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THE WICKED GAMES OF A GENTLEMAN
JILLIAN HUNTER
ISBN# 0-345-48760-5
October 2006
Ballantine Books
1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
Mass Market Paperback
$6.99
371 Pages
Historical Romance
Rating: 4 Cups

Eloise is to Thalia Thornton’s companion. Thalia is engaged to be married but is determined to ruin herself. Eloise longs for the days when she was the companion to Thalia’s great-aunt and curses the day that she agreed to take on this job. The one bright spot is the possibility that she will soon be assistant headmistress at Lady Lynley’s academy for young ladies.

Drake Boscastle has been in negotiations for the favors of the infamous Maribella St. Ives for some time now. The dissolute rake is looking forward to their assignation this evening, but his plans are sidetracked first by a pretty companion in search of her charge and then by the younger brother of his late best friend. The young man has been accused of cheating at cards and has picked him as his second.

Eloise only has to get through three more weeks with her current charge before she is free to pursue a new career as a teacher. Due to “the incident” in her past, she is very careful of her reputation and that of her charge. She meets Drake Boscastle at a party and is immediately tempted. Drake made a career of tempting women and is challenged by the pretty companion. He is determined to change her mind about her future career as a teacher to that as his mistress.

This is one of the best historical romances that I have read this year. The characters are all very human, some more than others. The author portrays the society of the time with a sense of fun that is wonderful. I found myself laughing aloud at some points in the book. The romance and love scenes are equally well done. Eloise and Drake are very likable characters with a lot of chemistry. The Thorntons, the Boscastles and their servants all enhance the story. The colorful Maribella was wonderful. I really enjoyed my introduction into the world of the Boscastles and am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

Maura
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books