About the Book:
Title: A Wager with an Earl
Author: Tammy Andresen
Series: Lords of Temptation #5
Page Length: 170
Publication Date: July 11, 2023
Synopsis: He’s the most notorious rake in all of London…
Which is why every lord of the realm wants to be friends with the Earl of Somersworth. He’s the life of every ballroom and backroom gaming hell alike. The problem? When he needs a fiancée, not one of those so-called friends will let him anywhere near their sisters or daughters because everyone knows he can’t be trusted.
So when Viscount Northville practically tosses his niece in Somersworth’s path, he’s suspicious. There must be something wrong with the lady. Sure, she’s beautiful, and built for sin, but she can’t be right in the head to consider him for a husband.
Turns out, she isn’t. Considering him that is. The moment they’re alone, she tells him that she would rather die miserable and alone than marry him. But she does have a bargain in mind. She’ll help him clean up his reputation long enough to find a suitable lady and he’ll help her to secretly participate in all the fun that debutantes are denied. She’s got a list:
A masquerade ball.
A tryst in the library.
A moonlight kiss.
It’s his kind of deal.
The only other problem? Turns out, she’s his kind of lady…
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A Wager with an Earl follows the notorious rake, Ethan, the Earl of Somersworth, and Natalie, niece of Viscount Northville. Ethan and Natalie have a not-so-meet-cute that definitely leaves a bad impression. When a drunk Ethan gets sick on Natalie’s dress, he more than lives up to his rakish reputation. Unfortunately, Natalie’s not impressed. In fact, she claims she’d rather live alone than marry a man like Ethan. However, after making a bet and spending more time together, the pair realizes they might just be a perfect match.
Ethan has only six months to procure a wife, or he loses his inheritance, and Natalie is being pressured to marry a titled gentleman. So, he and Natalie make a bet that if Ethan does not drink, he can fake court Natalie to improve his reputation. I always love the fake dating trope! There’s so much tension and angst, especially once they realize their feelings and don’t know if the other person feels the same way. Natalie and Ethan are a fantastic example. Their opposites-attract romance has so much chemistry, and their banter and conversations are filled with attraction and sexual tension.
Ethan and Natalie are very much opposites, and they don’t have much in common. She is a rule follower, and he is a rebel. She does what her family and society expect, and he refuses to conform or change. But it’s pretty clear that both aren’t entirely happy. I love how Ethan helps Natalie break out of her shell and have a little adventure, and how Natalie tames Ethan and shows him how to have fun without being a scandalous rake.
I actually think Ethan is influenced by several people on his trip, and his health and life, in general, are better for it. Both characters grow and change a lot throughout the story, and they have such a positive effect on each other. It was fantastic to see both of them look past the superficial to the substance and layers underneath. They also begin to see things from different perspectives, and they became more understanding, insightful, and open-minded.
In addition to the swoon-worthy romance, there’s a bit of mystery that, if you have read the other books in the series, is part of the over-arching plot. However, if you haven’t read any of the other books, there’s enough context to easily read each as a standalone. I started the series with book three, and I had no problem picking up what had happened. Now, I’m really curious to see how this mystery plays out and if they catch the nefarious villains that are a constant threat.
This is a great addition to the series! I loved the layered and likable protagonists, their swoon-tastic romance, the mystery, and the intrigue. The secondary characters are great too, and I love that we’re able to catch up with a few of my faves from the other books. There are so many wonderful personalities and love stories, and I can’t wait to see who the next book is about!
Special thanks to Tammy Andresen for gifting me a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.
- The romance!
- The characters.
For her, it doesn’t matter what you were. It matters what you become.
- opposites attract
- fake dating