Gamble of Hearts

Romance - Historical
290 Pages
Reviewed on 08/12/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite

Gamble of Hearts by Virginia Ann Barlow is about Lady Amora Hargrove and the Duke of Ravencroft’s unexpected romance. After their parents died, Amora’s abusive and gambling older brother Nathan took her to London. However, his plans for Amora were for his financial gain by disguising her as Madame Pari, who never lost when playing cards. Nathan kept the proceeds. One Sunday morning, Nathan was rushing about the house, loading up all his valuables, when the Duke of Ravencroft came to collect his winnings. Nathan had lost everything to him, including Amora. Alexander asked about Amora, thinking it was a boat or a piece of property. Now responsible for the battered young woman, he announced a large dowry before leaving her at his home. Several weeks later, he returned home to find Amora recovered, and she took his breath away.

Virginia Ann Barlow described Amora's inner turmoil in great detail. Amora’s fear of rejection and being put out on the street was understandable. Her brother’s crimes were a significant barrier in preventing her from fitting into high society. It shocked me to learn that human trafficking existed in 1812. Amora’s genuine, kind nature was endearing. Likewise, Lord Antony reminded me of a young schoolboy when he collaborated with Amora to court Lady Sarah. The suspense became more intense when Amora meets more than just the man who won her as a prize from her brother’s gambling. Alexander’s behavior in distancing himself from Amora after they engaged in a kiss baffled me. The vivid imagery of the surroundings enabled me to imagine how the various events could have taken place. Gamble of Hearts will appeal to fans of slow-burn romances set during the Regency era in London.