sensational headlines that would keep the ton talking--and the family business thriving--if only she could uncover the secrets of Christopher Cabot, the Duke of Madingley. What better way than a pretend romance? Yet, with all his seductive glances and stolen caresses, she somehow has to keep from succumbing to temptation.

Christopher Cabot finds Abigail--and her proposal--intriguing. A fake romance with the stunning commoner would allow him time to choose a suitable wife from among the would-be duchesses nipping at his heels. It seems like a perfect plan...as long as he can keep her from uncovering his one deep, dark secret. But as he falls for the cunning beauty, he will be tempted to reveal all--his secret, his heart, and his soul.



Abigail Shaw secretly writes for her father's newspaper. When the paper is in trouble and on the verge of going down, she decides to try and save it by boosting up the sales with a juicy gossip story about the secret that surrounds the Duke of Madingley, Christopher Cabot. In order to get her story she accompanies her friend Gwen to a house party held on the duke's country estate. Abby offers Chris a pretend courtship that enables her to get close to him and get her scoop and gives Chris a way to keep the title-chasing, marry-minded ladies at a distance during the party.
Things take a different turn when another journalist shows up to stir trouble and Chris finds out the real reason behind Abby's presence and their pretend courtship.

Abby is bold, confident, daring and smart. When she sets her mind to something, she goes after it with determination and mostly succeeds. She's also realistic. She knows that she is not of Society and accepts it but she does not settle for the easy way out.
Chris is a bit of a contradiction. He is charming, ambitious and there's a hint of wickedness surrounding him. But he is also reserved, keeping to himself and very loyal to his family. The past has put its stamp on his decisions and behavior and he’s determined to keep his family away from scandal at any cost.

There's an immediate attraction between Abby and Chris. But it's an attraction they both fight for different reasons. Abby doesn't think she has a chance with a duke, being the daughter of a newspaper owner. Chris suspects Abby is up to something and she doesn't fit his image of a future duchess. Still these obstacles don't keep them from falling for each other. Despite the many reasons not to get involved with her, to Chris she’s like a breath of fresh air compared to all the marry-hungry ladies chasing him for his wealth and title. To Abby, who has never felt anything for any man in her life, as focused as she is on her writing and career, Chris turns out to cause a quantity of undeniable emotions within her. Before long she must chose between her feelings and finishing the job she came to do.

This was a lovely, solid historical romance read. It is not mind-blowing but a perfect book to read in between extremely intense books or for variation of genres. I liked how Gayle Callen set up the plot and the romance. It was believable and entertaining, even if the plot was a little bit predictable. Still it was attention capturing and the pace was good. I really like this trilogy by Callen. Where the other trilogy I've read by her hand, was average and simple, the two books in this trilogy are above average and more interesting.

The pattern of themes such as parental influence, problematic youths and financial troubles reappear in some form throughout all the books I've read and in this book they were wrapped in a slightly more attractive package because of the slightly more intense chemistry between the main characters and a plot that was executed better than in some of other books.

With NEVER DARE A DUKE Gayle Callen has delivered another installment in the vast collection of nice and easy historical romances, guaranteed to provide an entertaining and pleasant read before diving into complicated and emotionally intense books



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Pearl
Netherlands
39, married to my real life romance hero, addicted to TV shows, reading romance novels and Twitter. I'm a chronic (e)book hoarder and my absolute favorite genres within romance fiction are contemporary romance and romantic suspense, but I don't shy away from historical, paranormal or erotic romance either. Even the occasional (urban) fantasy romance, futuristic and sci fi romance may make it to my Mount TBR. This is my corner of the world wide web where I let you know what books I'm hoarding, reading and reviewing.
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On My TBR Shelf

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  • Darkness at Dawn - Elizabeth Jennings
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  • Crazy for Love - Victoria Dahl
  • Kink - Saskia Walker/Sasha White
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  • The Darkest Secret - Gena Showalter
  • Vampire in Atlantis - Alyssa Day
  • Vampire Dragon - Annette Blair
  • Captive Spirit - Anna Windsor
  • Chosen by Blood - Virna DePaul
  • Rebel - Zoe Archer
  • Stranger - Zoe Archer
  • A Taste of Desire - Beverley Kendall
  • Mistress by Midnight - Maggie Robinson
  • To Desire a Devil - Elizabeth Hoyt
  • To Tame a Dangerous Lord - Nicole Jordan

Digital TBR Next

  • Driven - Jayne Rylon (reread)
  • Shifting Gears - Jayne Rylon
  • Beg Me - Shiloh Walker
  • Tempt Me - Shiloh Walker
  • Jazz Baby - Lorelie Brown
  • Playboy Prankster - Pamela Britton
  • Just Like That - Erin Nicholas
  • Sweet Inspiration - Penny Watson
  • Breathe - Donna Alward
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