Christi Caldwell delivers a delightfully different perspective on Regency London with this historical romance. Lady Penelope Tidemore is a wonderfully complex heroine. Seeing her determination to not follow in her family's tradition went a long way in cementing her character for me. But watching her handle her misfortune proved just how strong she was. She might have been determined not to become a victim of society's gossipmongers but she is no meek and mild miss. I loved the preview we got of her strong-mindedness when she stood up to her brother and mother so fiercely.
The viscount Ryker Black is definitely not the typical hero and what makes him unique is what makes him so arresting. He is not a typical aristocrat and on the surface he is far from leading man material but looking beyond his unusual upbringing gives a glimpse of the man his sister loves.
I enjoyed watching the Ryker and Penelope coming to terms with their new circumstances. They both handled it so matter of factly and for me this made the high points so much higher.
The setting of a gaming hall was a different and entertaining choice and getting to see behind the scenes and meet Ryker's family and staff let us delve farther into his character. Watching him come to terms with all the changes in his circumstances and his life was fascinating.
If you like your historical love stories with heat, heart and a happy hook, this is a must read. I cannot wait to read about the last Tidemore sister because something tells me the best might have been saved for last and as fantastic as this one was I can't believe what can happen next.
The Story: Lady Penelope Tidemore is finally making her London debut and the gossips can't wait to see just what scandal is about to take place, but she is set on finding a match and not living up to her family's tradition of unsuitable trips to the altar. But when Penelope finds herself in a compromising position with the viscount Ryker Black, a gambling hell owner, they must marry. Dare they bet on love?
Thanks to her older siblings, Lady Penelope Tidemore is no stranger to scandal. In order for her to make a good match, her secret longings for intrigue and romance must be quelled. Yet it is through terrible mischance that Penelope is caught in a compromising position—however innocent—with the darkly enigmatic viscount Ryker Black.
Mr. Black is no gentleman. Raised from the streets and proprietor of the most notorious gaming hell in London, Black lives in a world filled with debauchery and danger. Taking a Society wife from the very ton he despises is not part of his plan, even if the innocent Penelope turns his blood hot with desire.
But Penelope isn’t afraid of Mr. Black, and she soon discovers that his reputation as a scoundrel may be designed to hide a surprising vulnerability. As this unlikely husband and wife grow closer, they learn that what started as chance could end up sealing their fates.