Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Review - Improper Wager by Kristabel Reed + GIVEAWAY

Up for review today, a new first in a series by Kristabel Reed: Improper Wager

TITLE:    Improper Wager
AUTHOR:    Kristabel Reed
INFO:    Romantic Fiction, 248 pages
PUBLISHED:   CreateSpace, 2015
SOURCE:   Received from Publisher for Review

ABOUT:   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?

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?”

MY TAKE:    This is a fun story with a lot of give and take between the characters. I enjoyed watching them (Jonathon & Isabella) deny their love for each other while all the time proving and showing it to everyone else. Their attempts at one-upping the other kept this story hopping. I won't delve into what happens during the adventure, but there are a lot of twists and turns that form a lovely backdrop to the love story that unfolds.

I especially enjoyed Isabella's independence and resourcefulness. It is refreshing to have a protagonist that isn't all simpering and wimpy, but instead can truly fend for herself using her wits and skills. Isabella's cardshark tendencies come in very handy here.

From what I understand this is the first in the author's series: Scandalous Encounters. I think it is a very good introduction and a sign that this will be a fun series to follow.

Out of 5 JEWELS, I give it:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  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

Buy links:

Kristabel is awarding one lucky reader a $15 Amazon or Barnes & Noble giftcard. Enter below and be sure to stop in and visit with the other tour hosts to get more chances to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Stops

November 17: Unabridged Andra's
November 24: Buried Under Romance
November 24: The Reading Addict
December 1: One Book Shy of a Full Shelf
December 1: Two Ends of the Pen - promo
December 8: Harlie's Books
December 8: LibriAmoriMiei

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~~~~~ Disclaimer:  All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own.  I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews but do utilize affiliate links.  I may receive books in  order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review - only a completely honest one.  Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.


  1. When you were little, what did you want to be?

  2. Loved the excerpt and thanks for the chance to win the GC.

  3. Thanks for having me today and for your review! Isabella is one of my favorite heroines.

  4. What a great excerpt. I enjoyed the review.

  5. Enjoyed reading the excerpt and the review today.

  6. Thanks for sharing your honest review, I am looking forward to reading this one myself!

  7. What was the inspiration for this novel, I wonder.

  8. Enjoyed the excerpt, sounds like a great read, thanks for sharing!

  9. I really enjoyed reading the excerpt and your review. This book sounds like such a fun and interesting read. Also, I like the book cover! Very intriguing!


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