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- eBook prize pack featuring the following titles:
- Scandal in Spades by Wendy LaCapra
- Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh
- Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean
- As Rich as a Rogue by Jade Lee
Tracy’s rating: 3/3.5 of 5 stars
Series: Lords of Chance, #2
Release Date: May 13, 2019
I really enjoyed the first book in this series and was delighted to learn that Percival Stanley, Earl of Markham aka “Hearts” was to be the hero in this book. He was portrayed as a somewhat reckless, impulsive rake in the first book, so I was very surprised by the “real” Markham in this book!
Markham has always noticed Lady Clarissa Laithe, sister to Earl of Rayne, but she was off limits and already betrothed to the Marquess of Bromton, so he kept his interest to himself. When his reckless wager in the previous book changes Clarissa’s life, he is even more impressed by her and the way she handled being jilted. But bad blood between Markham and Rayne make any connection with Clarissa impossible – until it isn’t…
Lady Clarissa is tired of her life being directed by the whims of men and since her broken betrothal and her brother’s abrupt exit from England, she has decided she will not bend anymore. She has decided that she will not marry and when Rayne returns, she will ask him to take her with him on his next adventure. But when she tests her newfound determination on Lord Moultonbury by refusing to smile at his request, she unknowingly triggers a wager that could ruin her.
Markham is at Sharpe’s Club licking his wounds after a run in with a former lover pulled the scales from his eyes – he is going to change and make some hard fast rules for his life, starting now! But that plan is blown out of the water when Moultonbury and his cronies place a wager in the clubs betting book about Lady Clarissa. To save her reputation, Markham claims they are secretly courting and will announce their betrothal when Rayne returns. But what starts as a lie, soon becomes his true desire, but can he convince the lady?
I thought this book was well written, but I had problems with both Clarissa and Markham, so often lately Historical Romances have been portraying heroines as strong, independent woman – which is wonderful and empowering – but in doing so many authors have been embedding their heroines with 21st century views and morals and the stories end up being contemporary romances set in England without electricity, cell phones, internet and cars. Sadly that is what happened in this book – I didn’t really care for Clarissa from the beginning, I thought she was selfish and self-centered and she never changed. Markham started good and I was cheering when he told her off, but in the end, he too disappointed me. The writing was good, the pace was decent (it did drag a bit towards the end), the love scenes were warm and I really didn’t see how these two would find their HEA, but help comes by way of a surprising source. The ending gives a little tease to who the next book will be about and I am looking forward to seeing how that turns out!
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an e-ARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher.*