A Gentleman's Wager (Black Lace) Mass Market Paperback – 7 Feb 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The story relates around Lady Bella Rushdale who finds her experiences with her groom becoming unsatisfying after discovering the new owner of her favorite tristing spot sunbathing naked. From her perch she observes him amusing himself and decides she wants to seduce him or have him seduce her. She finds herself attracted to the blond handsome landowner Lucerne Marlinscar. Upon formal introduction she is invited for a lengthy stay with some other guests at his newly renovated property.
This Bella decides will be the perfect opportunity to put her plan into place with Lucerne. Only to discover among the many other guests an attractive darkly handsome man Marquis (Vaughan) Pennerley also among the guests and with eyes for Lucerne as well. Bella suspects something between the two men but wants to prove to the Marquis Vaughan that Lucerne will choose her.
A great battle of wills between Vaughan and Bella begins for the affections of Lucerne. The tale is well written and you don't know who is a good or bad in the triangle.
Also, add in Louisa, Bella's friend who isn't experienced as her friend and isn't sure about the attentions being thrown her way by Vaughan as well as the man she's infatuated with Wakefield.
I don't want to give more away, but the story is wrought with intrigue and deception with so many twists and turns. The love scenes/sex is very graphic, but also emotional and you feel the emotions of uncertainty/pain/pleasure/vulnerability of some of the cast of characters.
Just thinking of this as an Erotic book is an understatement because there is an underlying story of forbidden love and unrequited love and the lengths people will go to have their desires for another come true.
What I liked about this book is that you could easily remove the graphic scenes from the book (although they are well written) and still have a very interesting book. I found myself concerned for the well beings of the characters and how the story would play out. I enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would and am glad now that I bought it.
I hope Madelynne Ellis writes some more of this style of books. She turned what could be a bodice ripper into an intriguing erotic story that was worth the read and my money.
I had a chance to preview this book before it came out on shelves and I was blown away by the amount of sex scenes that were well written. Madelynne Ellis's way of creating dynamic characters that people will remember is unbeatable. From Vaughn, the deviant of the threesome to Bella's heart tugging inner struggle once she's been given her choice, the reader is taken on a journey from all of the main characters.
This was the second erotic historical I've read and I enjoyed it. The back cover of the book says "A wonderfully decadent piece of historical erotica with a twist" and that it sure was.
Once formerly introduced to her handsome neighbor, Bella set about making it known to Lucerne that she was attracted. She started to make headway, when another suitor for the handsome landowner's attention arrived: Marquis Vaughan Pennerley.
While the idea of two men and herself making love appealed greatly to the promiscuous miss, Vaughan was intent on forcing Bella out of the picture.
Determined to get her man, Bella stood up to her rival and found a passion she never counted on - a passion that could very well consume her, as well as Vaughan and Lucerne. For Vaughan wasn't willing to share, Lucerne wanted them both, and Bella wasn't going to let go without a fight.
In the end, someone would have to compromise - it was only a matter of whom.
Black Lace's intent is to provide quality erotic fiction written by women for women, but A GENTLEMAN'S WAGER is a delight that should be enjoyed by both sexes, provided the men have some attraction to other men. Fiercely passionate, sexually opinionated, and determined to get their own way, the three main characters fairly leap off of the page. Each has their own section of the story to tell and aren't shy about sharing the most intimate details of their sexual exploits and private thoughts.
Madelynne Ellis has woven a truly intricate tale of a love triangle, loyalties and passions divided, and strong willed characters. This is definitely one novel where the author shows you the character's world - instead of merely telling you their story.
Review © Michelle Houston
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 the images and set pieces of historical romance, but always with a unique kink.
Major plus point: this is great 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 has its place in the narrative, rather than being crudely pasted in as an obligatory shag-every-ten-pages. If you�ve read much Nexus/Black Lace, you�ll know what I mean. Also, this book will really appeal to you if you�re at all male or female bi-curious, but it�s not essential. There�s a good mix for everyone.
Into the first few pages I wasn't sure if I was going to like Bella. A lot of Black Lace books have loose heroines with very little sympathy appeal, but I came away liking Bella after the first few chapters when I started to understand why the character was developed the way she was - not sluttish, but just a [...] little mischief. Bella's naughty sexual behavior only fuels Marquis in his competition for Lucerne, which he tries to use to his full advantage in more ways than one...hehe I found myself giggling more than once at Bella and Marquis's high jinx in their efforts to win Lucerne's favor. Marquis is the lovable bad boy in the story.
Not only does Gentleman's Wager have HOT juicy sex with plenty of sexual tension, and biting humor, but loads of romance between the heroine and BOTH heroes. When Lucerne, Bella & Marquis get together for a threesome, WOW! LOVED IT!!! I also found myself liking the sexual tensions and couplings between Lucerne and Marquis as much as I did with Bella and the guys. I'm a straight female who never thought I'd find male on male sex a turn-on, but it was just too darn sexy and beautiful, NOT at all gross. Only thing I didn't like was the one minor lesbian scene in the middle of the book, however it was mild and in good taste...not enough of a big deal to ruin the fun though. I have nothing against lesbian sex; it's just not a turn-on for me.
Madelynne Ellis, weaves a great tale in Gentleman's Wager and there many secondary characters who add even more sexual spice to the mix. Even without the sex, this story would be an enjoyable read. I also recommend, on the Menage a trios male/female/male theme, Menage by Emma Holly and Out Of Bounds by Mandy Dickinson.