Thursday, February 5, 2015

Review - Reckless Wager by Christy Carlyle

Reckless Wager
by Christy Carlyle
Series: Whitechapel Wagers, #3
Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)
Release Date: December 29, 2014

Unlucky in love and estranged from his family, Detective Sergeant Benjamin Quinn is obsessed with solving the Ripper crimes. When he’s suspended from the Metropolitan Police, it’s another failure in a long line of disappointments. But a new mystery arises when a beautiful widow shows up at the most infamous pub in Whitechapel seeking his help. He’s determined to assist Kate Guthrie, and equally determined to quell his growing attraction to her.

Kate Guthrie hides painful secrets from her first marriage and has avoided matrimony for nearly ten years. Now she’s finally decided it’s time to remarry and move on with her life, even if it means giving up the charity clinic work in Whitechapel that makes her days worthwhile. But when a battered young woman turns up at the clinic claiming to have been attacked by Jack the Ripper, Kate seeks out Detective Sergeant Benjamin Quinn, a man who sparks feelings in her too potent to deny.

I just love stories with strong women and Kate certainly fit that bill – especially with respect to the time period she was living in. Kate carries the scars from a short but abusive marriage, and has long since given up hope of finding love, but feels it’s time she settles down again, even if it means giving up her charity work at the clinic, which has become her true passion.

Ben has followed his passion but has sacrificed his family and his chance for love because of it. Rather than follow in family tradition and become a lawyer, he has chosen to become a police detective, which has driven a wedge between him and his family and has driven the woman he loved in to the arms of another man.

When Ben and Kate meet, the attraction between the two have them both rethinking their position on love – something neither of them want to even consider. It was fun watching Ben and Kate dance around the attraction, and I loved Ben finding it beyond himself to stop from acting on it. Once Kate has caught his eye he just can’t help himself…he’s totally taken with her and can’t seem to control his actions!
She bit her lower lip, just piercing the edge of it with straight, white teeth, and a surge of desire assaulted him. Ben tensed, held still, and waited for the ache to ease. No woman had as much as caught his eye in an age, and now this tiny, out-of-place lady had him dissecting the shade of her eyes.
Of course family relationships and external factors conspire to get in their way, and when Kate needs to decide on a marriage proposal from a man who does nothing to stir her heart or following her passion – which may or may not include a certain police detective – Kate must look inside her heart and decide if love and passion are two things she can live without. Watching Kate make decisions and take action on things made me smile – as I said, I love strong heroines and even though Kate has not had it easy, she constantly stood up for herself and made her own way.

I don’t read a lot of historical fiction, but this was a quick, fun read that sprinkled in a bit of history and did a nice job setting the time period and creating a picture of what the Whitechapel area looked and even smelled like. I loved some of the impropriety of the story– the scandal of a woman going to Whitechapel alone! I also liked the other characters in the book as well – Kate’s brother and his wife, Ben’s sister, and Ben’s boss all added to the depth of the story.

I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review.

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