Review of My Once and Future Duke (The Wagers of Sin #1), by Caroline Linden

I won a copy of Caroline Linden‘s My Once and Future Duke through Goodreads.

Description:

What happens at the infamous Vega Club . . . 

Sophie Campbell is determined to be mistress of her own fate. Surviving on her skill at cards, she never risks what she can’t afford to lose. Yet when the Duke of Ware proposes a scandalous wager that’s too extravagant to refuse, she can’t resist. If she wins, she’ll get five thousand pounds, enough to secure her independence forever.

Stays at the Vega Club . . . 

Jack Lindeville, Duke of Ware, tells himself he’s at the Vega Club merely to save his reckless brother from losing everything, but he knows it’s a lie. He can’t keep his eyes off Sophie, and to get her he breaks his ironclad rule against gambling. If he wins, he wants her–for a week.

Until now. 

A week with Jack could ruin what’s left of Sophie’s reputation. It might even cost her her heart. But when it comes to love, all bets are off . . .

Review:

Having just finished My One and Only Duke, I figured I might as well stick with the ducal theme and read My Once and Future Duke next. When I cross-posted to Amazon/Goodreads, I gave bother books three stars. But this is a good example of how inadequate that middle rating can be, because I like My One and Only Duke a lot more than My Once and Future Duke. There was simply more meat to it. But neither was good enough for a 4-star or bad enough for a 2-star.

I thought this book was perfectly adequate. The writing was sound and the characters unobjectionable. But it was a fairly one-dimensional story, focusing quite heavily on sex. Which is fine. I’m not complaining on that front. But I was a tad bored with the book, on the whole. All in all, this is one of those books you finish and go, “Meh.” It wasn’t great or horrid, but it passed the time pleasantly enough.

Review of My One and Only Duke (Rogues to Riches #1), by Grace Burrowes

I won a paperback copy of Grace BurrowesMy One and Only Duke through Goodreads.

Description:

A funny thing happened on the way to the gallows…
One minute, London banker Quinn Wentworth is facing execution. The next, he’s declared the long-lost heir to a dukedom. Quinn has fought his way up from the vilest slums, and now he’s ready to use every dirty trick he knows to find the enemy who schemed against him.

There was just one tiny problem…
Jane Winston, the widowed, pregnant daughter of a meddlesome prison preacher, crosses paths with Quinn in jail. Believing his days are numbered, Quinn offers Jane marriage as a way to guarantee her independence and provide for her child. Neither thinks they’ll actually have a future together.

They were wrong.
He’s a wealthy gutter rat out for vengeance. She’s a minister’s daughter who must turn a marriage of desperation into a proper ducal union. Are they doomed from the start or destined for a happily-ever-after? 

Review:

This isn’t at all bad. It is, in fact, very sweet. But there is almost no tension in the whole book and the mystery is definitely a sub-plot. The real story is two very different people, who didn’t expect to be thrown together, getting to know one another and falling in love. I liked Burrowes’ writing style though and didn’t dislike either of the main characters, so I would be glad to read more. 

As for the bonus short story by Elizabeth Hoyt (Once Upon a Christmas Eve), I didn’t like it at all. I suspect Hoyt just isn’t for me. Watching women fall in love with men who are basically dicks to them and hearing their sob stories infuriates me. 

Review of Unmasked by the Marquess (Regency Imposters #1), by Cat Sebastian

I purchased a copy of Cat Sebastian‘s Unmasked by the Marquess. I think I may even have pre-ordered it…and then left it sitting on my bookshelf for almost a year.

Description from Goodreads:

The one you love…

Robert Selby is determined to see his sister make an advantageous match. But he has two problems: the Selbys have no connections or money and Robert is really a housemaid named Charity Church. She’s enjoyed every minute of her masquerade over the past six years, but she knows her pretense is nearing an end. Charity needs to see her beloved friend married well and then Robert Selby will disappear…forever.

May not be who you think…

Alistair, Marquess of Pembroke, has spent years repairing the estate ruined by his wastrel father, and nothing is more important than protecting his fortune and name. He shouldn’t be so beguiled by the charming young man who shows up on his doorstep asking for favors. And he certainly shouldn’t be thinking of all the disreputable things he’d like to do to the impertinent scamp.

But is who you need…

When Charity’s true nature is revealed, Alistair knows he can’t marry a scandalous woman in breeches, and Charity isn’t about to lace herself into a corset and play a respectable miss. Can these stubborn souls learn to sacrifice what they’ve always wanted for a love that is more than they could have imagined?

Review:

I quiet enjoyed this. It’s basically a bit of happy fluff. Yes, the cold-hearted marquess seemed to fall instantly in love with Selby for no real reason. Yes, people seemed to accept the deception too easily. Yes, in the end, the solution to all the problems seemed to be Pembroke’s money and power. (This story would not have worked if one party wasn’t a marquess!) But, I enjoyed it. I liked the way Selby refused to compromise herself. I liked the way Pembroke refused to be discouraged. I liked Selby’s past and the fact that Pembroke was willing to accept he had been wrong about things. All in all, another winning read from Cat Sebastian.