Viscount's Wager (Gambling on Love #3) by Ava March

London, 1822

You never forget your first love, but is a second chance worth the gamble?

Anthony, Viscount Rawling, knows exactly what he wants in life and he isn't above having a look about London for it. When he spots recently widowed Gabriel Tilden at a ton function, he thinks he might have found love…again.

Gabriel is as gorgeous and reserved as he was when he broke Anthony's heart seven years ago. But they were only adolescents then…surely Anthony won't hold the incident against him. And especially not when the attraction between them is stronger than ever.

Gabriel came to London in search of distraction, and a teasing Anthony is impossible to resist. As Anthony introduces Gabriel to the pleasures that can be found in the city—and in his bedchamber—their bond deepens into something more. Yet both men are hiding secrets that could pull them apart forever…





Primarily what I'm feeling is an overwhelming sense of ambivalence.

I didn't love it or hate it.

Actually, I was flummoxed as to why I was having such a blasé reaction to this story until Max and Tristan made an appearance. If I'm completely honest, what I enjoyed most were the parts with the couples from books 1 and 2. The minute, the second Max started getting all bossy and grumble-y I knew. 

It's these characters. I'm a character person. Give me at least one good character that I can sink my teeth into and even if the story isn't up to snuff chances are I'll still be enthusiastic. Neither of these characters did a thing for me.

It started off with the premise which I found flimsy. Anthony and Gabriel meet and share a swim in a pond and a kiss when they're 16 and 18, respectively. If anyone else just got the pond scene from A Room with a View in their head, you're not alone. The next day Anthony stumbles across Gabriel kissing a girl whom he subsequently marries. Anthony's understandably upset but then begins 7 yrs worth of moping about the one that got away. I mean, he's not celibate or anything, but he's never satisfied. I find this a tad far-fetched but I'm willing to cede the point and go with the destiny trope.

I love the destiny trope!

Then Gabriel's wife suddenly dies and he fortuitously runs into Anthony in London. And Anthony acts like not a day has passed!




No talking? No questions? No why the hell did you kiss that floozy?

Nope.

Just piss poor communication EXCEPT when it comes to sex. No problem discussing the "intimate matters" and being tenacious about it too.




Their communication issues coupled with their lack of vibrancy, zip, zing, what have you, left a sour taste in my mouth.

I'm sympathetic to their struggles, though they are largely self-inflicted. Then again, that is wont to be the case in this genre. I'm happy they got their HEA. I appreciate the hopeful message of the book, but they are beige. They will live happily ever after in their beige house with beige furniture and have beige fields of barley surrounding them. They will, however, have some toe curling sex which I suspect will lead them to Kinksville in no time. I can always count on Ms. March to bring the hotness.

The writing is lovely as I've come to expect from this author, but I wholeheartedly agree with my buddy reader, Adam, that this final book of the series is unnecessarily fattened up and not in a meaningful way. It could use a stern editor to excise some of the extraneous verbiage. 

I am sorry I didn't love it as much as I expected to since I was so looking forward to it, but it was nice to see all of them together one last time and this will remain one of my favorite historical series.




An ARC was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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2 comments:

  1. This was on my TBR list but only 3*? I've moved it down the list, there's others that I NEED to read, this one is only a maybe now. Great review.

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    1. I didn't think it was as good as the first 2.

      *shrugs*

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