Two exquisite cousins must exchange identities in a scandalous deception.
Madeline de Lacy, the duchess of Magnus, prides herself on being one of the most sensible young women in England, which is why she can’t believe that, in a turn of the cards, her noble father has lost his entire estate — and her! — to a stranger.
On a mission to salvage her family fortune, she changes places with her cousin and companion, sending the meeker Eleanor to confront the man who had won Madeline’s hand. Now, Madeline is free to enter the home of a notorious gambler, and pretends to be meek, humble, and competent with an iron. She is, of course, none of those things; she simply is resolved to win her family’s fortune back. Just when she thinks matters can’t get worse, she meets Gabriel Ansell, the earl of Campion, and they do. Horribly worse.
Four years ago, Madeline was engaged to Gabriel, and worshiped his arrogant kisses. Now, being forced to marry a man she doesn’t know pales in comparison to the ordeal of facing Gabriel again, the man who betrayed her — Gabriel, the only man she ever loved.
So I pulled this book out of a box and after a couple pages thought to myself, “Hmmm, this seems familiar.” So I read a little bit more and a few pages later I realized that it wasn’t just familiar, I had indeed read this book before. But since I couldn’t really remember what happened I decided to read it again.
This book focuses on Madeline de Lacy and Gabriel Ansell the earl of Campion.
Madeline comes back from 4 years abroad with her cousin Eleanor to find that her father has lost everything in a card game. Everything including her hand in marriage. Madeline and Eleanor set out to talk to Mr. Knight, her future husband. On the way there Madeline hears about The Game of the Century. An impressive card game where a lot of money is on the line. Madeline fears that her father will be there placing the last of the family heirlooms; the queen’s tiara, up as collateral. With this fear she convinces Eleanor that they must switch places. Eleanor will continue on to meet Mr. Knight and Madeline will act as a companion to Thomasin so she can convince her father to leave without gambling.
The party arrives at Chalice Hall where Madeline meets Mr. Rumbelow, the man who is hosting this Game of the Century. This also when she comes face to face to the very reason for her prolonged trip away, Lord Campion. They used to be engaged but Madeline broke the engagement when she discovered Gabriel had been gambling.
The book then goes on about how Madeline isn’t a great companion as she can’t care for dresses, do hair, or other little things. Her and Lord Campion fight their attraction to each other. This is also the time that you find out why Gabriel is there to gamble. This was the part of the book that brought the book from 4 stars down to 3 stars. The author could have really pounded in the suspense but instead she reveals all. It bummed me out.
I don’t want to get to detailed about the last part of the book because of spoilers but overall this was a very enjoyable book to read.