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Lord of Chance by Erica Ridley

Lord of Chance

by Erica Ridley

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Erica Ridley has given us another fun and exciting read. Lord of Chance has some familiar faces from her Dukes of War Series. If you loved that series, then you will enjoy this one. ( )
  yafa2218 | May 21, 2017 |
Received this book in a giveaway here on Library Thing. Thanks to the author. This book was just okay. I found it slow in many parts and Anthony was a bit annoying. Charlotte was the better character here. ( )
  Crystal423 | May 9, 2017 |
It would seem I am in the minority here. I can't quite understand what everyone loved about this book. It wasn't terrible, but it certainly wasn't good either. Let me put it this way. I can see how other people would like it. I just didn't.

The book opens up in an inn in Scotland with Anthony, our hero, gambling and winning handsomely. He has a large debt of 2000 pounds and is trying to win it. Charlotte's mother, a famous Courtesan, told her that her father is in Scotland. With only a set of jewels that were given to her mother by her father, she travels to Scotland and ends up in the same inn as Anthony. Charlotte and Anthony end up at the same card table. She's gambling to earn money to finance her trip. Eventually, Anthony loses all of his money to Charlotte. She offers to play one more hand as a chance for Anthony to win back his portion. If he loses, he will be her slave for the evening (his offer, not her request). Charlotte is okay with this because she has a feeling she's being followed. Anthony loses again, and when Charlotte goes up to her room, she discovers it has been broken into. Long story short, to protect Charlotte's reputation, Anthony ends up telling someone (in the presence of others) that they are married. But apparently, in Scotland, that's enough to actually be wed. They suddenly find themselves husband and wife. Before Charlotte and Anthony leave the inn, two enforcers corner Anthony and make it clear that he has two weeks to come up with the 2000 pounds or he goes to prison and they will take Charlotte's jewels. Honestly, from there is just kind of gets silly. And confusing. But mostly silly.

At first, I was really fond of Anthony as a hero. He was nice. Respectful. Always joking and smiling. But, after about 20 pages, it got old quick. His weakness for gambling, occasional stupidity and a healthy dose of insecurity made him a very annoying hero. Exhibit A-

"But if he focused on raising funds solely to stay out of gaol and keep his wife, he'd be teaching her to value him solely for money-just as he'd done with his nephews."

Call me crazy, but raising money to stay out of prison is not exactly spoiling your new accidental wife that never asked to marry you in the first place. More like preventing her from being married and reliant on a man rotting in prison with no means to support herself. Especially considering that the majority of women back then relied on men for funds. (Except for governesses or companions or whatever. Maybe even then.). Anthony was just this giant bag of confusion. He loved to gamble but hated worrying about going broke. He hated that his family relied on him for money but enjoyed spending it on them. He hated being a slave to luck but refused to actually work, considering it beneath him. You know, because burly men threatening to break your kneecaps is so much more dignified.

Charlotte really wasn't much better. It wasn't that there was anything particularly wrong with her, it was just that there was zero personal growth. I feel like she fell in love with Anthony because he treated her like a human being. She was constantly amazed at the way he didn't step all over her and constantly try to sleep with her. While this may be understandable in the beginning, she never really learned that she deserved that respect all her life. She has one moment in the end that makes her thrust her chin in the air but I wanted more. It might be far less realistic but I felt like it was needed. I wanted her to have a final epiphany that she was amazing and everyone else could go to hell.

Except it never really happened. She eventually grew a little backbone but I wanted more. She was just so grateful for every little scrap of kindness that everyone gave her and I just wanted to shake her. Come on, girl. Get yourself together. You're better than this!

My main issue really was the romance. It just wasn't that romantic. They had zero chemistry. Zip. Nada. Did absolutely nothing for me. I suppose that has more to do with the fact that I really didn't like either one of them. Considering that the entire book takes place over two weeks, it seemed incredibly rushed. After four days, Anthony thinks to himself that he's been waiting to kiss Charlotte "for so long". Considering they were complete strangers before those four days, it seemed a little bit of an exaggeration.

I know Erica Ridley can write. That certainly isn't the issue. I've enjoyed other books she's written. I just didn't like this one. It certainly was different, just not to my taste. It was fluffy and easy to read. I can't really recommend the book, but I do recommend the author.

*I received an ARC from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. ( )
  bgnbrooks | May 8, 2017 |
**This book was reviewed via Netgalley**

First in the Rogues to Riches series, Ridley’s Lord of Chance sweeps us back in time, to England's Regency period. Charlotte Devon is a young woman traveling alone through Scotland, searching for her father. All she has for clues are a name, and some family jewels. At the amusingly named Kitty and Cock Inn, Charlotte is allowed to join a gambling table, where the vagaries of fate win her the services of Anthony Fairfax for the night. While he teased otherwise, Anthony is content to serve in the most mundane capacities requested, in this case, serving as a hallboy for the night. He had his own reasons for wagering a night of service. Win or lose, those needs are met.

In the wake of several misunderstandings, when Anthony pretends to be Charlotte's husband in order to protect her from undesirables, the pair find themselves married in truth due to quirks of Scottish law intended to preserve the virtue of maidens from unscrupulous men who might take advantage of them. To compound things, debt collectors have found Anthony, and witnessed his declaration of being married. If he cannot repay his debts, Charlotte's family jewels will be seized towards them, and Anthony will be sent to the infamous Marshalsea prison. Now, as the pair travel back to London, they must get to know one another- both the good sides and the bad, yet both have secrets they are reluctant to reveal to a near stranger. And they dare not consummate this false marriage, despite the growing attraction, or an annulment will not be possible.

This is one of my first forays into romance, a genre I have long avoided. As one who prefers historical fiction, a romance in this genre seemed just the ticket. Regency England is not an era I am familiar with, though it's close enough to eras I do enjoy. Victorian is a big favourite. I loved Ridley's attention to detail, and to language. I did grow somewhat weary of the word 'fashionable’, though. I'm not really sure why. It was appropriate to context.

Reading this got me to thinking that, while romance is considered by many to be 'trite’ and 'shallow’, a romance writer's job is harder in some ways. These stories are more character driven than plot driven. They have to dig deeper in their characters heads. There may also, as in this case, still need to be a lot of research done.

While I occasionally found Charlotte, and Anthony's musings somewhat angsty, I had the realisation that, well, this *is* quite rather how people blather on inside their heads. Where no one can hear, and we argue only with ourselves, we play, and replay, and replay our deepest fears and darkest secrets, turning molehills to mountains with self-criticisms, 'what ifs’, and 'could have beens'. We make assumptions about others and their motivations all the time, and more often than not, when the truth is revealed, we couldn't have been further from it if we had tried. Anthony’s thoughts were so sweet, even when he was being incorrigible. Yet it was Charlotte, with her terribly low self-worth, that I could identify with most. I suffer the same, and it sucks.

This book gave me a greater appreciation for a genre I previously disdained and helped me be more willing to try others in the future. I hope delving into other sub-genres besides historical will lead to the same satisfactory results. I'll certainly be on the lookout for future works by Ridley.

🎻🎻🎻🎻🎻 Recommended for those who like historical romance ( )
  PardaMustang | Apr 29, 2017 |
I received a copy for an honest review. I thought Anthony was a bit weak and not very convincing in the storyline and a bit ridiculous. I wish he was more determined and not so much a dandy. Charlotte on the other hand was very believable in her quest to find her father and her experiences. ( )
  FReads | Apr 25, 2017 |
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