The Wicked Wager
Author: Anya Wylde
Obtained: Free ebook review copy from author
Emma Grey and the earl, Lord Richard Hamilton, are engaged to be married. But Emma's uncle, the Duke of Arden, would like a longer engagement spent at his home. This will give Emma a chance to think things through and find out if this is really what she wants. Unfortunately, the earl is completely opposed to a long engagement. So he comes up with a plan. He'll go under disguise as a gardener among the duke's personnel. What follows is a series of twists and turns from one crazy scenario to another.
Anya Wylde first approached me via Facebook about reading and possibly reviewing this book. It sounded like it fit my reading preferences so perfectly. I quickly said yes - only to take well over a month to read the book. My personal life decided to take that moment to go crazy, and my attention span went kaput. I finally pushed through the mental blocks enough to actually read the book. And this is what I found...
The book was described to me as "a humorous murder mystery & romance set in Regency England." This is an accurate description. I found parts throughout the story amusing, particularly one scene featuring the earl's friend, Lord Raikes. And while Emma and the earl's engagement take place early on, the story does still manage to be a romance. Not only the romance of the main couple with their various attempts to see each other, but also the secondary romance of Emma's cousin, Catherine and... well I'll leave that for you to find out. Now for the murder mystery part, the murder portion of things doesn't occur until close to 50 pages before the end. The book than takes a turn into a line of inquiry that reminded me something of the Ellery Queen mystery I read, with each deductive thought shared until there is but one possible answer. Prior to the murder there is some mystery about what is going on with the duke's other guests, and this is all revealed at this point as well.
I had a slow start, but I'm going to attribute that to all the emotional clutter in my head and life. Beyond that, I enjoyed the story.