A Gentleman’s Game
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In Book One of Romance of the Turf, a refreshing new Regency series from rising star Theresa Romain, a mystery demanding to be solved brings unlikely allies together in more ways than one...
How far will a man go
Talented but troubled, the Chandler family seems cursed by bad luck—and so Nathaniel Chandler has learned to trade on his charm. He can broker a deal with anyone from a turf-mad English noble to an Irish horse breeder. But Nathaniel’s skills are tested when his stable of trained Thoroughbreds become suspiciously ill just before the Epsom Derby, and he begins to suspect his father’s new secretary is not as innocent as she seems.
To win a woman’s secretive heart?
Nathaniel would be very surprised if he knew why Rosalind Agate was really helping his family in their quest for a Derby victory. But for the sake of both their livelihoods, Rosalind and Nathaniel must set aside their suspicions. As Derby Day draws near, her wit and his charm make for a successful investigative team…and light the fires of growing desire. But Rosalind’s life is built on secrets and Nathaniel’s on charisma, and neither defense will serve them once they lose their hearts…
“Utterly charming.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 _ stars, for To Charm a Naughty Countess
“Superbly written...it is easy to see why Romain is one of the rising stars of Regency historical romance.” —Booklist, for To Charm a Naughty Countess
I enjoyed the trip as we saw the gradual path into love.
Opening with a fresh perspective, Theresa Romain gives us the story of two ‘commoners’ who are functioning in the horse-racing world. Nathaniel has a gifted eye for horseflesh and training, and has spent years working to gain his father’s approval. His father received the title of Baronet as recognition, and he’s never wholly approved or trusted him. Sir William has a secretary, Rosalind, daughter of innkeepers and a knowledgeable and trusted employee. More importantly, Sir William treats Rosalind with the respect and attention that he doesn’t afford his son.
A big race is coming up on the horizon, and Nathaniel wants to participate: he’d need to transport the horses to the venue ahead of time, but two issues are cropping up. Horses are suddenly and unexpectedly falling ill with no real cause that can be found, and Sir William does not trust Nathaniel to manage alone. To that end, he assigns Rosalind to both supervise Nathan and the horses, and to discover what is causing the horses to fall ill.
Romain builds this story carefully if a bit unevenly, with information regarding horses and racing being prominent in the first quarter of the novel, setting up the story to come. Both Nathaniel and Rosalind are struggling with their own issues regarding acceptance, their own positions in society, and just whether or not they can take a chance and trust one another. Slowly these two reveal themselves to us and each other: there are secrets galore, insecurities and of course, who is making the horses ill. It was interesting to watch Romain’s process with these two, a gradual unfolding as each revelation builds on the next, fully coloring in the lines that are the characters. With lyrical and descriptive phrasing, an interesting series of issues surrounding more ‘working class’ minded people and their approaches to life and the obvious connection between them, it was easy to get lost and just enjoy the ride.
While the ending did feel a bit overstuffed with revealing the villain and sorting things between Rosalind and Nathaniel, I enjoyed the trip as we saw the gradual path into love.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.