Monday, August 10, 2015

ARC Review: Viscount's Wager (Gambling on Love 3) by Ava March

London, 1822

You never forget your first love, but is a second chance worth the gamble?

Anthony, Viscount Rawling, knows exactly what he wants in life and he isn't above having a look about London for it. When he spots recently widowed Gabriel Tilden at a ton function, he thinks he might have found love…again.

Gabriel is as gorgeous and reserved as he was when he broke Anthony's heart seven years ago. But they were only adolescents then…surely Anthony won't hold the incident against him. And especially not when the attraction between them is stronger than ever.

Gabriel came to London in search of distraction, and a teasing Anthony is impossible to resist. As Anthony introduces Gabriel to the pleasures that can be found in the city—and in his bedchamber—their bond deepens into something more. Yet both men are hiding secrets that could pull them apart forever.

Dani's rating:

Gambling on Love is one of my favorite M/M series, and I've been anticipating Anthony and Gabriel's story for months.

I'm a slut for Ava March books; they are the perfect blend of sharp writing, dirty sex, and romantic fluff.

"Don't," Gabriel begged. "Please, don't ... I will give you everything I can. Everything that I am."

As in the other two books in the series, the dual POV works very well here. I'm not sure I could have forgiven Gabriel for how he initially treated Anthony had I not been able to see what was going on inside his head.

Gabriel is a bundle of guilt. He feels guilty for leaving Anthony, for being freed (under unhappy circumstances) from his loveless marriage, for giving in to his desires.

The guilt drives Gabriel to gambling hells, and his self-destructive behavior spirals out of control.

Even as I wanted to shake Gabriel, I wanted to hug Anthony. Anthony is open, caring, and forgiving. The way he accepts Gabriel seven years later ... let's say I couldn't be that generous. But Anthony has secrets of his own, and he's too ashamed to discuss them with anyone.

The first half of the book is frustrating to read, because Gabriel keeps running, but once he decides to trust Anthony, the connection between the men shines through.

I loved seeing Max and Tristan, as well as Jack and Will, from the first two books here. Jack Morgan is one of my favorite MCs, and he was pretty badass here.

This book didn't disappoint, although if pressed I would say I liked it a little less than the first two. The sex was plentiful, but not as passionate as in the first two books, and Gabriel's guilt was a little hard to take.

But the HEA was blinding. Anthony and Gabriel's term of endearment for each other had me reaching for a tissue. Total feel-good ending!

P.S. These books shouldn't be read as standalones, although this one works better as a standalone than the other two.

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An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

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