Published by Class eBook Editions Ltd. on August 23rd 2016
FINAL DECISION: I went back and forth on this one. At times I loved the story, especially the hero and the secondary characters. The heroine seriously annoyed me at times, but then I liked how her and hero came together. Mixed bag that ended well.
THE STORY: Miss Henrietta “Henry” Tallant is a tomboy who has spent most of her life with her brothers and his friends disdaining the “feminine arts”. Now to be brought out into society, her brother and his friends believe that Henry will be a failure. Indeed, they bet her that she cannot get a marriage proposal in six weeks from the unattainable Duke of Eversleigh. At the same time, the duke who was determined never to marry has been thinking about obtaining an heir. Disbelieving, his friends wager that he won’t make a marriage offer in a month. Then Henry and the duke run into one another.
OPINION: I loved almost everything about this book. The hero is adorable. He is quiet and supportive and caring. The supporting cast of the heroine’s family are funny and irreverent.
The heroine, on the other hand, drove me crazy. Her immature behavior causes all the problems in this book. Her inability to be reasonable, to see reality as other see it and her jumping to conclusions made me annoyed for significant portions of the book. But then, I would see her youth and how much she cares for others and I would like the story again.
It’s hard for me to give a good rating for a book where I had a problem with the heroine, but on the whole, this book was worth reading.
The premise was cute and executed in an interesting and unexpected way. I loved, loved, loved the hero who persevered despite Henry’s nutty behavior. He was kind and generous and worked to help her despite herself. He cared for her because of who she was even when she rejected him based on no evidence at all. Henry’s younger siblings were cute and how they operated to be the spies who helped their older sister lightened the mood of the story.
Mary Balogh has such and intriguing quiet way of writing. I love how the characters flaws and all find love while accepting and even celebrating their flaws. No magic solutions here.
WORTH MENTIONING: THE DOUBLE WAGER was originally published in the mid-1980s.
CONNECTED BOOKS: THE DOUBLE WAGER is a standalone.
STAR RATING: I give this book 3.5 stars.