Type: Historical Romance
My Copy: NetGalley
Gently bred Emma Chadwick always assumed she’d live and die the daughter of a gentleman. But when her father’s death reveals a world of staggering debt and dangerous moneylenders, she must risk her good name and put her talent for mathematics to use, taking a position as bookkeeper at London’s most notorious gambling hell. Surrounded by vice and corruption on all sides, it is imperative no one discovers Emma’s shameful secret or her reputation-and her life-will be ruined.
But Roderick Bentley, the hell’s sinfully wealthy owner, awakens a hunger Emma cannot deny. Drawn deep into an underworld of high stakes gambling and reckless overindulgence, she soon discovers that in order to win the love of a ruthless scoundrel, she will have to play the game…and give in to the pleasure of falling from grace.
This is a captivating story that is the start of a new series. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting these two, an unlikely hero and heroine, as they fall in love.
Emma Chadwick is the oldest of three daughters. Her father amassed a large amount of gambling debts and then borrowed money to pay them off before he died. Unfortunately Emma is now being badgered by Mr. Hale about the debt and she wonders how she will pay them. She is also worried about her sisters; she needs them to find husbands so must keep them going to balls for the remainder of the Season. All this requires money, so she obtains a job using her talents with math at a notorious gambling hell.
Roderick Bentley owns a gambling hell, a profitable establishment on its own, but he is also a very good businessman and many of the aristocrats in society come to him for investment knowledge, but on any given day they will look the other way if he came to court their daughters. When his bookkeeper and money disappear, he hires someone who is good with numbers to find the missing money, only to realize the person he hires is the same one he remembers from a ball several weeks prior. Emma was running away from an older man who was all hands, and snuck into a library where Roderick was also hiding. They shared a passionate moment that is difficult to forget.
Emma and Roderick develop a working relationship that melds into something more, but there are obstacles to overcome, he feels they are from a different class and she must find a way out of her money woes before she can think about moving on.
This is the first book I have read by this author and it will not be my last. I like her voice; she creates interesting and thoughtful characters that have passion and spirit, and the story is full of drama and romance.
Emma is a great heroine, she is protective of her sisters and is willing be on the shelf for their sake, hoping they will make good choices in husbands. She is very smart and uses her math skills to obtain a job, along with a bit of gambling on the side to help with finances (as Roderick looks the other way while she counts cards). She has obligations to complete before she can let her feelings for Roderick become known, but it is hard to resist the attraction.
Roderick is amazing; he treats people well and is a very caring person. Yet he has had sorrow and hurt in his past, and feels the bite when he is shunned by society, yet they often ask his advice on business. There were several issues he is dealing with including his attraction to his new hire, but I liked the surprise when his half-brother finally gets his attention. Roderick and Emma’s relationship simmers while they work together but their attraction is too much and they end up being consumed by how they feel about each other.
The pace works well, I enjoyed the buildup of their relationship and of course the mystery and drama the story goes through. I enjoyed the secondary characters the author introduces us to but I am not sure who will be featured in the next book. One of the sisters is involved with some drama with Mr. Hale but there are some unresolved issues that come from this altercation, such what happened to Mr. Hale? Not sure if he was a true bad guy or something else, will he pop up again? This is a great start to a new series and I am looking forward to more about these Fallen Ladies.
I give Luck Is No Lady by Amy Sandas 4 stars!