Lydia Slaughter understands the games men play - both in and out of the bedroom. Not afraid to bend the rules to suit her needs, she fleeces Will Blackshear outright. The Waterloo hero had his own daring agenda for the gaming tables of London's gentlemen's clubs. But now he antes up for a wager of wits and desire with Lydia, the streetwise temptress who keeps him at arm's length.
A kept woman in desperate straits, Lydia has a sharp mind and a head for numbers. She gambles on the sly, hoping to win enough to claim her independence. An alliance with Will at the tables may be a winning proposition for them both. But the arrangement involves dicey odds with rising stakes, sweetened with unspoken promise of fleshly delights. And any sleight of hand could find their hearts betting on something neither can afford to risk: love.
©2012 Cecilia Grant (P)2012 Tantor
"Luscious, erotic, and emotionally intense.... Cecilia Grant is a fresh, unforgettable voice in historical romance." (Madeline Hunter)
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"A very unique historical romance"
So many,but I believe the story changed midway through the book in a week long house party scene.
Susan voice bring such emotion to all the books she narrates, but I believe she really enjoyed this book.
Yes , it was a little slow in the beginning,but progressed quickly to the end.
If you love damaged, but loveable characters, math and card playing, you'll love this book.
I love the dialogue ..its such an important part of the book. The story was great, characters richly developed. The story has a start, middle and a terrific ending....
"Not your average bodice ripper"
This book and Grant’s, Lady Awakened, are definitely a cut above the average romance, IMHO.
Well developed non-stereotypical characters, well narrated.
"Undone by such an unusual romance"
YES!! The written version is excellent. Susan Ericksen's audio version is breath-taking. I cannot get over how fabulous she is.
Lydia is such a remarkable heroine. Well, she's not really a heroine. She's a realistic survivor. No "heart of gold'' prostitute. Just a steely courtesan who tries to deal with the cards she's dealt. And she knows when to fold 'em, knows when to hold 'em. Knows when to walk away. Knows when to run..The sort-of happy ending may not be realistic for the Regency age, but it feels realistic. No miraculous recoveries. Just survivors who recognize when it makes sense to hang on to each other.
Everything. She is a virtuoso, especially with such beautiful writing on the page. Like listening to poetry.
Wish the book, and its STELLAR predecessor by Cecelia Grant -- "A Lady Awakened" -- had more accurate names. These books are not the typical bodice-rippers. The sex is part of the story, not just tacked on. These books are about the human condition, and how women -- and men -- seek love amid the rubble.
"Hurt so good"
The writing--exquisite. The storyline--gripping. The characters--damaged but not destroyed. A Gentleman Undone is literary writing at its best. Cecilia Grant manages to avoid all of the canned gimmicks that so many formulaic romance novels resort to using, and the end result is a novel that is original, profound and poignant. I do enjoy novels that trend toward the darker side, though sometimes the darker they are, the less I'm convinced in the end that the characters can truly ever be happy (see Judith Ivory's Black Silk). Grant does dark well, but she knows how to convince the reader (through the aforementioned exquisite writing) that the characters can survive, heal, and eventually thrive together.
Because this is a romance novel, there is obviously going to be a sex scene or two, but what sets this romance (I'm loathe to even categorize this in the romance novel genre--it's that good!) apart from so many others is that each sex scene propels the story forward. Every sex scene is necessary to the story because it is part of the plot; none of them have the author-must-meet-their-sex-scene-quota feel. Miss a sex scene and you've missed a good bit of character development essential to your understanding of the plot. Oh, and the sex scenes are so good (what a paltry word!) they should be measured on the Richter scale.
I waited for this book for five months after reading A Lady Awakened (worth it, of course!), and it looks like I'll have to wait eight months for the next (A Woman Entangled). I don't mean to be pushy, Ms. Grant, but you really do need to write a bit faster.
"My favorite Cecilia Grant book"
One of my very favorite. It is so well written and very well performed.
Absolutely the best thing about this story is the writing. It is not an easy story to tell. There is a lot of tension between the characters, but they are so well written and compelling.
"2nd Book of the series is just as wonderful"
This is the 2nd book I've listened to from Cecilia Grant and I am a huge fan of her writing. The book combines adult and sometimes dark themes, adult reactions and witty writing. I don't know how Ms Grant is going to top this installment but I'm anxious to see if she can.
"I Couldn't Finish it"
I listened to 7 1/2 hours, in several attempts to finish it, but finally decided it was a waste of my time.
The first half consisted mainly of card playing -- 1 1/2 hours into the second half its still moving so s-l-o-w I don't have the patience to finish it. It was totally a waste of my time.
Although Susan Ericksen is a talented narrator, I cannot recommend the book.
"Waste of a Credit! Hot Mess is many ways!!"
This book started off slow, slow enough to make me stop and remove it from my ipod. It took a lack of credits and pure boredom to make me re download and try and suffer through it. I made it all the way through, but I would never repeat the experience nor will I make the mistake of giving the author another chance.
Here is what went right with the book. I love love love Susan Ericksen from the "In death" series and the book has a decent summary. I love cards and black jack in particular and all of the fancy tricks, probability kept me going. I'm ok with some historical romance, though I will have to stay away from the genre for a while to recover from this book.
But that is where the goodness ends. Susan has a very bland and slow english accent that she uses for all the characters and the narration (which wasn't necessary). The issue is that she can do the accent for maybe one character but doesn't have the talent to do it for the whole book. The story of this book is just hard to believe and incredibly predictable. There is no reason a gentleman can fall in love with a whore at first sight. There is no way he should be so guilty for doing what anyone with a brain would consider a good deed, to the point that he considers it to be a secret shame. All the sad background stories will not convince me that the premise of this romance makes sense. Not from his perspective anyways. There is also a stupid pending duel that covers like half of the book, and it really was ABSOLUTELY NOT NECESSARY (either party could just call it off).
I won't give away any more of the book, but BUYER BEWARE, there are better books out there, even for this genre and definitely by the narrator.
I almost stopped reading this one. I kept hitting the chapter skip button waiting for "interesting" to happen. Finally the middle of part 2 got interesting.
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