by Jane Ashford
Genres: Historical Romance
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
After watching her husband gamble his life away, Lady Emma Tarrant is determined to prevent another young man from meeting a similar fate. So she challenges the scoundrel who holds his debts to another game. Intrigued by the challenge, the scoundrel, Lord Colin Wareham agrees, but if he wins, the lady must give him her heart.
I am a sucker for tropes with marriage wagers, bargains, and arrangements. They never work as planned and offer up a delicious tale as the characters find things more complicated than they ever imagined. Jane Ashford’s Marriage Wager delivers a historical romance with suspense; unique characters and a complicated romance between two stubbornly flawed characters. Mini-review: entertaining, colorful characters, romantic.
Lord Colin Wareham is on board a ship returning home to London. He has spent eight years at war. He is bone tired, emotionally damaged and ready to fulfill his family duties. Aboard the same ship is Lady Emma Tarrant, who is finally returning to England. Years ago she fled England to marry the man her father forbade her to wed. Life has been hard, and she returns to London a widow, shamed, and broke. Little do these two know that their paths will soon cross and forever change their path. The tale that unfolds was well paced, with unique characters, and delicious banter. I found myself thoroughly entertained.
Stubborn, damaged, and opinionated characters always create exciting tales, and Ashford delivers them in spades. Colin is home from the war, but the war still haunts his dreams. He closes himself off to others. Emma made a foolish mistake for love and vows never to repeat it. Lady Mary is a drama Queen! You won’t believe the shenanigans she gets up to. Robin is a young man trying to find himself. He tries gambling, and dressing like a dandy but his meddling father, and lousy luck at the tables makes it difficult. Meddling parents and family on both sides would have had me running for the countryside. A nefarious villain and an unusual servant added suspense and humor. All of the characters had a unique voice and at one time or another, I found myself wanting to throttle them. These characters made me laugh and at times pull my hair out in frustration.
Headstrong characters and physical attraction made the Marriage Wager an engaging and entertaining read. Emma sets out to protect a young man from the dangers of gambling. She enters into a game of cards with Colin and the stakes have never been higher. It began as a bet for the notes or a one night stand but when they are caught in a compromising position they need to strike another bargain. Ashford did an excellent job of creating suspense, conflict, and drama between the couple all while weaving in other colorful characters and side stories. While, at times, I wanted to knock both of them over the head for assumptions and lack of communication; I did end up caring for this couple. I found the families escapades to be delightful, and ooh, I just wanted to slap Emma’s Dad and Colin’s mother around a few times. Colin could be a knuckled-headed toad and his action kept pulling me from the tale. Emma was equally frustrated with her “I will handle it myself attitude.” Thankfully we ended up seeing growth in them and I am happy to report I closed the book with a smile.
Fans of historical romance, flawed characters and marriage tropes, will enjoy The Marriage Wager. It offered up an entertaining tale, with laughter, frustration, and a sweet romance.
Three cups of coffee out of five
I really like historical romances with marriage agreements too. 🙂
Me too Pam 🙂
Sounds like a fun read – and I was a little unclear from the synopsis about the wager, but your review cleared it up (I thought her husband was still alive and was thinking it was a very strange wager…) Love the sounds of the characters! Great review 🙂
Yeah..i was confused too, and thought maybe there was cheating which I loath.
Lovely review!! 🙂
🙂 thanks Dani
Nice review, it sounds like a fun one. New author to me.
thanks Aurian, this was fun 🙂
Sounds like my kind of book hehe 🙂
This sounds like this has a some great things going for it. I like the stubborn and head strong characters. 🙂
Me too Jenea, they are interesting and get your emotions involved.
A Voracious Reader
Another to add to the TBR. One of these days I’ll stop reading your reviews! Ok, I know that’s not going to happen, so I guess I’ll just need to build more shelves. lol
hehehe..you can call it the Caffeinated Bookshelf..LOL
This might be one where the characters just drive me a bit TOO nuts, but it sounds like a fun ride anyway.
LOL, it got me engaged!
This sounds really good – I always love the historical romance! I think I would enjoy Lady Mary’s antics, and Robin sounds adorable. Colin and Emma sound amazing as well – I hope that I get to read this! It sure sounds like a fun read. Great review, Kimba! 🙂
I liked all the side stories, and the characters were all unique.
You read so many great looking historical romances Kimba, that I am always tsk tsking myself for not picking up any myself.
What would you recommend to start for a newbie to the genre like myself?
Great review Kimba.
Michelle @ Book Briefs
The Emperor’s Conspiracy It has mystery, suspense and a light romance.
Hi Kimba, thanks for the great review and the arranged for whatever reason marriage is always a winner for me
I love the marriage trope.
Hee the characters sound a little frustrating, but I’m glad that you ultimately had fun with this book in the end. Great review, Kimba!
They were, but I did enjoy this 🙂
Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)
Sometimes opinionated and stubborn characters are the best!
Lovely review, Kimba! <33
Absolutely Melanie 🙂
Glad the characters did show some growth by the end of the story, that is always a plus.
Great review Kim!
Agreed, and although they frustrated me, I enjoyed it 🙂
HEhe, sounds like a super entertaining historical romance with some interesting characters to read about. What an interesting book, great review Kimba!
It was that Jeann, and the characters ..oh my!