After reading over 1000 books, I've read this one several times, & enjoyed it more each time. Good plot - mystery, intrigue, suspense, a twist or two.
Interesting characters & development; secondary characters,too. Excellent sex scenes; not too graphic, but sensual & teasing. All in all, this one is a keeper, but it's too good not to share.
From Book Description: The efficient , levelheaded daughter of the Duke of Magnus, Madeline cannot believe that , in a turn of cards, her father has lost his entire estate- and her!- to a stranger. Now she's expected to marry a mysterious blackguard in a fortnight! Worse still, the only man who can help her is someone she hoped never to set eyes on again: her former fiance, Gabriel Ansell!
Madeline can still taste the arrogant Earl of Campion's kiss- and feel the heat of his passion- as if it were their last night together four years earlier. And she remmebers the betrayal that sent her running from Gabrial's arms. Now, as she enters, incognito, the home of a notorious gamber, Gabriel's there to distract her from her mission to salvage what's left of her family's fortune and pride... and tempt her once more toward recklessness.
But Gabriel has his own mission in mind: to win back forever the heart of the only woman he could ever love.
An enjoyable book by Christina Dodd. It was a fun, light read, if not a little predictable, but still entertaining.
Having read a number of Christina Dodd paranormal romances, I am pleased to say her quality of writing, sexual tension, and charismatic characters are equally available in her historical romance.
The back cover outlines the story pretty well. The one thing from the back cover that isn't clear to historical romance readers is that the heroine is unmarried and never been married. Through some trick of primogeniture, Madeline is in fact a born duchess, a title passed to ANY heir, not just male heir.
The through story of the evil villain, meh. If you are looking for great suspense, look elsewhere. But the romance is good, and that's what we're here for.
Madeline de Lacy, the duchess of Magnus, is a hoot. Not quite as on top of things as she'd like to think, she has a disfunctional gambler of a father, a quiet and competent companion (who will, I think, be the heroine of the next book), a history of getting into trouble while trying to "fix" things, and a fiance from four years back who has never been able to get her out of his mind. This is a good romp.
Madeline de Lacy can't believe her father has lost his entire estate--and her--to a stranger. On the way to meet the man who won her family fortune, Madeline decides to change places with her cousin and companion, sending Eleanor to confront the man who won the bet. This leaves Madeline free to enter the home of a notorious gambler so she can recoup her family's fortune. She doesn't expect to run into Gabriel Ansell, her former fiance who she dumped four years ago.
This was just an "ok" read for me. The heroine cooked up one scheme after another in order to win back her mother's tiara. The hero steps in and says he will win the tiara for her for one night in his bed. Of course, the hero is the best gambler EVER and NEVER loses when he puts his mind to it. (Yes, I get really bored with perfect heroes.) I think it would have been more interesting if there was actually some suspense as to who would win the tiara or how the story would end. My rating: 3 Stars.
Lady Madeline de Lacy, one of the most powerful women in England, is struggling to hold her family together following her gambler father's catastrophic loss at cards. When she learns that he has gambled away her hand in marriage and is planning to stake her most precious heirloom in the Game of the Century, she takes drastic action. She switches places with her cousin and companion, Eleanor, and heads to The Game disguised as a companion herself. Eleanor, in turn, agrees to see Madeline's new fiance and break the engagement. Madeline is accustomed to running her life and the lives of those around her, so posing as a lady's maid proves to be a challenge, especially when she discovers her former fiance, Lord Gabriel, at the party. Now she must maintain her ruse even as she's drawn to the man she jilted four years earlier.
Two exquisite cousins must exchange identities in a scandalous deception.
Madeline de Lacy, the duchess of Magnus, prides herself on being one of the most sensible young women in England, which is why she can't believe that, in a turn of the cards, her noble father has lost his entire estate -- and her! -- to a stranger.
On a mission to salvage her family fortune, she changes places with her cousin and companion, sending the meeker Eleanor to confront the man who had won Madeline's hand. Now, Madeline is free to enter the home of a notorious gambler, and pretends to be meek, humble, and competent with an iron. She is, of course, none of those things; she simply is resolved to win her family's fortune back. Just when she thinks matters can't get worse, she meets Gabriel Ansell, the earl of Campion, and they do. Horribly worse.
Four years ago, Madeline was engaged to Gabriel, and worshipped his arrogant kisses. Now, being forced to marry a man she doesn't know pales in comparison to the ordeal of facing Gabriel again, the man who betrayed her
Although Lady Madeline de Lacy is one of the most powerful women in England, she is unable to change the fact that her father has gambled away her hand in marriage. Determined to remain a free woman, Madeline persuades her cousin and companion Eleanor to switch identities with her and travel to another high-stakes card game in order to break off the engagement. However, presenting herself as the traveling companion to a rich and powerful woman presents several challenges for Madeline--especially after she learns that her former fiance, the delectable Lord Gabriel is at the game.