Title: The Wager
Author: Lily Maxton
Series: Sisters of Scandal #2
Genre: Regency Romance
Anne Middleton never plays by the rules. She is willful when she should be obedient and unabashed when she should be decorous. Worse still, she can never resist a good wager… or a verynaughty book. And Confessions of a Courtesan is about as sensational and risque as a book can be.
Michael Grey – Earl of Thornhill – had once courted Anne’s sweet and modest sister. But whilst Anne is certainly no lady of decorum, her bold impulsiveness slips through his armor, and propriety is forgotten. Now he too is immersed in the book of forbidden delights, where each page is an invitation to sin and a guide to pleasures unknown…
Roused by heady desire, Michael tempts Anne in a way she cannot resist – a wager. Thus begins a game of chance, where coins have been replaced by a currency that is far more illicit. And the stakes of seduction are dangerous indeed…
Source: Review copy from Entangled: Scandalous via NetGalley
Like the first book in this series (The Affair) this is a short, sexy bite of Regency fun, although this time it’s the heroine who is a little unconventional and the hero who is best known for being perfectly proper. However, if historical accuracy matters to you, then be aware that Anne is very modern in her behaviour and thinking, and the pair of them both exchange letters and sneak around without any sign of difficulty – so try not to think too deeply about the likelihood given the time period.
Because this is great fun. I love the way Anne and Michael first meet, I love the letters they exchange and I love the way Michael tempts Anne into wagering with him. The banter over the scandalous book just adds to the chemistry between them and I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish.
Okay, if I’m honest I would have loved to have seen more from Michael’s point of view, especially about when his opinion of Anne began to change, and to have had more of an insight into his thoughts and feelings throughout. Although I felt it was pretty obvious how he felt at times, Anne is so busy dithering over the fact that he once proposed to her older sister that it kind of spoilt that side of the romance for me. Actually Anne did annoy me quite a bit towards the end. She’s so level-headed and bold during the rest of the book that her hang-up concerning Elizabeth got on my nerves. I could understand why she might feel that way, I just expected a smarter reaction from her.
One more thing – as much as I enjoyed the action moving from London to Brighton, Brighton beach is not sandy. Sadly it’s a shingle beach, which would have made a certain scene a lot less comfortable.
But all of that aside, I found this novella as quick and enjoyable of the first, especially because of the differences in characters and plot. If you’re looking for something short, a little bit sexy and with a hint of muslin and lace, then give this a go. It’s more of a romance with a historical gloss, than a pure Regency, but it’s all the more fun for it.
The Wager is Out Now!
Visit Lily Maxton for more details.