Noble, Kate. The Dare and the Doctor. New York: Pocket Books, 2016.
Mass Market Paperback | $7.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-476749402 | 355 pages | Regency Romance
I was more or less an avid fan of Kate Noble’s first series, not to mention her work as a writer for the Lizzie Bennet Diaries and their tie-in books under the name Kate Rorick, in the past. However, with Winner Takes All, while I loved book one, I was soured by book two due to the unlikability due to both main characters. Yet, I still had a lingering interest to at least give The Dare and the Doctor a try, given the character dynamic appealed to me.
The characters themselves were the strength of the book. I loved the friends/correspondents dynamic between Margaret and Rhys, and how it led to love. I love the insights into Margaret’s passion for horticulture, and how Rhys nurtured this interest and her desire to pursue it. I also love tht Rhys was essentially the head of his family, and that he was trying to do what was best for them.
However, there were several plot threads, and I found myself confused at how they all came to nothing, especially the way his engagement to another woman, which plays a role in the big crisis, is essentially solved at the last second without much fuss. I was taken aback when it just…ended the way it did, and suddenly the path was clear for him and Margaret to be happy.
As saddened as I am that Kate Noble has left her historical romance career on hold (at least for the moment, I haven’t seen any updates on new historical projects) after the release of a more subpar title, I am interested to check out of the contemporary/women’s fiction Kate Rorick projects she’s been working on, and hope that, like some of her other mult-genre writing romance peers (Lisa Kleypas?), she comes back with a fresh perspective and new and exciting historicals. But, if by chance, you haven’t read her up to this point, I would recommend this one (as well as book one, The Game and the Governess, and maaaybe book two if you like more difficult characters), if you’re looking for more historical romances with humor in the vein of Julia Quinn.