The Duke's Wager (Dishonored, Bk 1) (Signet Regency Romance)
The Duke's Wager - Dishonored, Bk 1 - Signet Regency Romance Author:Edith Layton BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA — Lovely Regina Berryman was pursued by two men--the two most attractive and infamous bachelors in London. — One was Jason Thomas, Duke of Torquay, whose skill and success in seduction had made him a legend of lordly licentiousness. The other was St. John Basil St. Charles, Marquis of Bessacarr, the devilish... more » duke's only rival as the foremost rake of the realm.
These notorious gentlemen had made Regina fair game iii a competition where all was considered legitimate strategy in winning her affection and capturing her virtue. And Regina's only chance of preserving her honor and protecting her heart was to turn the tables on her titled tempters--and change the dallying way Regency London played the game of love ....« less
This book is a classic of the genre, and one of the first Regency romances I ever read. Very well written and unusual. For quite a while you may not be sure which of the men in the story is the hero, because both of them are acting like rotters. And you may find yourself rooting for the worst "bad guy". I think that's what Edith Layton intended. It takes quite a writer to do that. The relationship between the characters develops in a very subtle way. Regina, the heroine, certainly teaches both of them a lesson. Although she appears to be in a powerless position she ends up with her pick of the two competing "heroes" (although neither of them has been acting heroically for most of the book) and turns both of their lives upside down in a surprising way.
I reread it recently, and it still holds up.
Beautiful and innocent Regina Berryman finds herself in sombre circumstances when two rakes of the realm vie for her affections. The Duke of Torquay is very scandalous and will sink to low levels to get his way. The Marquis of Bessacarr, rumored to be the Duke's successor as the most scandalous rake, is acting as her protector, but also has nefarious plans in mind. With two such men plotting against her, can the lovely Regina hold on to her virtue?
This book was ok. I found it somewhat unbelievable and disturbing at what lengths the Duke would sink to in order to make her dependent upon him.