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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Where is Jane? 3 July 2011
By lillyt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Jane Feather's early books were exquisite. Lately, I have been disappointed with her efforts. The first two books in this series have dragged on and on. Character development is thin and scenes repeat with minor changes. Dialogue is not sohpisticated,doesn't sparkle, and, in some scenes, is quite simplistic and, well, boring. The book bogs down early. I didn't read it to the end. I just couldn't. If you enjoy a fast paced read, smart dialogue and involved plotting, skip this book. It's not for you.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Feather books in years, but still not great 4 July 2011
By mickey71 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I used to LOVE Jane Feather books, and have been disappointed for the last several years. However, I felt that this book was an attempt to get back the old glory. It reminded me of a cross between "Virtue" (one of my all-time favorites) and "A Valentine Wedding." Unfortunately, that doesn't add up to a great book.

Sebastian Sullivan and Lady Serena CARMICHAEL (more on that later) enjoyed a romance three years ago, but Serena broke Seb's heart at the command of her stepfather and left town. Now she and nefarious stepfather are back, but Serena is determined to foil his plots, even at the expense of her own true love.

What's strange is, the biggest flaws of this book are pointed out in the narrative. Seb is constantly asking Serena why SHE has to be responsible for ingenue Abigail, and if she feels responsible, why can't she just tell Abigail's dad what her stepfather is up to? (Abigail's father later asks this same question.) And it all boils down to...because Serena wants to. So why Sebastian thinks she'll be a good marriage partner is beyond me.

And, why didn't Sebastian just tell Abigail's father what was going on? Who cared if Serena felt betrayed by him, or owned by him, or whatever. Wasn't Abigail's safety more important?

A language nitpick: I got REAL tired of "faro's daughter." Yes, we understand that Serena is a gambler and therefore outside the pale of good society (or something), but seeing this phrase over and over got irritating.

Finally, back to Serena's name: I love how all these other reviewers are referring to her as "Serena Grantley" because that's what it says on the back of the book...but her name was Serena Carmichael throughout the whole book. So, kudos to the publisher...you screwed up your ad copy. Second, did any of the other reviewers actually READ the book, or just do their review from the back cover? Or do you just not pay attention to little details like the characters names? Whatever.

EDIT: Oh yeah, and WHAT was the "Wedding Wager"? Was it just that Sebastian was betting his future happiness on Serena's whims? That would be a gamble indeed.

BOTTOM LINE: Better than many recent Jane Feather books, but not up to "V series" standards.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Started to Skim -- I would pass 16 Aug 2011
By cb - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I picked up this book for summer vacation at the cabin and started to skim - in the end I decided life is too short to continue to read this book. The charaters never made sense and print of book just frustrated me. I liked the cover and that was made me drop 7.99 for this book - lesson learned.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It was an intriguing premise, but I was looking for a faster read with more action and adventure. 19 Aug 2011
By MNix - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Blackwaters are back again in this follow-up to Rushed to the Altar, the first in the Blackwater Bride trilogy. This time around, the penniless Honorable Sebastian Sullivan must find a disreputable woman to marry and bring into the family so that he can inherit a share of his uncle's vast fortune. However, the formerly nave Sebastian is still dealing with his heartache from three years ago, when the woman he loved betrayed and devastated him. He had tried to carry on with his life over the course of those years, but he was really just existing and not living. Gradually, he started to come back to himself only Lady Serena Carmichael has come back to town. Sebastian must find out her reasons for denying her love for him in order to heal and move on from the pain she inflicted upon him years ago. Yet every time Sebastian longs to hate her, he finds that he can't stop thinking about her, and he can't seem to completely cut his love of her off! Will he be able to solve the mystery of Serena's rejection of him and get that second chance that he longs for, or will Serena not gamble on chance with him?

Lady Serena Carmichael had no choice but to hurt her lover, the Honorable Sebastian Sullivan, because her stepfather, General Sir George Heyward, had instructed her to do so. The general was running a crooked gambling house and felt he needed to flee to greener pastures to procure more money. As Lady Serena is destitute because of her stepfather's flitting away of her mother's inheritance as well as her own, she really has no choice but to follow him. During their years abroad with her stepfather helping to run gambling houses, Serena learns some hard truths about this man and what he is capable of doing. Having been jerked into the harsh world that has now become her reality, Serena learns to take care of herself. Vowing to stay with the general until she has skimmed enough monies to take care of herself, she is constantly on her guard to any of his nefarious plans whether they include her or the young, rich innocent, Abigail, that he has lined up to become his next wife! Serena has learned that it is best to be patient when seeking retribution and that revenge really is a dish best served cold! Serena relies upon herself and since she has had something essential to her peace of mind forcefully removed from her, it will be a while before she can truly give herself to Sebastian. Will she find that Sebastian can truly heal her, or will the obstacles in their way prove to be insurmountable?

A Wedding Wager is a crafty novel full of machinations by various characters. It is by no means a quick read. There is a lot going on in A Wedding Wager, sometimes too much. I found the secondary characters to be a bit distracting from the overall romance between the two protagonists, but I enjoyed the manipulations and maneuvering between the protagonists and the antagonist. Yet, it still wasn't enough to hold my attention. In A Wedding Wager, it didn't make a lot of sense that the general could return to the scene of one of his crimes and NOT A SINGLE PERSON who caused him to flee before was there waiting to deal out any form of justice.

Lady Serena seemed to be a very strong character who was a bit overconfident in her dealings, and she seemed guarded with her thoughts and explanations. She didn't always want to give reasons for things as she had learned to depend on herself since she was virtually isolated over the years. Because of her lack of openness with Sebastian, problems arose between them. A Wedding Wager made Serena seem too controlling and not very trusting especially when trying to protect Abigail from her stepfather. Serena seemed to believe that Abigail's father wouldn't save his daughter unless Serena did it first.

Sebastian had a network of support in his family, but he was a bit slow on the uptake. A Wedding Wager had Sebastian figuring out that he could gamble--wager if you will--on his uncle believing that Serena will fit the conditions of his uncle's Will in order for Sebastian to satisfy his part in gaining the inheritance. But what frustrated this reader, was that it took him so long to piece that together! Everyone else knew that as "faro's daughter" Serena wasn't exactly an upstanding lady, but for some reason Sebastian could NOT add that up until later in the story.

There seemed to be a lot of unnecessary filler in A Wedding Wager which just bogged the story down for me. It was an intriguing premise, but I was looking for a faster read with more action and adventure. Upon reaching the ending of the book, I kept thinking that Serena seemed to personify the typical hero role while Sebastian was more like the heroine, and I really would have liked him to have had some purpose in his life other than just being a typical aristocrat! Considering his lack of funds, one would expect him to try and do something meaningful with his life, yet that never seemed to materialize. It should also be noted that there were a couple of minor editing errors and that the back synopsis incorrectly identified the heroine of A Wedding Wager.

Reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring 20 July 2011
By ACO - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It just drags on and on. I'm having a hard time finishing it because its just not well written. Serena's character is so hard to like, and Sebastian isn't much better. Move on, this book is not worth it.
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