Some days ago, I’ve received an early 21º birthday present from one of my favorite authors ever: Ava March. Her new book, Viscount’s Wager, will be out on August 10th (two days before my birthday), but Ava sent me a copy practically a month earlier ❤ Thank you again, Ava! Best gift ever ❤ As a loyal fan, I cheated on my book jar-box and already read it, haha!
Warning: this book is about a male homosexual romance in the 19th century. If you don’t like this gender, you should stop here 🙂
Viscount’s Wager is the third and last volume on Gambling on Love series and is set on Regency London, in 1822. Anthony Hawkins, Viscount Rawling, was already introduced in the first book, All In With The Duke (by the way, you can check its review here! :D) and Gabriel Tilden, his pair, was introduced in the second book of the series, Sharp Love.
Anthony is a noble who doesn’t pay much attention to his duties as a viscount, as he has a huge secret to keep – something way bigger than his social status. Since he inherited the title, at the age of twenty-one, Anthony tries very hard to be a good son to his mother, as his father’s loss was very hard for her. The couple was a love-match, something very rare in London Society at the time, and this marriage so full of happiness and love inspired Anthony since he was a little boy; his dream was to find true love and be able to share the small things of life with this person until the end of their days.
Gabriel is the middle child of a good family, but not a noble one. Being two years older than Anthony, he ended up marring a woman when he was only 18 and lost her six months before the real start of the book – just clarifying, his marriage was not a love-match, so he feels very guilty for being a free man again.
Anthony and Gabriel had a small and brief affair when they were teens, at a house party held by Gabriel’s family, but they lost contact shortly after Gabriel’s engagement. After his wife’s death, Gabriel comes to London and sees Anthony again in a soirée. Their desire was immediate and mutual, so Anthony didn’t let the chance of offering to be Gabriel’s city guide pass.
Soon enough, their passion burns and they start a sort of relationship, but Gabriel insisted in something more casual and distant, as he didn’t thought himself worthy of Anthony’s heart after everything he had put his lover through. The first thing that Gabriel thought when he saw Anthony again was “I’m so sorry I hurt you”. And I think I waited more than Anthony to actually hear Gabriel saying those words, as Anthony didn’t know of Gabriel’s capacity to store guilty in his heart and mind, nor how many times Gabriel thought this single sentence during the book, haha!
All those repressed feelings end up driving Gabriel to a strong vice in gambling. In a determinate point of the book, he simply won’t leave the hells anymore and Anthony finds out about his problem through a favor from Max, the protagonist of AIWTD. Anthony tries to wait, to give a chance for Gabriel to tell him the truth by himself, but this never happens and they have a big fight as a result.
What Anthony didn’t know was that Gabriel had to leave town when he left his lover, as he had got loaned a very large sum with a moneylender to keep gambling and now he hadn’t any means to pay the man back before putting his propriety at Derbyshire in perfect order. Gabriel explains all of this to Anthony in a letter that he sends in the same day that he arrives home, but the viscount wouldn’t see it until three weeks had passed after their argument.
After resorting to Max’s help once again, Anthony finally was able to go to Derbyshire to set things right with Gabriel, but the two still have a long way before their “happily ever after”.
As I commented on the beginning of this review, I’m a great fan of Ava and her works, so I won’t promise an impartial review, haha! Now let’s go to the analysis 😉
Something that is very characteristic of March and that I like very much in her books is that her stories always end up connecting to one another. If she’s writing a series, the probability of meeting previous characters again is very high. I love this, because when a book ends, all that we know about that little world also ends. Even when it’s a book series, as soon as it is finished, it’s hard to learn something new about those characters, as it is a cycle with a beginning, a middle and an end. This may sounds a bit obvious, but I’m that kind of person that, sometimes, gets depresses to know that everything that I know about a story is all that I will ever know.
Anyway, March entwines her stories in such a way that we learn new things about past characters, those who already had their moment to shine and had their story on first frame. It’s also amazing how she illustrates the social circles of the ton – deep down, everybody is connected in some sort of way. It’s a highly interesting social phenomenon, proven by several historians, but that I have never seen put into light by any other romance author so far.
In Viscount’s Wager, we can see how are Alexander Norton and Thomas Bennet, from the opening book of Brook Street series (My True Love Gave To Me); Linus Radcliffe and Robert Anderson, from the third book of the same series (Rogues); Jack Morgan and William Drake, main characters of the second book in the Gambling on Love trilogy (Sharp Love); and, obviously, Max Arrington and Tristan Walsh, from AIWTD. It was very good to see them all again. I missed you, boys! Hahaha!
To be honest, I didn’t really like Gabriel until the book was close to its end. As I already was found of Anthony since the first book, I thought that Gabriel didn’t deserve him until writing that letter. After that, everything changed, haha! I still don’t consider him as one of my favorite characters, but we are in good terms now, haha! I have a serious issue with characters that are in “eternal” denial of themselves or of their tastes. Everybody has some sort of insecurity; this is natural of being human. But Gabriel didn’t know when to stop I guess that him and Julian Parker, from the second book in Brook Street series (Fortune Hunter), were the main characters who frustrated me the most in March’s books to this day. I try to be very understanding when I’m familiar with both sides of the story, but these two are a lost cause, haha!
As we just met Anthony for good in this book, I was very surprised to see how he can be a very optimistic person in the hardest times. I don’t agree with several of his attitudes during the story, but he is that kind of character that we simply love no matter what, haha!
Besides, if you look into each one’s personality, you will find that Anthony and Gabriel have a natural balance, an harmony in their qualities and defects. Also a trace of March’s couples: they always complete each other, in a way that both men will be better people after the coupling.
In narrative terms, the book is great. March manages to balance in a brilliant way her characters consciousness with the events around them and the time passages. It’s a fluid and quick read, as March’s language is not tiresome or the type that asks for a pause. She involves and makes her characters become best friends with her reader. It’s just like when someone is telling you a story over audios at Whatsapp and the person never finishes: this is the longing and the craving that March incites. You need to know how everything will end and the only way to do so is keep reading like crazy.
Another strong point of March’s is the love. She doesn’t describe that water sugared love that makes you bored. The love between her characters is that real kind of love, of the simple things on life, that is hard, disappoints without abandoning, that lasts even after many probations and still can awake luxury in the end of the day. Anthony and Gabriel’s romance wasn’t any different: the feeling was involving, strong and vigorous until the last page, in each touch, each look. It’s that kind of love that touches my heart and makes me believe that the world can be a better place. However, aren’t they fictional characters? Yes, they are. Nevertheless, the feeling is real and that’s all that matters 🙂
I also need to bow to Anthony and Gabriel’s sex scenes. March is a very explicit author and she can leave anyone burning up after reading her couple’s plays. What really impresses me about her is how she manages to be explicit without being vulgar. Even when her characters do it without a strong affective bond, you feel on your skin that that’s what the couple wants to do, no matter the reasons why. The act has sentiment. The reader feels the desire, the willingness. This is an element very hard to find in explicit romances. It’s not the sex for the sex; it’s the sex for the company.
Something more personal of my reading was that was nice to be able to foresee some things in the story. I already read all March’s books at least twice (AIWTD I must have read at least a dozen times since its release in 2013), so I can recognize some patterns and know which will be the biggest problem of the couple in the book. The great thing is that, even guessing more or less where the story was going, I was still surprised with the turn of events. Honestly? This is priceless ❤ I cried in some parts, desperate for a way to see Anthony and Gabriel together and in piece and my tears weren’t in vain. As my mom would say, everything in life can be arranged, haha!
I confess I have a little negative critique to do, haha! If Anthony and Max are that close as the series makes us believe they are, how can they still have difficulties to discuss their relationships behind closed doors?! In the beginning, Max didn’t even want to say Tristan’s name to Anthony! I thought all this caution a bit too much, considering their friendship level. I mean, you both know a secret from the other that could have both hanged and you’re still reticent? Oh, please. Is Max the reserved type? A lot, but he also already made clear as crystal that he is comfortable enough to discuss serious things with Anthony and Anthony did the same.
That’s it! Thank you for reading, it was a long post, haha! But I’m not sorry ❤ Are you already familiar with Ava March’s work?
Hello! Today I’ll review a book I already finished last Thursday: Bobby Singer’s Guide to Hunting, from Supernatural TV Show, written by David Reed 🙂 I’m sorry I’m late with the post and promise to try to be better starting on July!
Let’s go to the book now. I have to be honest: I stopped watching Supernatural at season 5 because life is not easy, so, I don’t have the slightest idea which season does the book complements 😦 The good news is, I didn’t have to, because the book explains later everything that happened so far (or as much as I needed to fully understand it all, haha!).
Bobby starts writing everything that he knows – or remembers – about monsters and how to kill them because he feels he’s losing his memory and is afraid to lose all his knowledge. Until the very end, we aren’t sure what is messing with his head or if he’s paranoid, so this suspense side was great 🙂 It was a differential from John Winchester’s Journal and The Supernatural Book of Monsters, Spirits, Demons, and Ghouls, that were manuals. Bobby tells us his story, how it all started for him, his life with Rufus, John, and Dean and Sam later, it was amazing ❤
I like to keep a notebook with my favorite quotes from all times and, thanks to Bobby, I have a handful of them there now, as he was so funny in general lines. But it helps when you’re a fan of the show, in this case. I could hear Jim Beaver (Bobby) reading the words aloud for me, for example, haha!
That’s it! I’m sorry for the short review, but I don’t really have much to say without huge spoilers >.< Do you like Supernatural too?
If you follow me on my Instagram profile (follow me! :D) or read any of the posts in the blog, you may notice that I collect books besides reading and loving them, LOL. This collecting thing is a bit tiresome sometimes, I admit. This post is full of book lovers problems, be prepared.
I’m mostly unlucky with book boxes. I love them, I find them very beautiful and practical, but I usually already have all or most of the books inside of it to make it worth buying it. It’s so dammed frustrating! They take so long to release those that I already got the separate books instead.
I brought here three examples in my collection: The Selection series, Tales from the Kingdoms series and Percy Jackson main series.
The first series that I started among those three was TFTK, in my book reader. I loved it and needed it, but, short in money that I was, several months had passed before I was able to buy the printed copies as well. I bought Charm on a liquidation, then Venom at a used bookstore and then Beauty, on another liquidation. Some weeks ago, I saw a beautiful box with the three books inside at a bookstore and wanted to be dead. It was the economical edition. Dammit, guys 😦
The second series was The Selection. I also started it in my book reader after nudges from a friend and read them all in a matter of one week. A few months later, Christmas arrived and I was able to buy them all, in a beautiful box set. Points for me /o/
The third series, Percy Jackson, was very similar to The Selection, but I didn’t buy the box, as I didn’t find any; I just bought the five books at once and, again, navigating through an online bookstore, yesterday I found the box edition.
While admiting that buying a book at time has lots of advantages, I like the boxes way better. They usually have something more inside and, even when they haven’t, like my The Selection box didn’t, they still are pretty and good for organization in the book shelf.
Unfortuantelly, here in Brazil, they take too long to publish those and I don’t usually have that patience. The only ocasions that I can manage to buy boxes is when I don’t have money for a long time, like months, and them I go and buy the box set later. Oh, and we never know when a saga/author is going to turn into a box set too ://
There’s also the issue of costs. Even when publishers do release boxes, I usuallyt don’t have the money to buy them, as they have a greater cost at once than buying books separatelly 😦
I’ll remaing in my suffer, as not years of theraphy healed my anxiety with certain topics, but I can say that I’m happy to be buying more and more boxes, even in a slow rythm: today I just ordered online a box set from Collector’s Edition with two Austen romances, one Brontë and Little Women ❤
Resuming: I will keep ranting about how boxes are great and expansive, but I still prefer them and I’m still wanting the TFTK box set, LOL.
Jane Austen is definitely a remarkable author. Besides crossing the space and time with her romances and enchanting generation after generation without never getting old, she inspires many fandom books. I’ve separated some titles that I’ve read, some that I still want to read and some that are just bizarre 🙂
Two hundred years after her death, Jane Austen is still surrounded by the literature she loves—but now it’s because she’s the owner of Flyleaf Books in a sleepy college town in Upstate New York. Every day she watches her novels fly off the shelves—along with dozens of unauthorized sequels, spin-offs, and adaptations. Jane may be undead, but her books have taken on a life of their own.
To make matters worse, the manuscript she finished just before being turned into a vampire has been rejected by publishers—116 times. Jane longs to let the world know who she is, but when a sudden twist of fate thrusts her back into the spotlight, she must hide her real identity—and fend off a dark man from her past while juggling two modern suitors. Will the inimitable Jane Austen be able to keep her cool in this comedy of manners, or will she show everyone what a woman with a sharp wit and an even sharper set of fangs can do?
What I thought: I actually bought it by mistake in 2010. In the Brazilian edition, they renamed the book to “Jane Austen, The Vampire”. As you guys can see in the cover of the first book of my pic, it looks like the book was written by Jane Austen, as Michael’s name is very tiny under of “The Vampire” part. It was an instinct. I admit I didn’t paid much attention on the rest of the cover with the real possibility of having a vampire story told by Jane in my hands, LOL. When I got home and studied the book better, I noticed my mistake and got a little sad, but decided to give it a shot anyway – I had already bought it, right?
Lucky me, because it was an amazing book! Michael writes in a way that makes Jane feel like a real woman, that could be my neighbor. She faces the same everyday problems that we do and can’t tell anyone she is THE Jane Austen. It’s marvelous, really.
In 2010, I didn’t know there would by a sequel (and some research proved that the other two books in the trilogy – Jane Goes Batty and Jane Vows Vengeance – were never released in Brazil), so I criticized the end of the book, that naturally was vague. But now it makes perfect sense, LOL.
If you look for the Portuguese edition of the pic, you can only find it at Saraiva Online. The original English edition is also available at Saraiva Online and, of course, at Amazon. One more book at my wish list…
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – Seth Grahame-Smith (2009, from Quirk Classics)
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”
So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to read.
What I thought: This book was one of those cases where you see the cover and you have to have it. I saw it at Saraiva Bookstore and I bought it in the act. Lucky me again, because it was amazing. Seth doesn’t lose Jane’s delicate and acid writing, presenting us the beautiful romance we all know with zombies. I really loved it and have to read it again sometime, as I read it in 2009, lol.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls – Steve Hockensmith (2010, from Quirk Books)
This is the prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. From Goodreads’ description:
In a prequel to the best-selling Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Elizabeth Bennet evolves from a simple young teenager into a savage slayer of the undead, as she trains with nunchucks and katana swords and experiences a tragic first romance.
What I thought: I have to say that I read this sometime in 2010 and I can’t remember a line from the book. I know I didn’t like it at the time, but I don’t remember why. In addition, I have to admit that my English in 2010 wasn’t what it is today (as you can see in my pic, the third book is the original English edition <3), so I have to give it another try anytime.
Moreover, there are also the books I haven’t read yet, but I really want to:
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After – Steve Hockensmith (2011, from Quirk Books)
It’s the sequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. From the Goodreads’ description:
The story opens with our newly married protagonists, Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy, defending their village from an army of flesh-eating “unmentionables.” But the honeymoon has barely begun when poor Mr. Darcy is nipped by a rampaging dreadful. Elizabeth knows the proper course of action is to promptly behead her husband (and then burn the corpse, just to be safe). But when she learns of a miracle antidote under development in London, she realizes there may be one last chance to save her true love—and for everyone to live happily ever after.
Beloved by millions the world over, Pride & Prejudice is delightfully transformed in this bold, new manga adaptation. All of the joy, heartache, and romance of Jane Austen’s original, perfectly illuminated by the sumptuous art of manga-ka Po Tse, and faithfully adapted by Stacy E. King. Vampire Darcy’s Desire – Regina Jeffers (2009, from Ulysses Press)
Vampire Darcy’s Desire takes the greatest literary romance of all time and reinvents it around the hottest publishing genre–vampire romance. No story lends itself better to adaptation. Two lovers trying to overcome that which separates them: their pride, their prejudice, Darcy’s vampirism and the evil workings of master vampire George Wickham.
A married man in possession of a dark fortune must be in want of an eternal wife… My hand is trembling as I write this letter. My nerves are in tatters and I am so altered that I believe you would not recognize me. The past two months have been a nightmarish whirl of strange and disturbing circumstances, and the future… I am afraid. If anything happens to me, remember that I love you and that my spirit will always be with you, though we may never see each other again. The world is a cold and frightening place where nothing is as it seems.
Mr. Darcy’s Diary – Amanda Grange (2007, from Sourcebooks)
Monday 9th September
“”I left London today and met Bingley at Netherfield Park. I had forgotten what good company he is; always ready to be pleased and always cheerful. After my difficult summer, it is good to be with him again. …””
The only place Darcy could share his innermost feelings was in the private pages of his diary…
Torn between his sense of duty to his family name and his growing passion for Elizabeth Bennet, all he can do is struggle not to fall in love.
Mr. Darcy’s Diary presents the story of the unlikely courtship of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy from Darcy’s point of view. This graceful imagining and sequel to Pride and Prejudice explains Darcy’s moodiness and the difficulties of his reluctant relationship as he struggles to avoid falling in love with Miss Bennet. Though seemingly stiff and stubborn at times, Darcy’s words prove him also to be quite devoted and endearing – qualities that eventually win over Miss Bennet’s heart. This continuation of a classic romantic novel is charming and elegant, much like Darcy himself.
Pride and Prejudice has inspired a large number of modern day sequels, the most successful of which focus on the rich, proud Mr. Darcy.
Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters – Steve Hockensmith (2011, from Quirk Books)
From the publisher of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies comes a new tale of romance, heartbreak, and tentacled mayhem.
Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters expands the original text of the beloved Jane Austen novel with all-new scenes of giant lobsters, rampaging octopi, two-headed sea serpents, and other biological monstrosities. As our story opens, the Dashwood sisters are evicted from their childhood home and sent to live on a mysterious island full of savage creatures and dark secrets. While sensible Elinor falls in love with Edward Ferrars, her romantic sister Marianne is courted by both the handsome Willoughby and the hideous man-monster Colonel Brandon. Can the Dashwood sisters triumph over meddlesome matriarchs and unscrupulous rogues to find true love? Or will they fall prey to the tentacles that are forever snapping at their heels? This masterful portrait of Regency England blends Jane Austen’s biting social commentary with ultraviolent depictions of sea monsters biting. It’s survival of the fittest—and only the swiftest swimmers will find true love!
This is it! Thank you for reading 🙂 Did you know any of those titles? Have you read any? 😀