A Scandalous Wager
by Cassandra Samuels
My rating: 5 stars
Publication Date: November 1, 2014
Publisher: Escape Publishing - Harlequin Enterprises, Australia Pty Ltd
Genre: Historical Romance
Print Length: 237 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
As the Black Raven,
she’s cold, distant and alone…untouched by the gossip and scorn of her
aristocratic peers. Until he enters her house—and her life—then suddenly
her icy shell is no match for the heat of attraction...
Widow Lisbeth Carslake, Countess of Blackhurst was acquitted of her
husband’s murder, but no one believes in her innocence. Known as the
Black Raven, bringer of bad luck and death, she is eviscerated by the
gossips and mocked in the clubs.
She’s also the subject of London’s most scandalous wager.
Whitely, Earl of Bellamy, needs money, but it takes more than a few
drinks to take on The Black Raven Wager. He finds himself drunk, at her
house, and—more surprisingly—agreeing to a business proposal at the end
of a fire poker.
She will let him win the wager, and he will help
find her husband’s killer before the killer finds her. But business
agreements don’t mean trust, and Lisbeth certainly doesn’t trust Oliver,
her body’s reaction to him, or her heart.
Love may be the biggest gamble of their lives, but is it a wager their hearts can afford to lose?
A Scandalous Wager by Cassandra Samuels
The Ton calls her the Black Raven, but do they know what the Countess of Blackhurst went through before her husband’s mysterious murder? On the outside, ice runs through her veins, but what is happening to the hot-blooded woman within? Lisbeth has become a pariah, even though she was innocent of her husband’s death and his shady dealings. Now she has become the object of a cruel wager, set forth by the irresponsible and wealthy “men” of London.
The Earl of Bellamy has just ascended to his title after the death of his brother, only to find the family fortunes are gone. Oliver, an unknowing pawn of the infamous wager sees a way to gain some coin to pay his bills without London’s Society learning of his predicament. He is to gain entry into the Black Raven’s home and actually speak with her. What happens becomes a game of who’s fooling who and the stakes are getting high as she bargains with him to become her escort for the season. Little did they know they were playing with fire as her reasons are revealed and their business arrangement takes on a much more personal note.
A Scandalous Wager by Cassandra Samuels is NOT your ordinary, cookie cutter historical romance among London’s High Society wagging tongues. One crass wager, two people with their own secret needs, some intrigue, some heartache and oh, let’s not forget the brilliant banter between Lisbeth and Oliver! Fast-paced, wicked clever and one of the best historical romances I have read. There is a unique feel to A Scandalous Wager, is it the light tone it often resonates between the stuffiness of the Ton? Could it be the sheer audacity of Oliver to find rakish humor and want upon seeing Lisbeth’s wrath? Maybe it’s the intelligence and grit of Lisbeth that does it. Whatever it is, Cassandra Samuels has put some spark into this historical romance that ignites in passion, love and brilliant adventures for two outcasts, proving that when you least expect it, anyone can find love!
I received this copy from Cassandra Samuels in exchange for my honest review.