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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Marvellous First
This book is a fantastic first for author Madelynne Ellis, and I look forward to her future releases.
The book has strong main characters with a simple plot, that is easy to follow and understand, but which keeps you hooked until the very end. If you want a book filled with passion,lust and desire, filled with intimate details of every trist, I haven't found a better...
Published on 23 May 2003 by Mrs N L Thomas

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Sexy Romp
"What's this?" I can hear you shout. "That's a M/F cover - what's going on?" Well, yes, it does have some het in it - quite a lot of het, to be honest, but this isn't just another menage book. There is an established (if only if they did it once) homosexual relationship described and as such I think it deserves a place on the site.

This, let me say from the...
Published on 7 April 2009 by Erastes


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Marvellous First, 23 May 2003
By 
Mrs N L Thomas (Darlington, Durham United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This book is a fantastic first for author Madelynne Ellis, and I look forward to her future releases.
The book has strong main characters with a simple plot, that is easy to follow and understand, but which keeps you hooked until the very end. If you want a book filled with passion,lust and desire, filled with intimate details of every trist, I haven't found a better one.
With two leading men, both sounding equally gorgeous, and a leading lady filled with desire. She is used to getting what she wants, when she wants it and now finds herself having to fight for the man she desires. Will the lady claim her prize??
A passionate story, passionately written. I couldn't put it down till I had finished.
Definately a book to read, either on your own or with your own night of passion in mind. Superb!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Sexy Romp, 7 April 2009
By 
Erastes (Norfolk, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Gentleman's Wager (Black Lace) (Mass Market Paperback)
"What's this?" I can hear you shout. "That's a M/F cover - what's going on?" Well, yes, it does have some het in it - quite a lot of het, to be honest, but this isn't just another menage book. There is an established (if only if they did it once) homosexual relationship described and as such I think it deserves a place on the site.

This, let me say from the first, is an erotic novel. Whilst there is a plot running through it, (and it's a much better plot than so many novels where sex scenes happen almost every other page) it's an erotic novel - there's sex from the first page just about, and sex almost to the last page. One could level accusations of anachronism for the "let's stay in this big house and all have sex with each other a lot" but who's to say that some people didn't behave like this in private?

Yes, as expected, everyone wants Bella, and annoyingly, even the decadent, seemingly homosexual Pennerley is swept away by her "charms" (however well worn...!) but that's to be expected in a Black Lace book - the heroine has to be irresistible. But what I did like particularly about the book was the way Lucerne (however silly it is to be named after a bean) struggled with his feelings for Pennerley and those of Bella. At times he's swept away by Pennerley's seduction, and at other times he's protective of Bella, and then jealous of her as Penerley starts to stalk (hur hur) her.

I was less impressed with Bella who - it seemed to me - would have not only slept with anyone who asked her (and she does, including the staff!) but would have gone off with any of them either. I was never really convinced that she loved Lucerne, and frankly I was cheering Pennerley on from the sidelines and hoped that he'd win Lucerne for himself.

It's a hot and steamy one-handed read, which will appeal to people who like a lot of froth and a lot of sex - it will even appeal to die-hards who only read M/M. Hell, I read it and enjoyed it, didn't I? Can't get more die-hard than that!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, sexy, thrilling., 6 Jun. 2003
By A Customer
Don’t take anything at face value. Like the intriguing characters within, this book refuses to conform to the stereotypes of its genre. You may think at first that you’re reading a historical bodice-ripper with the usual cast of rogues and gentlemen, but it’s far too smart to live down to your expectations. There’s a great story of love, lust, deception and obsession, some brilliantly witty dialogue that certainly made me laugh out loud and enough historical detail, description and mood to really bring the book alive. But what really kept me reading was the depth, complexity and humanity of the characters – from the enigmatic, alluring and wicked Vaughan Pennerley to Charles Aubury, the lecherous squire with the soul of a poet. I really found myself caring what happened to all of them, and when each gets their moment of redemption you get a real feeling of warmth.
For a historical novel, it’s written in a modern enough style to make it completely accessible. The heroine is headstrong but likeable and easy to identify with, the story moves effortlessly along, and I loved the way that it plays with other works. There are moments that are clearly tongue-in-cheek references to Poldark, Sharpe, Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice and probably others, but it always draws you in, so you’ll get the humour even if you don’t know the original.
Major plus point: this is erotica, and Ellis’s writing manages to be sensual, rather than mechanical or just toe-curling like a lot of its peers. Also, every scene that occurs has its place in the narrative, rather than being crudely inserted as an obligatory bonk-every-ten-pages. If you’ve read much Nexus/Black Lace, you’ll know what I mean.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Fairly hard work to get into, 13 Aug. 2013
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I felt that this story did not flow very well. In addition, in places the modern terminology used jarred somewhat. I could have done with a rather more thorough introduction to both the situation and the characters. Although this is the first volume of a series, I sometimes got the impression that I was supposed to know more of the back story that I actually did. In addition, the behaviour of the characters did not ring true to the supposed historical context, where reputation, especially for women was a critical factor in maintaining one's societal position. Furthermore, I could not always reconcile the characters' behaviours with what I knew of them. This was particularly true of the heroine, who initially seemed to be simply a sex-mad trollop, though she gradually developed into more of a believable person as the story when on.

I struggled to get into the story, so that by the time I had got about a third of the way through, I did debate abandoning the book because the motivations and interactions of the various characters did not seem consistent and were starting to get irritating. Fortunately, it did get better as the relationships between the central characters became more solidly established.

I thought that this book was a bit expensive.
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A Gentleman's Wager (Black Lace)
A Gentleman's Wager (Black Lace) by Madelynne Ellis (Mass Market Paperback - 7 Feb. 2008)
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