Get revenge. Pay a debt. Save a soul. Lose your heart.
Spanning centuries and continents, five brand-new novellas from beloved historical romance authors tell the stories of men and women who find themselves wagered in a game of chance and are forced to play for the highest stakes of all: love.
“Gideon and the Den of Thieves” by Joanna Bourne
London, 1793 – Soldier of fortune Gideon Gage has come home from halfway around the world, fully prepared to face down a ruthless gang to save his sister. But there’s one member of the gang he could never have been prepared for: fascinating Aimée, driven from her own home by the French Revolution and desperately in need of his help.
“Raising The Stakes” by Isabel Cooper
California, 1938 — When the flute she won in last night’s poker game unexpectedly summons an elven warrior bound to her service, two-bit con artist Sam takes quick advantage. With Talathan’s fairy powers at her command, her shakedown of a crooked preacher is a sure thing…but would she rather take a gamble on love?
“All or Nothing” by Rose Lerner
England, 1819 – Architect Simon Radcliffe-Gould needs someone to pose as his mistress so he can actually get some work done at a scandalous house party. Irrepressible gambling den hostess Maggie da Silva would rather be his mistress, but she’ll take what she can get…
“The Liar’s Dice” by Jeannie Lin
Tang Dynasty China, 849 A.D. — Lady Bai’s first taste of freedom brings her face to face with murder. A dangerous and enigmatic stranger becomes her closest ally as she investigates the crime, but can she trust her heart or her instincts when everyone is playing a game of liar’s dice?
“Redeemed” by Molly O’Keefe
Denver, 1868 — After agonizing years in the Civil War’s surgical tents, Union doctor James Madison has nothing left to lose. But when beautiful, tortured Helen Winters is the prize in a high-stakes game of poker, he goes all in to save her—and maybe his own soul.
Personal Library Additions
1. Long Gone Girl by Amy Rose Bennett
Heard about this book from a review at Dear Author. Heroine is a Korean War veteran and it's a second chance romance set in the mid to late 1950s. That is my catnip, plus I dig the cover. Only available in Kindle edition.
2. Lowcountry Bordello and Lowcountry Book Club (Liz Talbot Mystery) by Susan M. Boyer
This is where most of my Apple settlement money went to, but I am looking forward to catching up with the gang of Stella Maris, SC.
3. Say Yes to Death (Debutante Drop Out Mystery) by Susan McBride
Apple settlement money went here to; feels like forever since I read a DD Mystery book.
4. When We Touch (Whisky Creek Novella) by Brenda Novak
NOOK freebie. Probably going to start the books in the Whiskey Creek series I have already next month.
5. The Unleashing by Shelly Laurenston
Laurenston did an podcast interview with Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and she seemed like a really great author. I saw this as a NOOK sale or freebie and picked it up.
6. Gambled Away: An Anthology by Various Authors
Someone on my friends list (sorry can't remember who) just reviewed this a few days ago and it seems up my alley. I liked three of the authors in this anthology, so I have a good feeling about this. Kindle edition only.
7. Bitter is the New Black: A Memoir by Jen Lancaster
Recommended by the librarian I trust.
8. Troublemaker by Leah Remini
9. Bossy Pants by TIna Fey
Well, since I picked up Poehler's book, might as well. Plus Grim had a good review of it.
10. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
What I originally intended on picking up when I went to the library.
*idea created by Moonlight Reader
**SusannaG's name for my reading method of late
***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato
All or Nothing by Rose Lerner
This was easily my favorite short story in this anthology and not just because it had a Jewish character and a bi character. There is just something about Rose Lerner’s story-telling style that manages to sweep you off your feet and make you so invested in a story that not even extreme tiredness can stop you from finishing. Her stories are always engaging and rarely ever have dull moments. All or Nothing tells the story of struggling architect Simon Radcliffe-Gould who is starting to feel burned out because he really cannot seem to make a living off of his chosen career. He wins a bet that allows him to ‘have’ Maggie da Silva for the time period in which her best friend (and sexual partner) is gone taking care of business and instead of taking advantage, he basically takes her to his ex flame’s house party so he doesn’t have to deal with him and his advances. Basically, a slow burn kind of romance happens between Maggie and Simon as they learn more about each other and sparks fly. YAY.
The Liar’s Dice by Jeannie Lin
This short story was really fucking great. It wasn’t my favorite but it came really really close. It isn’t as romance oriented, focuses more on the mystery aspect, is set in China (AND NOT IN the UK/US where most HRs seem to be set) and has a wonderful, dark atmosphere. The subtle romance is just enough to get my heart beating and I REALLY REALLY want an entire novel with the two main characters of this short story. I need to know all the things about them. Either way, I know I have a new author to add to my TBR list.
Raising The Stakes by Isabel Cooper
I don’t really know how I felt about Raising the Stakes. I don’t usually mind magic in my HRs but the magical elements in this short don’t really work for me. Sam, the mc, is pretty darn awesome and badass in that she is a con artist but Talathan--who is fae (I think???)--does not work for me at all as a character. I have 0 emotional attachment to him and therefore care nothing about his presence and contribution to the story. I do think that is just a ‘me’ thing though.
Redeemed by Molly O’Keefe
If you like tortured heros and heroines, this short will 100% be for you. The best part about this short story is that just because the characters are ‘tortured’ doesn’t mean they are angsty. O’Keefe does a great job of characterizing them through and outside their torturedness. They have legit reasons to be the way they are given the horrors they have lived through but they also exist outside of those bad things. They can both be charming, sweet, courageous and awesome. The best thing about this short story is that even though is technically a short story, it is well plotted and well thought out. It functions like an entire novel instead of just a short novella that leaves you wanting more. Basically Redeemed is another winner for this anthology.
Gideon and the Den of Thieves by Joanna Bourne
In theory, I like a lot about this short story but really, I struggled with it because it almost seemed too lengthy. This short story is exciting, features a rescue and lots of other fun things but I literally did not connect with the MC and the love interest. They seemed very bland and more like plot devices than actual characters. It makes sense because the plot of this short is great but the characters made it so that I couldn’t actually enjoy this short in the ways I wanted to. That isn’t to see that all the characters sucked but the two that I should have liked, I couldn’t and that made it really hard to enjoy this story.
Overall, with me more than liking ⅗ of the short stories in this anthologies, I can safely say that Gambled Away is a winner. It features diversity of characters and locations and very well worth the read if you love your Historical Romance as much as I do!
Note that I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
The Titan Series: Military Romance Box Set: (3 novels + 2 novellas) by Cristin Harber, Synopsis
Sexy Alphas in a New Military Romance and Romantic Suspense Series
#1 Amazon Romantic Suspense Bestseller
Top 100 Bestsellers list for USA Today, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo, iTunes, Kobo, and All Romance
The Titan Series, books 1-5: Winters Heat, Garrison's Creed, Westin's Chase, Gambled, & Chased
After putting her life on the line to protect classified intelligence, military psychologist Mia Kensington is on a cross-country road trip from hell with an intrusive save-the-day hero. She'd rather take her chances without the ruggedly handsome, cold-blooded operative who boasts an alpha complex and too many guns.
Colby Winters, an elite member of The Titan Group, has a single objective on his black ops mission: recover a document important to national security. It was supposed to be an easy in-and-out operation. But now, by any means necessary becomes a survival mantra when he faces off with a stunning woman he can't leave behind.
When Titan's safe houses are compromised, Colby stashes Mia at his home, exposing his secret--he's the adoptive father of an orphaned baby girl. Too soon, danger arrives and Mia lands in the hands of a sadistic cartel king with a taste for torture. As hours bleed into fear-drenched days, Colby races across the globe and through a firestorm of bullets to save the woman he can't live without.
Nicola is an injured CIA agent on the run from a failed undercover operation. Her escape plan shatters when she slams into the man who buried her a decade ago. Cash Garrison. Her first and only love. Now, sexier than her best memory and cradling a sniper's rifle, he has questions she can't answer. Why was she alive? And armed?
Cash is an elite member of a black ops organization, The Titan Group. He thought Nicola died his senior year of college and swore off love to focus on a decade of military missions. But when she shows up behind enemy lines, bleeding out and wielding a weapon, his heart and mind are unsure how to proceed.
Titan and the CIA join forces to uncover a mole hidden in a network of international terrorists and homegrown mobsters, teaming Cash and Nicola againWhen disaster strikes, Nicola's hidden past makes her the hunted target and Cash's best kill shot may not be enough to save them.
Jared Westin knows his reputation and likes it. He gets the job done. No emotion. No baggage. That's why his elite ops company, The Titan Group, is better than the best. They complete projects classified as mission impossible.
And then, in walks a woman as tough as she is sexy. His counterpart in every way, should he choose to admit it.
Ousted undercover ATF agent Lilly Chase only answers to "Sugar." Jared is the only man who can see past her leather-and-lipstick demeanor, and that revelation is terrifying. She was fired for helping Titan on a questionable arrest she should've ignored, then partnered with Jared's rival on an assignment in Afghanistan.
Saving Sugar isn't a normal rescue operation. It pits Titan against its rival, Jared against his nemesis. Chasing Sugar's heart isn't a simple task, either. She fights him, fights them, always ready to run. Jared must risk his life to save her--the woman whose bravado and surprising sweetness has given him the one thing he never had. Love.
Brock Gamble's epic fall from the Titan Group labeled him a traitor, then his wife walks out the door. Can the couple survive if the only chance of redemption is a fall further into a world of guns and kidnappings?
Jenny Chase and Asher McIntyre: can two hearts on opposite career paths survive while Asher's enemy seeks to destroy them both?
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