Published by WebMotion on April 11th 2017
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Disguised as a country miss, Charlotte Devon flees London, desperate to leave her tattered reputation behind. In Scotland, her estranged father’s noble blood will finally make her a respectable debutante. Except she finds herself accidentally wed to a devil-may-care rogue with a sinful smile. He’s the last thing she needs…and everything her traitorous heart desires.
Charming rake Anthony Fairfax is on holiday to seek his fortune…and escape his creditors. When an irresistible Lady Luck wins him in a game of chance—and a slight mishap has them leg-shackled by dawn—the tables have finally turned in his favor. But when past demons catch up to them, holding on to new love will mean destroying their dreams forever.
The single title 2017 release is an expanded "Author Edition" of the story that first appeared in the Scandal's Daughters anthology.
Charlotte harrumphed to hide her amusement. “How are you at pressing wrinkles from gowns?”
“Let me assure you,” Mr. Fairfax informed her with utter seriousness, “that I have never worn a wrinkled gown in all my life.”
“Very gentlemanly.” She tried not to smile. “Let’s see your skill as maid-of-all-work, then. My gowns are in the wardrobe, as is my traveling iron. See what you can do.”
“At your service.” He bowed, then turned and marched to the wardrobe like a soldier off to war.
Now that he couldn’t see her, she let herself grin. The man was incorrigible… but she couldn’t help but find his frankness humanizing and his silliness refreshing. “You’re certain you know what you’re about with those gowns?”
“You will think my valet pressed them,” he called back in a tone filled with such portent that Charlotte half expected her muslins to be dotted with burns in the shape of smoothing irons.
It would almost be worth it, just to have this one night. This memory of a man above her station treating her as if she were above his. Of being an equal, rather than an object incapable of feelings or rights of her own. Of feeling… happy. She hugged herself in astonishment. When was the last time she’d felt safe enough and carefree enough to be happy?
She gazed wistfully at his strong back as he placed the iron in the fire. He smoothed out the first gown on the chaise longue before dampening the wrinkled material with water from the pitcher.
A man like this was even more dangerous than the sort who usually approached her, she realized in surprise. A man like this wouldn’t just take what he wanted. He’d make her want to give it to him of her own free will. Desire him. Long for his kisses. Plead for more.
She forced herself to look away.
No. She would not be like her mother. She had promised herself that the first time she’d seen her mother cry. Charlotte’s life would be different. She’d find a way to be respectable if it killed her.
Which meant keeping her distance from the tempting Mr. Fairfax. No matter what happened.
For your chance to win a digital copy of The Duke’s Accidental Wife, just answer this question:
What, if anything would you sacrifice for love?
Lord of Chance is the first book in the Rogues to Riches series by Erica Ridley .
Anthony Fairfax is a bit of a rake and a lot of a gambler. He’s only ever been able to manage to help his family to pay bills etc by winning on card games. Recently his luck has been horrendous and he’s on the run from particularly nasty debt collectors. In an inn on one particular night his luck changes for the better. He credits the change to a good luck charm in the form of a beautiful stranger sitting at the sidelines of the room. Every hand of cards he is dealt, he has a winner. Even when the beautiful woman joins in to play all is going well until he ends up winning all of the woman’s money. In an effort to be fair, he allows her to play a hand after making a ridiculously small wager, to his utter horror, he goes all in with his money and LOSES. He manages to persuade her to be as kind to him as he was to her and to allow him to play one more hand. He wagers that if he loses he will be her slave for the night. He loses!
Miss Charlotte Devon is the woman he loses to, she is fleeing London because her mother is a well known courtesan and as she looks like her mother people are mistaking them and are treating her like they do her.. She doesn’t know who her father is, but knows he is in Scotland, and that jewels her mother gave her are his family heirlooms. Charlotte thinks if she is seen around the place with the jewels on maybe her father or people who know of the family, who are nobility, will spot her. It’s a fairytale story she wants, she wants to find her father, for him to welcome her with open arms, despite never even meeting her, and she wants the respect due from being the daughter of a Noble man rather than the attitude she gets from being the daughter of a courtesan.
When she and Anthony meet there is an attraction, but most importantly is they are both needy of money, money which they lose to each other. Charlotte also has the feeling that somebody is following her, and unable to afford a maid to travel with her, she is very nervous about being on her own. When Anthony becomes hers for the night, the only thing she wants is for him to escort her to her room in the Inn to make sure she isn’t accosted. Due to circumstances the couple find themselves in the hallway telling people that they are married to each other. Unknown to either of them, in Scotland that makes them officially married!
What follows is the glorious story of how their relationship develops, and of Anthony’s attempt to gain enough money to pay off his debts before he ends up in debtors prison. Charlotte still needs to find her father, but something she finds out from Anthony makes her realise that her search has been in vain. Heartbroken she may be, but her focus now must be to help Anthony. They have only got a fortnight to pay off the debt, even if she sells her jewels, it won’t make anything like the amount of money needed to get Anthony off the hook. How on Earth are they going to be able overcome the scenario they are in? The more time they spend together the more their feelings grow for each other too, Charlotte can’t lose Anthony to debtors prison, but if she does, she will do everything in her power to get him out, no matter how long it takes.
I adored this story, I loved how Charlotte could push past Anthony’s barriers to make him see that people won’t only love him or want to be around him when he has money and can give them things. I too love how Anthony shows Charlotte that despite her background she is worthy of love and worthy of sacrifice. This was truly a beautiful romance but with the added bonus of a bit of danger and intrigue as subplots. This is just the first book in this series, and it has me wanting very much to read the rest as soon as I can.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers’ copy of this book.