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Never Dare a Duke

(Sons of Scandal #2)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  745 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Only desperation could make her do something so reckless. Only desire could make him risk something so precious.

An Indecent Proposal

Abigail Shaw is a proper young lady, hardly the sort to boldly offer a deal to London's most distinguished and perfect duke. But Abigail, desperate to save her father's newspaper business, is after a good scandal. She'd have the sensational h
Mass Market Paperback, 375 pages
Published November 25th 2008 by Avon
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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 ·  745 ratings  ·  50 reviews

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Jan 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julie (jjmachshev)
Reviewed for; book release Dec08

I’d never thought much about feminism and journalism until I read “Never Dare a Duke” by Gayle Callen. The heroine in her book dreams of ‘making a difference with words’ by openly becoming a journalist. Just another thing to enjoy about romance novels…I always learn something I never knew and then go looking for more information. What I learned is that mid-19th century women reporters were rare as hen’s teeth! And that made me appreciate this sto
Jan 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Never Dare A Duke by Gayle Callen is a delicious sweet to be enjoyed whenever a good book is needed. A wonderful Regency period piece that will make you lick your lips in anticipation. A spunky heroine and an overly cautious hero make for a delightful game of romance unbridled.

Abigail is not your average girl of this time period. She is pretty but not too pretty, a bigger than average girl and does not want marriage at all. To her, marriage is a stifling curse worse than death. She does not want
Feb 07, 2020 added it
never ever dare him!!!
Lover of Romance
Abigail Shaw, has a deep love for writing, her father owns a respectable newspaper, and without knowing it his daughter is one of its writers. Abigail, learning that the fathers paper is having financial trouble, wants to find a scandal that will help her father, and to be respected as a woman author in a newspaper. So when she hears that there is a Duke in the Realm that appears to have a perfect past, she knows she needs to find out what scandal there is in his past. Knowing that the Lords of ...more
Nadine Jones
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
I think this author is local. The library features her bodice-ripper books a lot, so I figured I'd try one out. You think the front cover is bad, you should see the back! It's flat out embarrassing. I'd planned for this to be a beach read, but I think I need to read it now, in the privacy of my own bedroom, so that no one else can SEE it.


This book starts out not-very-good. It suffers from a problem common in this genre: tell, don't show. Compounded by a related and even more annoying problem:
Aug 04, 2009 rated it it was ok
I do enjoy unwinding with an historical romance and I know they are not generally examples of great literature, but I found this particular book to be a pretty weak offering. At times I found myself skim-reading over passages...

Abigail Shaw, daughter of a newspaper owner and potential journalist herself, with a little help from her friend insinuates herself into a house party at the home of the Duke of Madingley in the hope of uncovering a scandalous secret from his past, publishing it in daddy'
Sep 03, 2015 marked it as thrown-back-to-the-library-gods
Maybe I'll pick this one up again, I don't know. But I've entered the stage where I'd rather watch TV than read Never Dare a Duke, and if that happens in the evening, I know that if I don't finish the book before I go to bed, I'm not going to be inclined to pick it up later.

There's nothing terribly wrong with this book. It just doesn't hold my interest. I'm not quite pulled into the story as I would have liked, and on page 135, I still feel no real connection with either Abigail or the duke.

Fangirl Musings
Oct 12, 2011 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one; it dulled.
Pages survived: 26

D'oh. Yeah. That bad!

Or, more appropriately, I should say, that nothing. This book was a definite did-not-finish literally from the very first sentence. Granted, this could have quite a bit to do with the fact that this particular novel followed a very grand, 5-star Julia Quinn book. However, considering the negative reviews I've found on this book, which paralleled my sentiments, I'm disinclined to believe such.

Frankly, there is one primary reason as to why I ditched this boo
Feb 15, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
Absolutely nothing happens in this book. Nothing! There's no drama, or comedy, or adventure, or suspense, or WTFery, or anything. What are we supposed to never dare a duke to do? Bore us to tears? Because he will do that, my friend. He will bore you to tears. At least if Gayle Callen has anything to do with it.

The bulk of the "story" takes place during a loooooooooooooooooonnnnnnngggggg house party, and then just fades to a And they lived happily ever after... black. There's no sign of a climax
Beth Martin
Mar 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2014
While I admire a Regency heroine who takes her life into her own hands and wants something more than marriage, the "feminist" slant of this story falls completely flat for a reason. That reason? The duke of the novel's title.

Christopher Cabot, Duke of Madingley, is suspicious and bitter and hateful for reasons that are incredibly weak in comparison to his reaction. Or shall I say, overreaction. Like any good romantic hero, he first has sex with the heroine (view spoiler)
Mar 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
EXCELLENT! I have only read one other Gayle Callen book. I wasn't impressed, but I loved this book. The heroine is a wannabe journalist and she's trying to uncover secrets about the hero...who is a hunky half Spanish duke. You know there's a happy ending to this one, but I just loved getting to it. : ) ...more
Lisa Jo
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Never Dare a Duke, book 2 in the Sons of Scandal series, was not as much fun as the first book, but still a pleasant read to pass a lazy Sunday afternoon. A trail blazing heroine and a proper young duke make for an intriguing tale of romance and scandal!

This was a unique story to read...determined girl pretending to be lady of nobility in order to sneak into a house party to research a scandalous story. I have to say the premise worried me, but in the end, I liked it. All the risks Abigail took
Heather Campbell
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Just finished the second book in the series. While this one did not grab me and force me to finish in one day, as the first one did, this one was also well worth the read.

There were moments of boringness that made it a slower read, but the ending... sigh. So romantic and promising.

This is the first series I have read by Gayle Callen and I can promise I will read more. Looking forward to the next book I this series.

(Unfortunately it will have to wait as a library hold has just come through 🙄. F
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
A Duke who feels guilty because of an event in his past has tried to be perfect. Abigail Shaw, wanting to be a journalist and save her fathers newspaper, sets out to find a scandal. Abigail is quite a wonderful character, knows her own mind and really wants to be a writer. Christopher finds her fascinating, but he can't see her as a Duchess. Many twists and turns later, there is a happy ending. ...more
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wanting to save her fathers paper, she needed a scandal about Christopher Cabot.
Once she got to know him and his scandal, could she still expose him?
Suspense though out the book and a surprise or maybe not a surprise ending.
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very original. I really liked Abigail.
Dania F
May 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Surprisingly enjoyable despite the tasteless cover and lack of great action. Believable characters and believable love story.
Megan Gee
I couldn't buy the storyline.. felt a little forced. She didn't come off as journalist, but I liked the rest of her. I liked it but I had to push through. ...more
Jul 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
3,5 stars

Abigail Shaw secretly writes for her father's newspaper. When the paper is in trouble and on the verge of going down, she decides to try and save it by boosting up the sales with a juicy gossip story about the secret that surrounds the Duke of Madingley, Christopher Cabot. In order to get her story she accompanies her friend Gwen to a house party held on the duke's country estate. Abby offers Chris a pretend courtship that enables her to get close to him and get her scoop and gives Chri
Annabel Joseph
May 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
As I was reading this book, I knew I would come to Goodreads and find many poor reviews. This book is very...simple. There was a nice subplot about ghost hunting that attracted me, but the actual main story that the romance is propped on is pretty weak and unbelievable.

With that said, I am one who reads for the romance and the emotion in a story, and I don't care how boring/unlikely/improbable a plot line is--if I like the characters and the setting I'll like the book. In fact, I sometimes feel
Mar 26, 2014 rated it liked it
While the premise of this story may have been stretching it a little...daughter wants to save father's paper with one scandalous news story and she falls in love with the target of her story, the Duke....I still enjoyed the book. I found it interesting from start to finish and I didn't hate the heroine as some of the other reviewers seemed to. She was desperate in her circumstances. Perhaps the author could have focused more on the emotional tug of war in her mind and had her try to think of mor ...more
May 06, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was a little hesitant about the book at first. I greatly dislike "big secret" themed books; where one person (usually the hero) is keeping a huge secret from the other. I don't know why, it just rubs me the wrong way, all that deceit from the get go i suppose. Anyway, once i read the blurb that it wasn't just the hero keeping a secret but the heroine as well, i jumped right in.

It started off rocky. I didn't like the concept that Abigail was willing to intentionally ruin a family to save her ow
❀ ℓu-ℓu-ℓuna ❀
Re-review: Well, whoah! What a let-down, I didn't know this was a second book. I still need to read the first and third to get its drift but reading this first wasn't a bad move at all since this was such a fun read!

Story goes...Abigail Shaw, in an attempt to save her father's newspaper, follows notorious Christopher Cabot--due to their hidden, juicy, family history that she could use as a fodder for her father's business. During the whole play to unearth the secret, she finds herself drawn to h

An indecent proposal Abigail Shaw is a proper young lady, hardly the sort to boldly offer a deal to London's most distinguished and perfect duke. But Abigail, desperate to save her father's newspaper business, is after a good scandal. She'd have the sensational headlines that would keep the ton talking—and the family business thriving—if only she could uncover the secrets of Christopher Cabot, the Duke of Madingley. What better way than a pretend romance? Yet, with all his seductive glances and

Trudy Miner
Jul 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Abigail Swan has gotten an invitation to a house party with her friend Lady Gwendolin Warfield at the home of the elusive Lord Cabot. Abigail is a journalist in disguise and is convinced that the Duke has a scandal hidden away somewhere and that this scandal will save her family's paper, The Morning Star, which she's been writing for under a pen name. However, once she meets Christopher, sparks fly and soon Abigail finds that she is under a different disguise because they decide to be partners i ...more
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
The story of Christopher Cabot, the Duke of Madingley (and cousin of Daniel Throckmorten, the hero of the first book) and Abigail Shaw, a journalist's daughter and journalist herself.

Abigail finds out about her father's newspaper's financial problems and decides to help by writing a story about the alleged scandals in the past of "perfect" duke of Madingley. Her close friend helps her get close to the duke and his family so she can investigate and things start developing from there.

Apart from Ab
May 15, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 06, 2013 rated it liked it
First aristocrat wife I will see working. The plot is good enough. Hero has a past he still feels guilty about and does much to cover up and nosy heroine tries to uncover it. The heroine is a pretty bad detective though. The sparks between them isn't all that electrifying. And it had a sweet ending. Not a book I would read again though. It took me weeks to finish it in the first place. But it got three stars from me cos all in all, it was a good read. ...more
Nov 12, 2014 rated it liked it
I've grown to be a fan of Gayle Callen. However this was one of my least favorite books. The premise was fine, although the heroine came across as very naïve. I LOVED the Duke though. And the progress of the book was very good. Each time I was starting to get annoyed with Abigail something would change in the story and I would want to just keep reading. Overall definitely worth reading the book, just not quite as addicting or "believable" as other Callen books. ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 21, 2015 11:40AM  

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USA Today Bestselling author Gayle Callen writes historical romances for Avon Books. Her twenty-second novel, The Wrong Bride, was published in November 2015.

Gayle’s novels have won the Holt Medallion, the Laurel Wreath Award, the Booksellers’ Best Award, and finaled in the National Readers Choice Awards. She was a nominee for RT Book Reviews Magazine’s Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her books have bee

Other books in the series

Sons of Scandal (3 books)
  • Never Trust a Scoundrel (Sons of Scandal, #1)
  • Never Marry a Stranger (Sons of Scandal, #3)

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