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Book Title: The Duke's Wager|
The author of the book: Edith Layton
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 856 KB
Edition: Untreed Reads
Date of issue: December 11th 2014
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Read full description of the books The Duke's Wager:In her enthusiasm to see the sights while she's in London, country mouse Regina Berryman accidentally attends the opera on the night where mistresses and the demimonde are on display. Dressed smartly in the fancy clothes her uncle bought her, she unwittingly draws the attention of two of London's most notorious libertines - the Marquess of Bessacarr and the Duke of Torquay. When the duke approaches her to whisper a proposition in her ear, she flees the opera house in a hurry. Torquay, however, is undaunted, and becomes determined to have her as a mistress. Bessacarr, being none too fond of Torquay, becomes determined to have her as well, if only to thwart the duke. Thus begins a twisted love triangle battling to corrupt the innocent Regina.
The book is brilliant in that both men are absolutely despicable in the beginning. Early on, Regina is left completely penniless by her uncle's untimely death. Torquay and Bessacarr both exploit this to their own benefit. Torquay by getting her thrown out of her home and abducting her to try to force her to accept his offer, and Bessacarr by taking her into his home under false pretenses and abusing her trust by pretending to help her find work. One is openly trying to corrupt her, while the other is doing it stealthily. Neither is concerned one whit for what Regina wants.
Regina is a delightful character. She's penniless and powerless, but her well-developed sense of honor and self-worth prevents her from accepting Torquay's offer. She refuses to live as someone's object or pampered pet. She's determined to live an honest, honorable existence, even if she must find employment. She was educated as though she were a son by her schoolmaster father and so meets Torquay's sallies head-on, refusing to be taken as anything less than an equal. As it's all she has left, she clings tenaciously to her dignity.
Layton makes good use of dialog in the novel, using lots of it to draw out who the characters are and why they act the ways they do. Whenever the duke encounters Regina, a war of words breaks out. The two have lengthy, wonderfully written discussions where, though he becomes more and more determined to have her, Torquay also begins to wish she never compromises herself. Eventually he starts to wonder if he even wants to win this game of his. Would she still be so appealing if she consented to be his mistress? What sort of person would that make him, as well, if she did?
I just loved watching these characters grow and change. No one ends this book the way they began, not even the secondary characters. Through well-crafted, meaty dialog we watch the characters struggle with their own senses of honor and self-respect. They all make miscalculations along the way, and though all three try, only two come out better people at the end. It's a rare book that can write a character who manages to go from repulsive to endearing, but Layton pulls it off and makes it look easy.
5 stars. Easy. I couldn't find a flaw if I had a gun to my head.
Read information about the authorEdith Layton wrote her first novel when she was ten. She bought a marbleized notebook and set out to write a story that would fit between its covers. Now, an award-winning author with more than thirty novels and numerous novellas to her credit, her criteria have changed. The story has to fit the reader as well as between the covers.
Graduating from Hunter College in New York City with a degree in creative writing and theater, Edith worked for various media, including a radio station and a major motion picture company. She married and went to suburbia, where she was fruitful and multiplied to the tune of three children. Her eldest, Michael, is a social worker and artist in NYC. Adam is a writer and performer on NPR's Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. Daughter Susie is a professional writer, comedian and performer who works in television.
Publishers Weekly called Edith Layton "one of romance's most gifted writers." Layton has enthralled readers and critics with books that capture the spirit of historically distant places and peoples. "What I've found," she says, "is that life was very different in every era, but that love and love of life is always the same."
Layton won an RT Book Reviews Career Achievement award for the Historical genre in 2003 and a Reviewers' Choice award for her book The Conquest in 2001. Amazon.com's top reviewer called Layton's Alas, My Love (April 2005, Avon Books), "a wonderful historical." And her recent release, Bride Enchanted, is a Romantic Times 2007 Reviewers' Choice Award Nominee.
Edith Layton lived on Long Island where she devoted time as a volunteer for the North Shore Animal League , the world's largest no-kill pet rescue and adoption organization. Her dog Daisy --adopted herself from a shelter-- is just one member of Layton's household menagerie.
Edith Layton passed away on June 1, 2009 from ovarian cancer.
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