*REVIEW* ~ A Desperate Wager, by Em Taylor

Sweet, Sensual and Unique

Regency Historical Romance


23006645Nathaniel Spencer, the Fourteenth Duke of Kirkbourne wakes up with an almighty hangover and a wager note in his pocket stating he has agreed to marry the Earl of Brackingham’s daughter. And he can’t even remember ever meeting the chit. Clearly his drinking has got out of hand.

Lady Sarah Steele is horrified when her father announces that the Duke of Kirkbourne has agreed to marry her and even more horrified that her father wagered her hand in a game of cards. Not only that, but the earl has not told the duke of the riding accident that left Sarah paralysed when she was sixteen. But he’s dying and she knows he wants to see her settled before the inevitable happens.

Despite Nate’s drinking and Sarah’s possible complicity in the earl’s plan, they agree to marry. But when accidents start to happen, the newly-weds must deal not only with the fact they are practically strangers, but they must find out who is trying to kill one or both of them. Nate’s drink problem and Sarah’s disability are only a couple of the hurdles they must face to find lasting love.

My Review

Sweet, Sensual and Unique *****

Regency times were known for wagers between members of the aristocracy,  fortunes being lost and won at cards and other games of chance. In this romance a father, knowing that he is not long for this world, wagers the hand of his daughter in a desperate attempt to ensure a secure future for her. The twist I loved in this tale is that Sarah, the lady concerned, does not have the use of her legs, as she broke her back in an accident as a teenager.  Nathaniel, the lord who loses the wager but gains the girl is at first unaware that his bride to be has a disability, yet he is a man of honour and when he realises this he nevertheless goes ahead with the marriage.

I found what follows to be a beguiling romance where both partners are thrust into a marriage that neither of them expected, hardly a situation where you would expect love to bloom. Yet it not only blooms but sizzles! Nate tries hard to make things as easy as possible for Sarah with some amazingly thoughtful, sweet and at times romantic gestures, determined that she live life to the full and not hide herself away from society. I also loved how he treats her as the desirable woman she is and there is certainly no shortage of heat in this novel. Yet how can Nate fall for a woman who he suspects of deceit? Nate’s drink problem is also a factor in their relationship and a potential source of conflict.

The heroine Sarah does not want anyone’s pity and is surprised when Nate not only keeps to the terms of the wager but that he is prepared to make the marriage work. She is immediately attracted to him and wants to make him happy but fears that he will never be able to return her feelings due to her disability. I really liked her character as she is spirited and speaks her mind, which is what Nate needs to help him slay his own demons. However, not everyone is happy about their marriage and rumours abound. When danger threatens, Nate has his work cut out to safeguard the safety of this woman whom he is growing to love.

When it comes to the lovemaking scenes I admired how the author did not shy away of including all the little details that impacted upon their physical relationship due to Sarah’s disability. Indeed, I found the descriptions of the intimate details of their lovemaking made it a truly beautiful and unique novel.

A truly romantic an unique read for lovers of sensual historical romance.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

A copy of this novel was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK   Amazon US

Connect with the Author


About Tina Williams

Book reviewer and blogger and co-organiser of Tamworth (UK) Literary Festival

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