- Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Pocket Star; Original edition (September 21, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1439167540
- ISBN-13: 978-1439167540
My Rating: 4.75 of 5.0
Product DescriptionReview: I was drawn into this historical romance and swept right along to the end.
Furious at his grandmother’s ultimatum to marry or lose his inheritance, Lord Jarret Sharpe wagers his luck—and his heart—at the card table against a most unlikely opponent.Mired in scandal after his parents’ mysterious deaths, notorious gambler Lord Jarret Sharpe agrees to tamely run the family brewery for a year if his Machiavellian grandmother rescinds her ultimatum that he marry. But the gambler in him can’t resist when beguiling Annabel Lake proposes a wager. If she wins their card game, he must help save her family’s foundering brewery. But if he wins, she must spend a night in his bed. The outcome sets off a chain of events that threatens to destroy all his plans . . . and unveils the secret Annabel has held for so long. When Jarret discovers the darker reason behind her wager, he forces her into another one—and this time he intends to win not just her body, but her heart.
Jarret is clearly tortured and withdrawn as the result of the accidental shooting and suicide deaths of his parents when he was just a boy. He loved working at the brewery business with his grandparents when he was thirteen. Then he was sent off to school where he was sneered at and taunted by the bigger boys. Now he is not willing to get close or care about anyone or anything, even the brewery he once loved. If he doesn’t care then he can’t be hurt if it is taken away from him. He lives the carefree, reckless lifestyle of a gambler, never committing to relationships or work.
Jarret makes a deal with his Grandmother while she is recuperating from illness. He will manage the family brewery for one year if she removes her ultimatum that he wed within a year. No one is sure if he can really do the job and he isn’t sure how much of a commitment he wants to make as his Grandmother could take it back from him. Even though he seems to be a scoundrel, Jarret has a warm heart hidden behind his mask of indifference.
Annabel is the type of historical heroine I really like. She is intelligent, determined and loyal. She is running her family’s brewery business in the absence of her brother although she is not well accepted as a woman in the industry. But she will do what it takes to save the family business, even if that includes seeking the help of a competitor. Of course she thought she would be dealing with another woman brewster, not the rogue gambling grandson.
Annabel approaches Jarrett with an interesting proposition - business that is. When he doesn’t take her serious she challenges him to his favorite pastime: a game of cards. He ups the stakes when he makes the bet very personal. Now with a turn of the cards they are off to a match of wits and luck.
Jarret brings out a passion that Annabel has successfully suppressed for many years. She has lived her life expecting to remain a spinster. There are secrets she needs to keep hidden and that Jarrett wants to uncover. But if he finds out some of those secrets, all bets are going to be off.
I really liked these two characters and the unusual plot. The dialog was fast with a good deal of warmth and underlying humor. There are some questions still open at the end of the book but that is part of the series and I will be happy to read more of this series and Sabrina Jeffries anytime as I can always count on a satisfying read.
Thank you to Nancy Berland PR who provided the ARC and the pack of A Hellion in Her Bed playing cards for a giveaway with the book!
TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY FOR THE ARC and Playing Cards:
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