Format: .mobi (provided by author in exchange for an honest review)
Release Date: November 3, 2013
THE REDHEADED RAKE
It was a dull day at White’s, the day he agreed to the wager: seduce bed and walk away from the lovely Lady Leisterfield, all by Twelfth Night. This holiday season, Christopher St. Ives, Viscount Eustace, planned to give himself a gift.
THE INNOCENT WIDOW
She was too proper by half—or so was the accusation of her friends, which was why her father had to find her a husband. But Lord Leisterfield was now gone a year, and Grace was at last shedding the drab colors of mourning. The house felt empty, more so during the coming Christmastide, and so tonight her coming out would begin with a scandalous piece of theater. The play would attract rogues, or so promised her friend the dowager countess. It would indeed. The night would bring about the greatest danger—and the greatest happiness—that Grace had ever known.
Christopher St. Ives, the Viscount Eustace has just agreed to a wager with his friend, the Marquess of Ormond. Christopher must discreetly seduce, bed and walk away from Grace, the widowed Lady Leisterfield by Twelfth Night or he must pay his friend 1000 pounds.
Grace is finally shedding her mourning clothing and is intent on starting a new life that doesn’t include being the subject of a wager. Or being blackmailed over a secret her deceased husband had.
The Twelfth Night Wager is yet another lovely holiday novella by author Regan Walker that not only introduces a new couple but gives fans a chance to revisit with Hugh Redgrave, the Marquess of Ormond and his wife Mary from Racing with the Wind, the first book in the Agents of the Crown series. The Twelfth Night Wager doesn't involve spies, so there are no spy games here but rather a passionate romance that sneaks up on two unsuspecting lonely souls. Even as Christopher seeks to win, he finds himself truly falling for Grace, who is already aware that she is the subject of the wager and has no intention of allowing Christopher to win.
Regan Walker once again succeeds in adding danger to the novella without depriving readers of a full fledged courtship and romance. Christopher and Grace are solid characters who have just enough personality flaws to connect with readers; I enjoyed the both of them. I don’t think I’ve ever read a romance where the hero is a redhead, and it took a while for me to stop picturing Christopher as a dark haired figure. He’s a charming character and it was easy for me to see what it was about him that attracted women. He was never cruel to them, treasured them for the short time they were with him and never made promises he wasn’t going to keep. Grace was lovely, she gave off the vibe of a tragic heroine but in reality she made the best out of her marriage and even maintained a close relationship with her stepson. Plus, she's a dog person, I love dog people!
All in all if you enjoyed Regan Walker's previous holiday novella (The Holly & the Thistle) or even if you're looking for a short holiday read to warm up those winter days and nights, be sure to add The Twelfth Night Wager to your e-reader this holiday season!
Author's Notes regarding The Twelfth Night Wager