The Lord’s Desperate Pledge


Miss Farnsworth has come to London in hopes of securing a marriage that will help her impoverished family. Carefully using her skill at cards, she’s managed to win enough for a Season and a chance at a wealthy husband. Until she meets Lord Ashworth, an arrogant man almost as good as her at gambling. If only he weren’t so handsome. And so firmly against marriage. Lord Hayes Ashworth has used gambling to pull his father’s estate from the brink of ruin. He’s become well-known for his skill, but his pride suffers when Miss Farnsworth proves the better player. He knows she hasn’t cheated, but he can’t quite believe one of the fairer sex bested him. And Miss Farnsworth is especially fair, enough that the pact he’s made to avoid marriage is most definitely in jeopardy.

This adorable read is perfect for those who like their Regencies light and fun, with only a touch of intrigue. Miss Farnsworth’s skill leads to a number of nice plot twists where her awareness of others and memory turn out to be very useful in other ways, which leads to some unexpected, brief, danger. Lord Ashcroft’s sensible reasons for avoiding marriage and learning how to win every time at the card table makes for some very nice tension with Miss Farnsworth, as well as some tender moments. An interesting subplot involving a gambling establishment also contributes to the story in critical ways. However, the ending feels a bit anticlimactic. In spite of that, this is a sweet love story with lords trying to stay single, genteel gambling, and a lot of fun.

Amanda Carlisle