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Lady Allerton's wager (Historical romance) [Paperback]

Nicola Cornick
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2000 Historical romance
An Eternal Triangle – a lord, a lady and… an island!

Beth, Lady Allerton, is determined to reclaim Fairhaven Island, stolen from her family generations before by the treacherous Earl of Trevithick. She challenges the current Earl, Marcus Trevithick, to a wager – his island against her virtue!

Marcus Trevithick is intrigued by the lovely incognita who throws down the challenge. Soon he is pursuing her, determined to learn more of her identity – and to tempt her into his bed. As both Beth and Marcus race to claim Fairhaven it seems inevitable that the chase can end only in each other’s arms. But when it comes to a choice, which does Beth want more – the Earl of Trevithick, or her beloved island?

A bold and determined hero meets his match in a heroine who is impulsive and intelligent. Passionate, fast-paced and original, this Regency historical is not to be missed.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Mills & Boon (2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0263828751
  • ISBN-13: 978-0263828757
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,380,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nicola Cornick is a historian and historical romance author. She studied at London University and Ruskin College Oxford and works for the National Trust as a guide at the seventeenth century hunting lodge Ashdown House in Oxfordshire. Her award-winning books are international bestsellers and have been translated into 26 languages.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warm, entrancing regency adventure 11 Dec 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book tempted me back to reading regencies after some years away. The hook about a lady and a wager over an island got me interested and the tale of Beth Allerton was simply fabulous reading! Feisty and fun, she is a truely loveable heroine, one who is adept at getting herself in and out of scrapes. You get a real sense of history with this author, and not just the traditional regency ton, but a backdrop of magnificent landscapes and scenarios. And the dashing hero gives Lady Allerton just enough rope to keep her in his sights then reels her in when the times right! A terrific romance from Ms Cornick.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Preposterous but entertaining Regency farce 13 Jan 2011
By Marshall Lord TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This ludicrous but enjoyable little farce is a regency romance set in 1813, towards the end of the Napoleonic Wars and while Britain and America were fighting the "War of 1812."

The story begins at the "Cyprians' ball" where masked gentlemen could supposedly dance with masked members of the demimondaine, and respectable ladies were not supposed to be present. The first sentence of the book gives an idea of the humour which is to run through it:

"The Cyprians' Ball was scarcely an event that featured on the social calendar of any of the debutantes of the ton, though more than one bitter chaperon had observed that it was the only place outside of the clubs where all the eligible batchelors could be found."

(Incidentally, although the idea of a "Cyprians' Ball" appears in quite a few works of Regency fiction, and some modern organisations with an interest in re-enacting history have organised social events with this title, I have not been able to find any evidence that it has any basis in the historical reality of the Regency period. If anyone reading this does know of such evidence I would be most grateful if you could please post a comment and if possible a link.)

Two West Country families - the Mostyns and the Trevithicks - have been at daggers drawn since they backed opposite sides in the civil war. A couple of generations before this story, a notorious head of the Trevithick family - nicknamed the "Evil Earl" - had obtained Fairhaven, a small but fertile (and fictional) island in the Bristol Channel from the Mostyn family in dubious circumstances.

Lady Elizabeth (Beth) Allerton, nee Mostyn, has been brought up on romantic legends giving the Mostyn family side of how the "Evil Earl" stole Fairhaven from her family.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She's worth every minute! 5 May 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I love a good road romance and when it has an original plot like this one and a fantastic, sparkling cast of characters, I really enjoy myself. Beth Allerton is impulsive but idealistic. Marcus Trevithick is a hero with depth. The writing is up to Ms Cornick's usual high standard. I can't wait for the sequel to find out what happens in Kit and Eleanor's romance!
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars She's not worth it! 29 April 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
While "Lady Allerton's Wager" may lead you on a romp through the countryside, it's far from an enjoyable one. The plot centers around Beth Allerton's attempts to regain an island stolen from her family years ago by the Trevithick family. Lord Trevithick is the current owner and he seems all too willing to hand it over and try to claim her in the process. Any man who would chase after this flighty, immature brat should have his head examined! Lady Allerton is slightly amusing at best, and highly annoying all the time. Unevenly written, with weak and convenient yet unlikely twists to the plot (many of which aren't resolved), makes this a dull and predictable read.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Definitely not her best work... 17 July 2004
By bookjunkiereviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have had mixed experiences with Cornick's books. While some of them have been amazing experiences (THE LARKSWOOD LEGACY, and to a lesser extent TRUE COLORS), others have started out well and then rapidly gone downhill.
Unfortunately LADY ALLERTON'S WAGER (part of a Mills & Boons gift set) is one of these. The premise is unusual. A jaded Earl who is short of cash (having inherited from his grandfather who let things slight) runs into a lovely young Cyprian, or so he thinks. She offers him a wager for one toss of the dice - if she loses, he will win her favors for free; if he loses on the other hand, she wants an island from him. It becomes obvious both to the Earl and to us (the readers) that the Cyprian is no Cyprian, but a Lady. What is she doing at the Cyprians' Ball, and why does she want the island so badly?
Both questions are answered fairly early in the book, except that the Earl decides that he does not believe her reasons for wanting the island. This is partly because there is a long-running family feud between his family and hers; partly because he believes what his man of business says. [And this part of the plot drops out too easily as well, as does a certain secondary character who will reappear in a sequel].
I won't go into details, except to say that the subsequent plot setup strained my credulity considerably. And I couldn't root for either the heroine (remarkably immature or naive) or the hero (whose behavior ranges from dishonourable when he reneges on the wager initially to boorish when he accuses the heroine of having cheated him financially). Cornick is capable of so much more, that this book felt all the more rushed and half-baked.
If you enjoy a road romance (or an island romance), you may like this book. If you want a plot that makes sense, and characters that act consistently, you might want to pass this book up.
4.0 out of 5 stars Preposterous but entertaining Regency farce 13 Jan 2011
By Marshall Lord - Published on Amazon.com
This ludicrous but enjoyable little farce is a regency romance set in 1813, towards the end of the Napoleonic wars and while Britain and America were at odds in the "War of 1812".

The story begins at the (very fictional) "Cyprians' ball" and the first sentence of the book gives an idea of the humour which is to run through it:

"The Cyprians' Ball was scarcely an event that featured on the social calendar of any of the debutantes of the ton, though more than one bitter chaperon had observed that it was the only place outside of the clubs where all the eligible batchelors could be found."

Two prominent families from Devon in the English West Country - the Mostyns and the Trevithicks - have been at daggers drawn since they backed opposite sides in the British civil wars nearly two centuries earlier. A couple of generations before this story, a notorious head of the Trevithick family - nicknamed the "Evil Earl" - had obtained Fairhaven, a small but fertile (and equally fictional) island in the Bristol Channel, from the Mostyn family in dubious circumstances.

Lady Elizabeth (Beth) Allerton, nee Mostyn, has been brought up on romantic legends giving the Mostyn family side of how the "Evil Earl" stole Fairhaven from her grandfather. It has been her lifelong ambition to reclaim the island. Beth is a young and wealthy widow, having married the elderly Sir Frank Allerton when she was seventeen: the marriage was reasonably happy but brief, her husband behaving to her more like an indulgent parent than a spouse, but he died within a few years of their wedding.

Having been left sufficient funds to do so by her late husband, Beth Allerton tried twice to buy back Fairhaven Island, but the old earl was not interested. When he died, she was about to make a new offer to buy the island - when at the start of this book chance presents her with an opportunity to win the island through an outrageous wager ...

Marcus Trevithick, a handsome man in his late twenties who has recently inherited the earldom from his grandfather the "Evil Earl," is trying to sort out the mess into which his predecessor had allowed the estates to fall during his latter years. He isn't ready to take a wife but has an eye for a pretty girl, hence his attendance at the "Cyprians' ball" a masked event supposedly for the demi-mondaines rather than respectable women. Seeing the most beautiful woman in the room dancing with Lord Mostyn, the head of the family who are the arch rivals of his own, he is unable to resist asking her for the next dance. He has no idea what will follow ...

Quite nonsensical but good fun, with a cast of mostly likeable characters and some good use of humour. Not a book for the politically-correct - at one point Beth Allerton's obsession with regaining Fairhaven makes her behave in ways which are so over-the-top that the infuriated Marcus Tevithick threatens to put her over his knee.

There are two romantic sub-plots affecting other members of the Trevithick and Mostyn families, and one of these in particular is left hanging at the end. That story, the romance between Marcus's sister Eleanor and Beth's cousin Christopher (Kit) Lord Mostyn, is told in the sequel, The Notorious Marriage.
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