Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Courtesan's Wager, by Claudia Dain

Genre: Historical Romance
Spoiler free description: Amelia is not stupid. She sees that Sophia has arranged marriages for 3 ladies in 3 weeks and she wants in. So she asks
Sophia for help attaining her heart's desire - marriage to a duke. Sophia is happy to help. And happy to inform a horrified Amelia that EVERYONE knows Amelia wants to marry a duke. Sophia decrees that the best course would be to go public with that knowledge and start holding interveiws. And you know what? Sophia is right! The only one more horrified than Amelia is Lord Cranleigh, younger brother to Iveston - next in line to be a duke. Cranleigh will not stand for this and he gets himself in way of Amelia.
Something I found annoying, though, was a big reveal half way through the book. And then I thought the hero was almost TSTL (too stupid to live) given the big reveal. So, really the only obstacle left was some pride, ego, and stupidity. That detracted from an otherwise good book.
The best: Finally reading a Dain heroine who had a clue about what Sophia was doing. The chemistry between Amelia and Cranleigh rocked. And I'm still LOVING the ongoing story arcs with Sophia, Anne, Ruan, and Calbourne. I want more!
The worst: I felt like the ending dragged out. I was glad that Amelia held out to get the respect she deserved, but it really seemed like the whole thing would have been sorted out much quicker if they actually spoke to each other about anything!
Grade B

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