Title: The Rogue’s Wager (Sinful Brides book #1)
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency
Author: Christi Caldwell
Publisher: Montlake Romance and Brilliance Audio, Oct. 2016
Sexy Rating: 5
Violence Rating: 5
Description from Amazon.com:
Lord Robert Dennington, the Marquess of Westfield, has long reveled in the freedom afforded him as the ducal heir. He knows he must someday do right by the Somerset line, but he’s in no hurry to give up his carefree existence.
Helena Banbury is a bookkeeper in a gentleman’s gambling club, adept at analyzing numbers and accounts but helpless for lack of influence. She’s never belonged among the nobility on the gaming hell floors, but neither does she feel completely herself among the men who run the Hell and Sin Club, despite the fact that they are family. The once-illiterate girl from the streets wants more than the gilded walls her protective cage can offer.
When Robert mistakenly enters her chambers one night, Helena is forced out of her predictable life and thrust into the glittering world of Society. Will the charms of the marquess prove more perilous than any danger she ever knew on the streets?
Helena and Robert fall in love while pretending, for the sake of Helena’s return to her bookkeeping, to be courting. This is the predictable part of the novel. What is especially refreshing is that during some of the action scenes the characters are actually acting like they have intelligence. They are not doing foolish acts and even if there are some consequences they remain with their wits about them. This book has some very lush romantic scenes and equally nail-biting scary scenes. There is a villain or two to ratchet up the angst.
I truly enjoyed this book. It is the first in the “Sinful Brides Series” and I look forward to the rest of the series featuring Helena’s brothers in the gaming hell. It is a highly emotional read/listen. I did listen to the audio version (it is also available on e-reader) and once again enjoyed Tim Campbell’s narration. His ability to evoke both male and female character voices is top notch. He can pull you into a story to make you feel part of the environment.