Thursday, September 8, 2016

Review: The Double Wager by Mary Balogh

The Double Wager by Mary Balogh
Publication Date: Digital Reissue Published August 23, 2016 (originally published in 1985)
Publisher: Signet
Amazon Link: HERE
Received From: Purchased

Summary (from Amazon):
The Double Wager is the digital reissue of a perviously published and long out-of-print novel by New York Times Bestselling author Mary Balogh.

Henrietta Tallan has always preferred the company of her brother and his rough-and-tumble friends to that of other ladies. She rebels at the prospect of making her debut into London society and the great marriage mart. However, when her brother's friends challenge her to entice the toplofty, unattainable Duke of Eversleigh into offering her marriage within six weeks, she recklessly accepts and wagers her beloved horse.

The Duke of Eversleigh, who has always adamantly proclaimed his determination never to marry, is beginning to feel the pull of duty and the need to produce an heir. His friends do not believe he will give in so easily, however, and wager with him that he will not make a marriage offer within a month.

When Henrietta deliberately collides with the duke in a London ballroom, then, each is intent upon winning a wager—without any thought to what will happen after it is won.

When Marius, the Duke of Eversleigh, declares he wants to get married in order to beget heirs, his friends are in disbelief, so they wager he won't make an offer of marriage before the end of the month. Henry (Henrietta) is at the other end of a bargain, where she wagers her horse against getting the Duke of Eversleigh to offer her marriage. She "accidentally" bumps into him at a ball to get to know him, and Marius is enchanted with Henry from the beginning because she can humor him while no one else can. Henry also finds Marius attractive, but her inexperience makes her wary of any romantic activities. Will two wagers turn into love or will their differences be too difficult to overcome?

The Double Wager was originally written and published in 1985 and is now out of print. They recently brought back the book in a digital reissue so fans of Mary Balogh could read her earlier works. And while I am a fan of Mary Balogh, I wasn't a fan of this book. The characters and plot seemed outdated and the quality of Balogh's writing in this one doesn't compare to her newer works. I also didn't feel like the writing was as polished or as smooth as I expect in a historical romance, and I had some serious problems with the characters. Henry's a tomboy, but I would have liked to see more spunk, and Marius was a little too bland for my liking.

Overall, I wouldn't recommend The Double Wager unless you're a fan of Mary Balogh and want to read her earlier works.



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