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The Dare and the Doctor

(Winner Takes All #3)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  415 ratings  ·  112 reviews
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 Margar
Mass Market Paperback, 355 pages
Published November 22nd 2016 by Pocket Books
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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 ·  415 ratings  ·  112 reviews

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I've given this a B+ at AAR, so that's 4.5 stars

This third book in Kate Noble’s Winner Takes All series is another beautifully written romance featuring likeable central characters, a very well-drawn secondary cast and dilemmas that feel realistic while also being problematic enough to provide the necessary degree of conflict. The Dare and the Doctor is a gently moving, character-driven friends-to-lovers story about two people who are perfect for each other falling in love while coping with
Jan 11, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
I am stopping this book at about 40%. What started as a really promising premise rapidly devolved as more and more plot threads were introduced. I will be honest and admit that I am not one of those readers that powers through books when I am not emotionally invested. If I lose interest, I usually put the book down and read something else that I am interested in (my TBR pile is quite large and something always calls to me).

In this case, the writing is good and I loved the opening chapters with t
Sonya Heaney
Originally posted HERE .

Kate Noble writes wonderful historical romances. They are full of truly unique characters, have plenty of plot rather than just having characters flit around ballrooms for no good reason, and they bring nineteenth century England to life.

I’d give The Dare and the Doctor five stars if it wasn’t for the fact the entire book is written in out of place US English (perhaps the most mistakes I’ve ever come across), and a few times it nearly drove me to distraction! Noble wri
Although I generally love the "friends turned lovers" theme, this tale was lacking in the sigh department for me. Yes, it was obvious that Rhys and Margaret belonged together, and yes, I was hoping they would both realize it, but....there was not a single moment where I found myself completely in love with their love. If that makes any sense. I did enjoy Rhys' character and his inner struggle with his feelings for Margaret. I think I just wanted that moment in when they finally realized their lo ...more
Aug 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Wollstonecrafthomegirl by: Amanda
There was much to like here. First and foremost, a great H/h. Margaret, bluestocking horticulturalist. Still distressed from the loss of her mother and a bit trapped in her own world. Except for when she corresponds with our hero, Rhys. With Rhys she can be herself. Rhys is rather a retiring sort himself. He’s a hard-working doctor with a tiresome, large family for whom he feels responsible. In Rhys’ words these are two people who ”very happily kept to themselves side by side.” Companionable sil ...more
3.5 stars

This was my first time reading Kate Noble and it wasn’t half bad. I know, how complimentary, right? Sady though, much like with Rules for a Rogue by Christy Carlyle, The Dare and the Doctor COULD HAVE been amazing and yet it ended up falling somewhat short. I hate when I find books that have all the potential in the world and yet the author approaches it like such, “Oh I know! I’ll create a truly beautiful couple that are perfect for each other in every way and instead of putting someth
(Nat) Reading Romances

A sweet friends to lovers story

The Dare and the Doctor is Kate Noble’s third book in the “Winner Takes All” series. It can easily be read as a stand alone.

This regency style novel was slow paced and very romantic. I’ve read so many romance novels that lack real romance, but this one didn’t, which made me so happy! Rhys and Margaret were the perfect match, however, I wanted more sexual tension and to read more about them realizing they were truly in love with one another. I particularly enjo
Chris  C - A Midlife Wife
It’s easy to get hooked into these fun romance novels. The Dare and the Doctor is a continuation from The Lie and The Lady. We meet many of the same characters in each of the books of the series, but each can be read as a standalone too.

What I love about the writing of Kate Noble is that her style and flow of the story shines through. She always creates and casts strong women along with a strong man that beautifully offsets her and then crafts a tender love story with the lovely ending we crave.
Sep 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5. Lost 0.5 because I felt the hero was a bit weak. Enjoyed the botany/medical aspect.
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mostly fantastic

This last book in the Winner Takes All series was better than book one, but not as good as book two. This is mostly because of too much plot in the second half, plus an extremely (boring and unnecessary!) last minute reveal. Honestly, the book should have stopped at the 90% mark. Still, I mostly enjoyed it, despite it being a trope (friends-to-lovers) that I'm not a fan of.
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
It should have been the perfect time for me to read this novel - I just finished a spate of heavy non-fiction and dearly needed some romance in my reading life. But try as I might, I kept getting pulled out of the story.

First, the good:

- The plot has some nice twists and turns to it.

- The book starts off with letters, yea! Not enough to call it epistolary, but I like it all the same.

- The heroine is unconventional (super tall, not super pretty) but the hero loves her just the way she is.

- The
Oct 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding fun! Kate Noble's light touch and witty stye makes this "friends to lovers" story exciting and worthwhile. I liked wholeheartedly both characters and was rooting for them to discover the dept of their feelings. The plot itself wasn't riddled with cliches and the prose helped sell me to both on the period and the character's inter struggles. In terms of plot, the trip to the Greenwich laboratory was particularly well done. I haven't read any of the previous books in the series, but I' ...more
Juliana Philippa
3.5 stars
Bottom Line (Up-Top). Recommend it! Not as wonderful as the other two Kate Noble books I've read, Compromised and Follow My Lead , but still totally worth the read. Enjoy!

Setting. Mostly London, England in the mid-1820s

Series. This is the third and final book in the Winner Takes All series. I have not read either of the other two books and while normally I like to read books in order, if the others don't make it onto my to-read list then I'm happy to skip them (both of them are o
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Dare and the Doctor is the third book in the 'Winner Takes All Series' by Kate Noble. I haven't read the first 2 books in the series, so can confirm that this book can easily be read as a stand alone one.

This story is about friends, Doctor Rhys Gray, and Miss Margaret Babcock. I thought it a really novel start to the story to have letters shown that were sent between the friends. They started off quite formally, and by the last one they were far less formal with their greetings and salutatio
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every once in a while, a book will fall into my lap and take me completely and utterly by surprise. Kate Noble’s The Dare and the Doctor is just that book. Oh, my goodness -- this book (and series) delighted me on so many levels. It incorporates one of my hobbies, gardening (though I am no Margaret Babcock), a dash or two of family drama with a friends to lovers story that is smart and imaginative.

The aforementioned Margaret Babcock is a heroine who prefers the company of plants and flowers, bec
Jun 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy Noble's writing and characterizations a lot, as well as her light touch of humor. but there isn't much in the way of GMC or real tension in this story of a gardener/botanist young lady who falls for an older medical man when he facilitates her coming to town to present her new breed of roses to the Horticultural Society. Both Margaret Babcock and Rhys Gray are unconventional, people of science and inquiry, so they make a great couple. But the stuff keeping them apart—Rhys' promise to his ...more
A Kate Noble romance is full of warmth and cheer, much like an older Julia Quinn historical romance. So is the case with The Dare and the Doctor (Winner Takes All #3). We have a very independent minded heroine who loves all things flowers and plants. She’s awkward and a bit socially inept, but she owns her eccentricity and makes no apologies for it. Her romance with the hero starts as a friendship that blooms into a major attraction that causes both to question everything about one another. But ...more
Nov 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THE DARE AND THE DOCTOR is a story that’s so easy to fall in love with. Its two main characters, Margaret and Rhys, are endearing, a touch awkward, and perfectly suited to one another. Its romance is effortless, yet not without complications. It is heartwarming, funny, utterly enchanting, and absolutely unputdownable. And it can be thoroughly enjoyed even if the other books in the series have not yet been read.

Margaret Babcock often preferred the company of plants to people. Dressing up, dancing
Originally posted here on Smitten b Books Review site

4.5 Stars ~ Top Pick

The Dare and the Doctor begins with our heroine, Margaret Babcock, and our hero, Dr. Rhys Gray, properly and professionally corresponding. The two have such an amazing rapport, that soon their formal letters become much less so, and they become corresponding best friends. Margaret is a spinster, and a horticulturist, who has been working for years on creating a special hybrid rose. Rhys arranges a meeting for Margaret w
Nov 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs:**The Dare and the Doctor is the third book in the Winner Takes All series by Kate Noble. It is the first book in the series I have read and I really enjoyed this one. I don't read too many historical romances, but when I do, I tend to be very picky. The Dare and the Doctor stood up to my strict scrutiny. I found the characters to be a breath of fresh air. I especially loved the witty and snappy Miss Margaret. She was ...more
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Publisher's Description

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 th
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance-novel
The problem with most romances is coming up with a problem that will keep the two main characters apart for most of the book and have it be believable that it was an obstacle, but also that there is some way to solve it by the end. This is a hard balancing act to pull off, and doesn’t always work.

Here, however, I readily believed that the threat of being dragged to court for “breach of contract” was serious enough to give these two crazy kids a hard time getting together, and the fix at the end
Dec 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Dare and the Doctor is a lovely "friends to lovers" story and I very much enjoyed Maggie and Rhys' journey into romantic love. A few things didn't work for me though, I don't care for the "suppose to marry someone else" trope and I was disappointed in the outcome of Maggie and Sylvia's friendship. I wish the author had found another way the resolve the issue of the Gray/Morton arrangement other than the way she did. I also felt very bemused every time someone from Rhys' family came to the pa ...more
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-wllk-yearly
Margaret and Rhys met through her father, and have been corresponding through letters. They are mostly about scientific observations and findings, but there is a comradery between them. Neither has thought about anything other than friendship, when Rhys arranges for Margaret to meet with the horticultural society to show them some hybrid roses she has grown. This requires her traveling to London, which she has never done and is not comfortable with. As they spend time together, maybe more than f ...more
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the third book in Kate Noble’s Winner Takes All series and the one I enjoyed the most. That's because of the hero as much as the heroine.

I liked the fact that our heroine had a unique talent as a botanist, but I loved the relationship between her and our hero that starts off as a friendship forged through the correspondence about both their passions, botany. It eventually turns into romance, but I loved the journey they took toward each other.

This story is all character driven, fast pace
Sweet and very charming. I love epistolary novels, and the beginning of the novel is simply their letters back and forth to each other. I love watching them realize they're actually in love with each other, and I love Margaret's whole-hearted commitment to her roses. She's a quirky mix of shy and blunt that leaves me wondering if she might be on the autistic spectrum, but Rhys truly loves her and every little quirk of her personality.
Nov 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ah! What a sweet friends-to-lovers story. I thought there was a bit too much drama towards the end but it was resolved fairly quickly. This one is a keeper for me.
Mara Rose
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 21, 2016 rated it liked it
There's a lot to say about friends who go on to become lovers. Isn't that what a lot of people claim they want? But there's also something to the fact that sometimes its nice to have mystery about the person you're falling in love with and I think that was kind of what was missing for these two at times.

Their correspondence starts out professional, but as the year progresses their letters contain just as much personal updates as they do professional updates. Little polite conversational question
Took a bit of a pause in the first third of this one to mainline some Psy-Changeling books, but overall this was an enjoyable read. A bit slower-paced and hewing more closely to historical conventions than the HR I usually read, which made it a good palate cleanser. A good bit less of the sexxytimes as well, which is probably more historically accurate.

I didn't feel like I lost anything by not having read the first two in this series, and backstory was well-explained without dragging me out of
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Kate Rorick

Kate Noble is the national bestselling, RITA-nominated author of historical romances, including the acclaimed Blue Raven series and the Winner Takes All series. Her books have earned her numerous accolades, including comparisons to Jane Austen, which just makes her giddy.
In her other life as Kate Rorick, she is an Emmy-award winning writer of television and web series, having writte

Other books in the series

Winner Takes All (3 books)
  • The Game and the Governess (Winner Takes All, #1)
  • The Lie and the Lady (Winner Takes All, #2)

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