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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

ARC Review: The Widow Wager by Jess Michaels

Seriously, I LOVE Jess Michaels. It's the last book in the Notorious Flynns series which I'm kind of bummed out about but I'm hopeful about future books. Has anyone read her books?

Format: .epub (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Publisher: The Passionate Pen
Release Date: April 21, 2015

Crispin Flynn has been on a downward spiral ever since he lost the woman he loved and watched his brother forced into a life he never would have chosen. His response has been drinking and gambling his way to utter ruin. One night, deep in his cups, he places a dangerous bet that results in him being forced to marry Gemma, the widow of the Earl of Laurelcross.

Gemma once had a passionate side, but has been hiding it ever since her much older husband died during the act of making love. Now she finds herself the much unwanted wife of one of the biggest libertines in London and the subject of even more gossip than ever.

Once they determine they cannot escape the marriage, the two begin a slow circling of each other. Passion is easy, but can they overcome mistrust and secrets in order to make the worst night of their lives one of their best? Or are they bound to lose each other before their love can take root?

Rafe, Crispin, Annabelle and their mother were the poor, scandalous Flynns until the death of their distant cousin, the Duke of Hartholm. The lack of male heirs made Rafe the new Duke and opened up a world that none of them wanted. Since then, their lives have taken a drastic turn and each sibling has had to adjust to their new station in life. Crispin however, has had the hardest time. Ever since he lost the woman he loved and watched his brother be forced to inherit a title, Crispin has fallen into a world of gambling and drinking, which lands him into a situation like his brother: Forced to marry a woman he’s never met, but in Crispin’s case, the marriage is his price to pay for a bet lost. Worse yet, his new wife is a scandalous widow with secrets of her own and a personality that tempts Crispin in the best way possible.

The widow in question, Gemma, may seem like a quiet, typical historical romance heroine but in fact, she was a breath of fresh air. Brazen and passionate, she wasn’t the usual blushing, stammering woman in need of “tutoring” in the bedroom. She enjoyed physical intimacy and knew what she wanted. In that way she was a contemporary woman and that eliminated what might have been endless pages of her worrying, blushing and fearing Crispin. Instead Gemma matched Crispin’s desire and for me it made Gemma a better character and them a better couple. I think I would have been bored to tears with one of those “innocent” ladies in this case. Crispin needed someone that he didn’t have to take so much care of, given that when the book began, he couldn’t even take care of himself. Gemma had to be the one to save him and she needed to understand him on a very basic, human level. I really liked Gemma’s subtle strength, she knew how to survive difficult situations from a young age and that gave her an outlook on life that eventually helped her reach Crispin and save him.

Crispin could be the most notorious Flynn, I’m not sure as I haven’t read Annabelle’s story yet but he’s certainly my favorite. There are so many hidden layers to this character whom others have brushed off as just another drunk gambler with money. Crispin is quite an emotional man but he keeps it all inside of him and it manifests into self destructive behavior. He was his own worst enemy and I just wanted this guy to cut himself some slack and learn that he did deserve to move on and be happy. While his moods could give a girl whiplash, it would only make a woman like Gemma determined to get to the bottom of what caused those mood swings. Crispin was the type of character that needed to be pushed until he broke because he was one stubborn male!

The Widow Wager kind of threw me for a loop though with the introduction of a character named Lord Woodley. I won’t reveal his role in the story but I will say that he wasn’t what I expected him to be. And there was a slight case of love at first sight for me when it came to him. Don’t judge, I can have as many book crushes and boyfriends as I want and I defy anyone who doesn’t at least become curious about this man *sticks tongue out* Another character that stood out for me? Gemma’s younger sister Mary. For having such small scenes in the book she sure made the most of them with her feisty personality and honest way of speaking.

I was kind of sad to see the end of this series even though I’ve only read two of the three books. The Flynns were an addictive and loyal family. I loved their devotion to one another as well as their bantering. They didn’t have a whole lot of scenes together as a family but what scenes they did have were fun. Each sibling was different, with Crispin being the most troubled, which to be honest, is the type of character I gravitate to. Gemma was refreshing with her earthy desires and compassionate nature. I think she may have been the true hero of the story. I don’t think author Jess Michaels could have picked a better woman for Crispin, nor could she have picked anyone one other than Crispin to close out the series.

Final Verdict: So sad to say goodbye to the Flynns, rowdy, unconventional bunch that they are, but there were some secondary characters that have some promise. I can't wait for the next book by this author!

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1 comment:

  1. oh I think I would just adore this family. They sound delightful and I love the bantering, I haven't had a chance to read this author, but I need to. I just might go grab the first book.


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