Genres: M/M Romance
Published by Carina Press
Released on August 10, 2015
Dare he hope that this time around the widower, Gabriel Tilden, will choose him? Or will he leave Anthony with a crushed heart and hopes like last time. It has been seven years since the young Anthony fell for Gabriel, but learned that his love was not returned. In the meantime, he moved to London, ascended to the Viscountcy on his father’s death, took care of his family, and continued his search for The One. One glimpse of Gabriel lets him know that he was very much right the first time.
Gabriel is living his own personal form of hell. For the last six months- no, for the last seven years, he has been living a lie and paying for it by his own sense of guilt and the knowledge that he betrayed the one he truly loved out of fear. He tried to escape all the sympathy and pity by going to London to stay with his sister for the Season, but here again, people want to commiserate with him on the death of the wife he never loved and never wanted. Not that he wanted her to die, but the guilt over feeling the fresh air of being free weighs him down. And that’s all before he spies Anthony across the room. By all rights, the man should hate the sight of him, but instead Anthony is kind and friendly. Do they have another chance? Or what if they do? He has secrets that can crush any chances. And Anthony might have a big secret of his own.
Alright, so this third installment in the Gambling on Love series was obviously a doozy and I expected that. This writer packs her stories with heart, pain, hard fought romance, and growth. I love what she brings to historical erotic romance with her realistic situations, attention to detail, and the dynamics of love, passion, and power in the bedroom. This one could be read out of order, but it would be more engaging in order because then the reader would know the backstory of the others who play secondary roles in the story.
This story was an interesting romance between a man who knew he was into men from the beginning and a man who had to come to that knowledge and does, a step too late for happiness the first time around. But as with some second chances, I had the strong belief that these two actually needed the time apart to season and grow so they would be a better fit. Gabriel is loaded down with all manner of uncertainties and gets stuck in his own head a lot. Anthony is pretty much his opposite in that he is full of conviction and doesn’t get weighed down by thought. What is interesting is that in the bedroom the two roles are reversed once Gabriel gets the hang of things. And here again, I was uber impressed with how the author wrote the sensual and passionate scenes. She let Gabriel blunder a bit and have to take time to get his footing because he was a virgin when it came to being with a man.
I enjoyed how these two are set up with flaws particularly Gabriel. In fact, Gabriel was a insecure user for much of the book the way he kept trying to reject Anthony’s giving nature and hope for a future together even as he kept coming back out of lust. Fortunately, that’s only how it looked on the surface. In reality, Gabriel was terrified and guilt-ridden which made him a right mess. Anthony demonstrated more patience than I would have while waiting for Gabriel to get it together and then finally stepping in when Gabriel made an even bigger mess of things. Some people really need each other and Gabriel is one of those. Though I wanted to smack Gabriel several times, I loved these guys together.
Another treat was the inclusion of lots of scene time with the past two couples in this series. They helped in the desperate times of Anthony and Gabriel’s need and they were there for some of the sweeter times too letting the reader catch up with past favorites.
All in all, another fantastic entry in the series. A tough fought for scorching hot m/m Historical Romance that I would recommend to those who enjoy them.
Romance Roundabout #332 LGBT
Cliché Klatch #202 ‘letting the guilt eat at him’
Historical Romance #99