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The Marriage Wager [Kindle Edition]

Jane Ashford
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In this Regency favorite from Jane Ashford, a troubled war hero is dealt an unexpected hand...

When Emma Tarrant enters a gambling house to find her brother losing to a gamester, she follows the strange man home and attempts to settle the score. Colin Wareham is intrigued by Emma's offer, and when he wins the first hand, he suggests another game. Should he prevail, Emma would be his prize. But as he's collecting his winnings, Emma's father storms in and demands a marriage. Though forced together, Emma and Colin's passion begins to grow... until a sinister man from Emma's past emerges to raise the stakes.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A gambler's disgraced widow and an embittered Napoleonic war veteran are scarred by their pasts but willing to bet on the future in this sensitively rendered romance. When Lady Emma Tarrant sees her younger brother lose a fortune at cards, she challenges Colin Wareham, the fifth baron of St. Mawr, to a game of chance that could cancel her brother's debt or end in disaster. With a delicately depicted Regency setting interwoven with a tender love story, this novel provides a passionate portrayal of marriage partners who learn how to love and cherish one another in the face of society's disapproval and family entanglements. Exceptional characters and beautifully crafted historical details ensure a delightful read for Judith McNaught and Mary Balogh fans.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.


Exceptional characters and beautifully crafted historical details ensure a delightful read for Judith McNaught and Mary Balogh fans. -- Publishers Weekly

...lively, well-written Regency romance sparkles with wonderful dialogue, witty scenes and just the right touch of humor, adventure and repartee. -- RT Book Reviews
Best Regency Historical Nominee

I think you're really going to enjoy The Marriage Wager. It is one of the finest marriage of convenience stories I've read... -- All About Romance

Product Details

  • File Size: 1104 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1402277172
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca; Reprint edition (November 5, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217,684 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book September 21, 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
For all the reasons that we read books like these, I loved this book.
There was an honorable, admirable heroine and an imperfect yet extremely attractive hero. The details provided, as well as the secondary characters, provided motivation(s) for both the hero and heroine. These were much more than three-dimentional and created an engrossing story.
This is the first book I read by this author, and it has made me keep an eye open for any books published by this author since then.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars entertaining, colorful characters, romantic. November 9, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Stubborn, damaged, and opinionated characters always create exciting tales, and Ashford delivers them in spades. Colin is home from the war, but the war still haunts his dreams. He closes himself off to others. Emma made a foolish mistake for love, and vows never to repeat it. Lady Mary is a drama Queen! You won’t believe the shenanigans she gets up to. Robin is a young man trying to find himself. He tries gambling, and dressing like a dandy but his meddling father, and lousy luck at the tables makes it difficult. Meddling parents and family on both sides would have had me running for the countryside. A nefarious villain, and an unusual servant added suspense and humor. All of the characters had a unique voice and at one time or another I found myself wanting to throttle them. These characters made me laugh and at times pull my hair out in frustration.

Head strong characters and physical attraction made the Marriage Wager an engaging and entertaining read. Emma sets out to protect a young man from the dangers of gambling. She enters into a game of cards with Colin and the stakes have never been higher. It began as a bet for the notes or a one night stand but when they are caught in a compromising position they need to strike another bargain. Ashford did an excellent job of creating suspense, conflict and drama between the couple all while weaving in other colorful characters and side stories. While, at times, I wanted to knock both of them over the head for assumptions and lack of communication; I did end up caring for this couple. I found the families escapades to be delightful, and ooh, I just wanted to slap Emma’s Dad and Colin’s mother around a few times. Colin could be a knuckled-headed toad and his action kept pulling me from the tale.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read with a great hero December 3, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Marriage Wager involves a widow who meets her match in an unexpected way. This story moves a bit slowly but by the middle of the novel finds a good pace.

Lady Emma hates gambling, her late husband was a prolific gamester taking her to the continent, blowing all her money and now ironically she is back in London trying to keep herself and her servant afloat by gambling. She recognizes her younger brother (who does not know her as she has been gone awhile) losing badly and finds the man responsible for “taking” her brother’s money.

Lord Colin meets Lady Emma and she is absolutely livid, questioning his character because she believes he has fleeced her sibling. Emma sounds like a virago; she interrupts, is shrewish, jumps to conclusions and is not that likable in these opening chapters. For some reason, Lord Colin likes her and pursues her.

The two end up in a marriage that both are determined to be one based on respect not on deep feelings other than friendship. Colin is incredibly patient with Emma trusting her when she keeps secrets from him. She is stubborn and has a tendency not to believe in her hero. This couple is passionate though and they form a strong bond by the end of this story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Humor, great characters November 28, 2013
By Jeanne
Format:Kindle Edition
Humor and great characters make “The Marriage Wager” a fun read. Colin Wareham, Baron St. Mawr, has been emotionally changed by war and is joyless. He needs to marry but is very unhappy with the choices his mother is pushing on him. He gets involved in a wager with Emma Tarrant, the widow of a gambler with whom she regretfully eloped. There are some great scenes with Lady Mary Dacre, a very silly girl who causes “scenes” in a big way. And the villain is very slimy in his attempts to bribe Emma. I love Ferik, a Turkish former slave whom Emma rescued and hired. He hates England and really does not understand English customs at all. There’s a great scene in which he cannot believe that a rich man does not have many wives to prove to the world that he’s rich. Great Aunt Celia is a delight as well. This is my first Jane Ashford novel and I’ll look forward to reading more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great rainy day book December 3, 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have never read any of Ms Ashford's novels before but I enjoyed this one. It was a bit slow in spots but was extremely readable and entertaining. Some parts were a bit of a stretch considering the time period ( girls were NOT given that much freedom in that period and would never have gone to a masquerade with a male outside of their own family), but that is certainly poetic license, in my opinion. I would recommend the book for a rainy afternoon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's OK but I couldn't finish it. December 28, 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I have liked some other stories Jane Ashford wrote. She does write well, wonderful similes, but all the elegant prose in the world will not make an unbelievable story better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Marriage Wager June 10, 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Book was well written. Got my attention in the first 50 pages and kept it until the end. I finished the book in 2 days could not put it down for long.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A fun read.
Published 29 days ago by Virginia R Dykstra
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Great book
Published 5 months ago by Molly B. Laird
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
different & entertaining
Published 8 months ago by judy staie
3.0 out of 5 stars "Wager" Gambles on Reader Inattention
An interesting story, but might not the resolution have involved the title? While the closing scenes are exciting, the central conceit revolves around the gaming table not the... Read more
Published 9 months ago by D. Jacobson
4.0 out of 5 stars a beautiful heroine in distress
This book had everything we read recency romances for: a beautiful heroine in distress, handsome hero, misunderstandings, eventual happy ending. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Karen H.
5.0 out of 5 stars Good love story and mystery
I like a book that when I,m not reading it, the story,s so good that I keep looking forward to finding time to get back to it. This was a book like that.
Published 15 months ago by janet host
2.0 out of 5 stars It just dragged on and on and on
Emma is a widow that has been living abroad. Colin is an officer returning from war. Both have a troubled past. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Morrigan Alexandros
4.0 out of 5 stars REVIEW - The Marriage Wager
4 out of 5 for this reader folks!

Another first time author for me in my fave genre. The Marriage Wager by Jane Ashford is a historical regency romance set in London... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Rachel
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More About the Author

Jane Ashford has written historical and contemporary romances. Her books have been published in Sweden, Italy, England, Denmark, France, Russia, Latvia, the Czech Republic, and Spain, as well as the U.S. She has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award by RT Book Reviews.

Her website is and her Facebook page is

She is part of the Casablanca Authors Blog.

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