Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Improper Wager by Kristabel Reed (Excerpt, review and GIVEAWAY) GFT ADULT title







by Kristabel Reed
ADULT title
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GENRE:  Regency Romance

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BLURB:

Two years ago, Isabella Harrington defied her parents and society, and ran off with her lover to Milan. They thought they’d conquer the world at the gaming tables. But her dream of happily-ever-after led to nothing but debts and a shattered heart.

Abandoned and left on her own in a foreign city with little but her wits and skill, Isabella managed to survive. Survive and thrive, commanding the cards until she won enough to send for a very particular matchmaker.

Isabella needed a way back into the society she shunned and what better way than through a proper, aristocratic marriage? And this matchmaker of note would be her key back home to England.

Traveling the Continent, Jonathon, Duke of Strathmore, agreed to meet the mysterious Miss Harrington. Wary of the rumors surrounding her, a woman who vanished from London with only scandalous tales left in her wake, he hadn’t counted on the intriguing Isabella to thoroughly capture his attention.

Will a game of cards change both their fates? Will she become a mistress or a duchess?


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EXCERPT



“I’ve observed you this evening,” he said as they stepped outside.



“I’m well aware,” she said with the control that so fascinated him.



He raised his eyebrow and bit back a smile. Oh, that restrained passion captivated him. “I’d no idea you were so skilled at the games,” he said instead, leading her carefully along.



Watching her, he had the feeling she knew his game and didn’t rise to the bait. Jonathon bit back another smile.



“You didn’t give me an opportunity to show you the other night,” she said with a small grin that was more pride in her talents than interest.



But her gaze remained steady on his, darker in the shadowed balcony. Miss Harrington stood straight, with none of the deference normally given a duke. And none of the deference a woman in need of a suitable match to return to England ought to show.



She fascinated him all the more.



“And if I’m ready now?” His voice lowered, and Jonathon didn’t fool himself when he saw her breath hitch.



Her smile turned predatory. “I wouldn’t mind relieving you of the coin from your purse.”



He leaned closer and lowered his voice again. He watched her, knowing she followed his every move and was not unaffected. “Money holds no interested as a wager.”



She raised her own eyebrow in question. “You wish to make it a more interesting evening, then?”



“What terms would you suggest,” he asked softly, his breath a caress along her cheek, “to make it more stimulating?”


Buy links:



B&N


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Kristabel Reed lives on the East Coast and loves to explore the steamier side of historical romance. "There are so many sexy situations that didn't just pop up in the 21st century and my goal is to burst the myth of the prim and proper debutante." She loves romances of all sorts but currently writes Regency and Contemporary romances with curvy women. She also loves old movies, taking the dog for walks, and anything Cary Grant. And is always interested in talking about erotic romance, so drop her a line: kristabelreed@yahoo.com; or Tweet her @kristabelreed; find her blog: kristabelreed.blogspot.com







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GIVEAWAY


a Rafflecopter giveaway



The tour dates can be found here


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My review:

3.75 out of 5 stars



Improper Wager by Kristabel Reed is part of the ‘Scandalous Encounters’ series and focuses on Isabella Harrington, who is living in Milan and searching for a way to return to England untarnished by the scandal that is a result of her injudicious decision to pursue a love affair with a soldier who captured her heart but ultimately betrayed her.  A bold decision to follow the advice of a matchmaker and attempt to ensnare the unconventional Jonathon Wakefield, Duke of Strathmore results in a wager that will test all of the skills that Isabella has had to hone to survive.  The challenge will be to determine who is going to be the true victor and whether the prize won is worth everything that was risked.

This erotic historical romance gives a glimpse of several exotic locales as well as the repercussions for flaunting society’s mores as it explores the challenges faced by a woman who has had to depend only on herself for survival.  The story starts off fairly low-key and is a little slow to gain momentum, but there are intriguing aspects of society portrayed, and I enjoyed the blossoming of the relationship, especially as Jonathon displays his skills at persuasion and coaxes Isabella to comply with his wishes as they take a roundabout journey to quash any hint of impropriety even as they establish their unconventionality by exploring their passion for each other.  The gradual revelation of the scars that each bears gives poignancy to their struggle and makes one root for their relationship to be successful.  I did get a bit frustrated with the heroine’s reluctance to set aside the past but the tale was heartwarming as one was able to watch them work their troubles out.  It would be nice to have a little more depth to the characters, especially since I suspect some of the secondary folks still have adventures to participate in, but I think this is a nice start to the series.

A copy of this title was provided for review

22 comments:

  1. In what ways do you hold yourself back?

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    1. Oh, that's a good question. Makes me think. I do hold myself back, don't we all? It's hard to put yourself out there for public consumption.

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    2. I think that we all hold ourselves back in many ways, Mai (at least I would be in terrible trouble if I didn't hold myself back from saying the first thing that pops into my head, lol). Thanks for the question and for visiting!

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. Thank you for the review and thanks for hosting me today!

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    1. You are very welcome and I ask that you accept my apologies for being so late to greet you...I've been fighting with a nasty cold and it was winning for a while! Thank you for the opportunity to read your lovely story and good luck with the tour!

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  4. Now this book I'm dying to read!!!

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    1. Good, then I certainly hope you get a chance to do so! Thanks for the visit!

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  5. Enjoyed the excerpt, sound like a really good book, thanks for sharing it and your review, Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Thanks so much, Eva. Hope you had a lovely holiday! Thanks for coming by!

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  6. I loved the excerpt and I appreciate you sharing your honest review! I'm looking forward to reading this one myself, I'm completely intrigued by the blurb :)

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    1. You are very welcome, Victoria. I enjoy historicals and I think the author did a nice job of evoking a different society. Thanks for taking the time to comment and visit!

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  7. Thank you for the excerpt, it was great.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Rita! Thanks for popping in!

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  8. Enjoyed reading the excerpt and your review.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to come by and read both, Karen!

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  9. Replies
    1. Glad you think so, Mary! Thanks for dropping by!

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