(Lords of Chance #2)
Percival Stanley, Earl of Markham/Lady Clarissa Laithe
My Rating: 5/5 stars
Lady Clarissa has decided to live life on her terms. After the end of a ten-year betrothal, she wants nothing to do with marriage or the men of the ton. Least of all her friend’s brother, the very charming Lord Markham, or Hearts, as many ladies call the oh-so-handsome earl.
Markham pursues relationships with no ties that bind. Acting the rake leaves everyone satisfied…until he overhears a wager that could lead to Clarissa’s ruin. He can’t help but step in and claim she’s his intended bride.
Clarissa is appalled. She did not need to be saved. Reluctantly, she agrees to the fake courtship, if only to experience what the rakish Markham can offer. But when lust becomes love, Clarissa must make up her own terms and bet it all on Hearts.
Heart’s Desire is the second book in the Lords of Chance series by author Wendy LaCapra. After reading Mrs. Sartin’s Secretary and catching a glimpse of Lord Markham, I was intrigued to learn more about him!
Percival Stanley the Earl of Markham is a rake and everyone knows it… except for Markham. When he comes to the realization that in fact, he is a rake, he’s rather angry and decides to take better care. He has spent the last five years working hard to get his crumbling estate out of debt. His sisters are thriving… at least they are now… and he knows that soon he will need to start looking for a bride.
Lady Clarissa Laithe at the age of seven was promised to the son of the neighboring Marquess, at 10 she was orphaned, at 20 her betrothal she had prepared for her entire life was broken, and then finally her only brother abandons her when he abruptly leaves Britain. She’s rather disenchanted by society and has had quite enough of men who think only of themselves.
Well, what a surprise this story was! I knew after the last story I read, that Markham was a rake. What I didn’t expect was a young man who’s not exactly happy once he realizes the truth of how people view him. I liked Markham! He had a huge burden placed on his shoulders at a very young age and has done the best he could under the circumstances. He’s a good man, who loves his sisters. When Lady Clarissa is almost ruined, he steps in to save her and it forces these two into a false courtship. As for Clarissa, I did like her and I understood her fears of not wanting to be dependent on someone else and her determination to live on her own terms. I loved watching these two try to avoid and ignore the awareness between them and fail miserably. They were a cute couple and their romance was fun to watch as it blossomed, especially because it took them both by surprise. I absolutely loved Markham allowing Clarissa the control she needed to learn to trust him. He was a fabulous hero! There are some fabulous secondary characters, witty banter, and a clue at the end of this book on who might be the focus for the next book in this series! Definitely a fun read and looking forward to the next book in this series!
Heart’s Desire by Wendy LaCapra: