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Posted March 6, 2011
Excellent historical erotica
Bella Rushdale and her brother are invited to stay with their neighbor for a summer party in the English countryside. Bella is excited at the prospect of being around Lucerne Marlinscar and wishes to catch his attentions. Bella is surprised when she realizes that she is not the only one who has eyes for Lucerne. Another gentleman Vaughan, Marquis Pennerley also has his sights set on Lucerne. Bella and Vaughan compete for Lucerne's favors, which eventually lead to emotional entanglements from every party.
A Gentleman's Wager was a pleasant surprise for me. I tend to be hard when grading erotic romances and usually feel that character development or plot is usually neglected in light of focusing on the sexual activities of the characters. I felt that A Gentleman's Wager was able to balance lots of sex yet it seemed integral to the characters personalities and the relationships between them. And I will also say that this is the first time I have ever thought that a ménage a trios is written in a believable, honest light.
For me, the characters are what really make this book interesting and most especially Vaughan, Marquis Pennerley. Vaughan is such a bad boy. He loves causing mischief anywhere he goes. He is such a troublemaker!! He will say and do things to create complete and utter chaos. It is why Lucerne, who is completely steadfast, is drawn to him. Actually, Vaughan is able to draw most people and is similar to a train wreck where you just can't turn away. I also enjoyed the development where the relationships between Lucerne and Vaughan and Lucerne and Bella eventually morph to encompass feelings between Vaughan and Bella from hostility to affection.
If I had to complain about one thing in this book it would be Bella's lack of supervision, or actually any unmarried woman. It felt that the women in that time period would have been chaperoned a little better than they were. The author does touch on this a little bit at least in terms of Bella, but it felt out of place in the time period the book was written. I am glad to know that there is another book that continues to explore the relationship between Bella, Vaughan and Lucerne. I will definitely be reading it.
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