by Miranda Jarrett
Cassia Penny and her two sisters run a fashionable gaming house for London's elite. The stylish, elegant atmosphere of the house has caught the eye of Richard Blackley, a self-made millionare who is determined to become a member of the ton. Learning that Cassia herself is responsible for the chic house, he is convinced that she is the only designer who will refurbish his home. But when Cassia refuses, Richard places a wager for Cassia's talent and wins. Soon Cassia is turning his house into a grand estate, but Richard quickly discovers that the best ornamentation for his home is Cassia herself.
Rake's Wager did not pull me into the story as quickly as I had hoped. I read the first hundred pages disliking Cassia and Richard. They both were stubborn and arrogant to a fault. They were constantly bickering, and Richard's conceit and lusty treatment of Cassia was too much for me to bear. There was no warmth in their interactions except for physical desire until at least midway through the book when the wager was struck. Then the story turned and the two characters started admitting that their attraction for the other was more than just sexual. However, by this point, I had lost interest. This story could have used more character development from the beginning of the book.
“Betting against a rake is always an adventure.”
March 2005, 298 pages
Cassia Penny runs a fashionable gaming house in Regency London. Her inspired style has always set the fashion – which is just the sort of talent Richard Blackley needs.
Blackley is a self-made millionaire, determined to establish himself as a proper London gentleman. When Cassia loses a wager, he collects by demanding her services to refurbish his decrepit estate, but finds her beauty the most gracious adornment his home could have.
Now, as she transforms the old house, she transforms Richard, as well. The unlikely pair are drawn together until an old secret from Richard's past reappears. Will it tear them apart, or unite them forever?