Title: The Dare and the Doctor
Author: Kate Noble
Series: Winner Takes All #3
Genre: Regency Romance
Available: 22nd Nov
With writing that is “nothing less than brilliant” (Booklist) comes the third in the witty, sexy Winner Takes All series from Kate Noble!
Dr. Rhys Gray and Miss Margaret Babcock are friends—strictly friends. But over the course of the year, as they exchange dozens of letters, they share personal details that put them on the path to something more. When Dr. Gray helps Margaret realize her dearest dream and she comes to his defense in the uproar that follows, it seems that their connection cannot be denied. But will their relationship stand the scruples of society and jealous intendeds, or are they destined to be only friends, and nothing more?
The perfect novel for fans of Regency Era romance, The Dare and the Doctor is a clever and passionate love story worth sharing.
Source: ARC from Pocket Books via NetGalley
Despite being rather underwhelmed by my first foray into this series (the novella Miss Goodhue Lives for a Night), this book sounded intriguing enough to tempt me back. I love a romance that begins with letters and throw in a pair of intelligent people pretending they’re just friends, when in truth they’ve never known anyone else who understood them so deeply, and I couldn’t not enjoy this sweet, light and lovely tale.
Margaret is something of a misfit. She’s tall and rather socially awkward, with little care for fashion or parties. All she really wants from life is her greenhouse and her roses. I liked her and her lack of pretense, and I especially loved her enthusiasm for all the wrong things when she first arrives in London. I was rather saddened that she let others force her out of the conservatory over time, though, especially as it was clearly not enjoyable for her.
I liked Rhys too. He’s exceedingly clever, but rather put upon by his family. Wow, his family are a bunch of characters and no mistake, from his shameless mother right down to his maudlin, poetry-loving little sister. It’s no wonder he feels safest inside his laboratory.
Theirs is a quiet romance that grows overtime as each slowly comes to recognise their feelings. This isn’t a grand, sweeping passion or a fierce attraction that can’t be denied. But I really liked that, it worked beautifully. These characters are perfect for each other in ways that no one else understands, and I loved the trip to Greenwich and how wonderful they were together.
Not that everything runs smoothly, because of course it doesn’t, but I liked the ways the story twisted and turned. There is drama and a little intrigue, not to mention family pressure and a rival for certain affections, but it unfolds in an easy way that made the whole thing very enjoyable.
However, this is more of a romance in a Regency style than a proper Regency romance. The language is too modern and American, some of the behaviour and attitudes are unlikely and of course the medical stuff is exceedingly forward thinking. This didn’t stop me from enjoying the book, but it meant I liked rather than loved it.
If you’re looking for a slow-burn, friends-to-lovers romance with an air of the Regency period and enjoy protagonists that are out of the ordinary for the genre, then give this a go. I’m glad I did, and on the strength of this one I find myself wanting to check out the rest of the series sometime.
The Dare and the Doctor is out November 22nd.
Visit Kate Noble for more details.