(Wicked Wagers, #2)
Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)
They Say Revenge is Sweet…
Marcus Danvers, the Marquis of Wolverstone, is renowned for his cynical demeanor. It’s rumored that long ago, a beautiful woman broke his heart. Now he lives life for pleasure. He’s the consummate, handsome rake. If anyone tries to get too close—let’s just say his bark is as bad as his bite. That is, until the beautiful, as she is deceitful, Contessa Orsini re-enters his life with a wager he cannot resist. When he wins, he’ll have Sabine exactly where he wants her—in his bed and at his mercy.
Forced to return to England and avenge her father’s death, Sabine knows the one person who can help her is the only man she has ever loved—Marcus. The man who hates her with as much passion as he once loved her. But Marcus doesn’t know that by winning the wager he’ll also be getting his revenge. For there are some secrets best left buried…
This is the second novella in the Wicked Wagers series and, whilst I enjoyed it, I did have some issues with the heroine’s actions which affected my final star rating.
This was much darker than the first book with its theme of revenge. For ten long years, Marcus has never forgiven or forgotten Sabine’s cruel betrayal of his love. He had been willing to sacrifice everything for her. When Sabine, now Contessa Orsini, a rich Italian widow, asks him for help in exacting revenge on the man who ruined her father and caused her parents’ deaths, he sees a way of gaining his own revenge…she will become his lover until he tires of her.
I could almost taste the anger and bitterness in Marcus’s crude and cruel words when Sabine approaches him at Lady Somerset’s ball and I thought this was such an evocative description.
His fury swarmed around her like a smothering sand storm— abrasive and deadly.
I really felt for Sabine. All her dreams destroyed and then forced to keep terrible secrets in order to protect those she loved. The only light in her lonely life over the past ten years has been her son, Alfredo…he gave her the will to live. I admired how much she loves her son despite the circumstances of his birth and will do anything to protect him. She has never stopped loving Marcus and I could feel the intense pain caused by his harsh words. It was heart-breaking to know that she longed for something she knew could never have…
Tenderness, love and his heart.
When it comes time for Marcus to take his personal revenge on Sabine, he doesn’t feel elated as he imagined he would. It is evident that he still has deep feelings for her.
He’d forced her to her come to him like a whore— bought and paid for.
“Bloody hell,” he muttered.
A sharp pang of regret sliced through him. What he wanted was for her to come to him of her own accord. To tell him she’d made a mistake all those years ago and that he was the only man she’d ever loved. Then he wanted to start to learn how to believe in her and trust her again.
He even gives her the option to leave but, of course, she chooses to stay. I enjoyed how they talked first and how the love scene was a combination of tenderness and raw sensuality.
I did have issues with Sabine’s actions where the villainous Lord Gower was concerned. It was almost a TSTL (too stupid to live) moment when she gloats over her success in causing his financial ruin, only to have him turn the tables on her and gain the upper hand. She took some foolhardy decisions which not only put her own life in danger but also the lives of those she loved, the one thing she had always been determined to avoid. I just wanted her to tell Marcus the whole truth and let him handle it!
I did like Lady Amy Shipton very much. She’s beautiful and intelligent but also compassionate and refuses to marry Marcus when she knows his heart lies elsewhere. She is deserving of her own Happy Ever After to a man worthy of her love.
FAVOURITE ROMANTIC QUOTE:
“I’m truly the luckiest man in the world now. I’m living proof that love conquers all; that love, with time and forbearance, overcomes all wickedness.”
Overall, although I did have some issues as mentioned above, I did enjoy this book but not as much as To Dare of Duke of Dangerfield.
REVIEW RATING: 4/5 Stars
SENSUALITY RATING: HOT
Read March 2015
Wicked Wagers series (click on the book covers for more details):