Enter the world of the gambler – where stakes are high and all could be lost or gained at the turn of a card. Portia St. Claire’s brother, Oliver is an addicted gambler who loses their estate. In order to try to pay off the debt, Portia and her brother travel to London to ask for help from a family friend.
Bryght Malloren, 2nd in line to the Malloren Fortune is on family business to attempt to retrieve a damning letter in the home of the Earl of Walgrove. He finds instead the short, fiery Portia St. Claire instead who holds a pistol on him and demands he leaves. Sparks fly immediately between these two.
This good is interesting on several levels. First it very accurately portrays the addiction to gambling, the inability to control it, and the dangers of bidding beyond your means. Secondly, and completely unassociated the characters and secondary characters each hold their own weight, are interestingly created and weaved into the story. Unlike the 1st Malloren book (MY LADY NOTORIOUS), Rothgar, the head of the family does not overshadow Bryght who in his own right is sensual, intelligent and handsome. Portia, though not a traditionally beautiful woman has such a fiery nature, though perhaps a bit prudish and still, is a nontraditional heroine.
Though Portia is actually auctioned in a Brothel at one point, for her virginal qualities this book is much lighter on explicit sex then it’s predecessor and indeed the story seems much richer. However, perhaps it is that you truly began to care about this family. And this being book 2, you get to know and like them a lot more!