A brief plot synopsis: the Duke of Morland, Spencer, has cultivated an air of mystery by arriving at ball at exactly midnight, dancing one set with a different girl each night and then disappearing into the night. This night though, after learning her brother is in debt to Morland, Amelia d’Orsay interferes and offers herself up to him for the dance. The story takes off from there with murder, horses and male bonding.
Overall I really enjoyed ~75% of the story. It’s clearly an early Dare, but the couple have excellent smolder which was appreciated. And now since the rest of my thoughts are not coherent here is a confusing list:
1) I really enjoyed that Amelia was not a traditional heroine shape. She is, unlike the cover, very buxom and curvy, and Spencer is totally into that. It felt much more “real-world” than lots of romance novels where they’re described as looking like barbie dolls.
2) I loved Amelia’s delight at being a duchess. To be handed the world on a silver platter, I never believe when the heroines are upset by this. In comes Amelia, and her really enjoying it almost allowed me to forgive a lot.
3) I said almost. As alwaysanswerb complained, and I must wholeheartedly concur, the ne’r-do-well brother subplot was unnecessary, distracting and annoying on a level in that he never ever went away. It turned Amelia, who I was really enjoying, into a spoiled, insensitive, inconsiderate twit. Argh so frustrated.
4) And lastly, what I really liked was both Spencer and Amelia attempting to learn more about the other, especially their hobbies. He asks her about her needlepoint and she learns to ride for him. That is what people do in relationships. It was lovely.
But overall, if we could just remove that quarter of the stupid brother plot I would have enjoyed it so much more. The lack of communication the two had when it came to Jack made me want to throw my phone across planes. If you’re a Dare completist, I understand and read, but otherwise try to skip any pages with the word Jack on them, and you’ll enjoy it so much more.