Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Improper Wager Blog Tour! (+$15 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: Improper Wager
Author: Kristabel Reed
Series: Scandalous Encounters
Pages: 274
Date Published: 2015
Publisher: Smashwords
Format: Kindle
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
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Two years ago, Isabella Harrington defied her parents and society, and ran off with her lover to Milan. They thought they’d conquer the world at the gaming tables. But her dream of happily-ever-after led to nothing but debts and a shattered heart. Abandoned and left on her own in a foreign city with little but her wits and skill, Isabella managed to survive. Survive and thrive, commanding the cards until she won enough to send for a very particular matchmaker.

Isabella needed a way back into the society she shunned and what better way than through a proper, aristocratic marriage? And this matchmaker of note would be her key back home to England.

Traveling the Continent, Jonathon, Duke of Strathmore, agreed to meet the mysterious Miss Harrington. Wary of the rumors surrounding her, a woman who vanished from London with only scandalous tales left in her wake, he hadn’t counted on the intriguing Isabella to thoroughly capture his attention. Will a game of cards change both their fates? Will she become a mistress or a duchess?
~My Thoughts~
Isabella Harrington is a woman scorned. More than a year has gone by since her former love broke her heart and destroyed her dreams and future in one fell swoop. Bitterness has taken root within her heart and she's got a very jaded view of the world in general, but most of all regarding love. 

In terms of this bitter sort of sadness regarding love, Isabella is my college best friend, my stepmother...my friend's moms. There's a bit of the every-woman in how much she loathes the man who left her and how hard it is to get over her pain so that she can love again. Enter Jonathan .

Although the two are clearly meant for each other from the beginning, it was funny to see how hard they both fought each other to get together. They were so caught up in what they thought they wanted...a way into society...to get over what had happened to them before...but they kind of struggled to get to the point of really accepting that they wanted each other. 

The writing was good but not remarkable. I enjoyed the depictions of the characters emotions but could have used a bit more description and fluidity of scene in general. Sometimes things seemed a bit stiff, but as soon as the emotions kicked in it was easy to overlook in the face of character's actions. 

My favorite parts of the book were when Isabel was playing at cards. It's fun to see the girls of these times doing something other than participating in high-society, and especially so if it's something intelligent, crafty, or generally something a gentleman would do rather than a lady of any proper breeding. Improper Wager is a good, steamy sort of romp into historical fiction. I'd definitely keep up with Kristabel if I were you!
~Try an Excerpt!~
Tears stung her eyes. Refusing to let them fall, Isabella blinked them away. She’d cried enough for Manning and all they’d once shared in this small house.

She should’ve listened to her mother — even if her mother’s desires were ill placed. As strict and unforgiving as Alison Harrington had been, still was, she’d been right about Manning.

Isabella had given her heart to Manning, her entire being. She’d thought it’d last forever, what they shared. Even though he hadn’t married her in London, that hadn’t mattered. Their affair had been passionate and zealous, and she’d immersed herself in it with every ounce of her youthful naivety.

Then he’d broken all her dreams, destroying all they’d built together. He’d abandoned her in Milan, left her with naught more than a note. She’d fallen for a handsome face and a uniform; she’d wagered he’d never leave her. That he’d always love and want and protect her.

That’d been her fool’s wager.

Once, she’d been inexperienced and didn’t understand one could feel such deep pain and still continue to breathe. Then again, once she’d thought herself in love.

She wandered back to the chair and sat, picking up her now-cold tea. She could either dwell on the past — the pain and the anger, the hopelessness and the fear — or she could move onward.

Isabella had chosen to move forward. To put all this, Manning and Milan and the scandal her life had become, in the past.

She sipped the tea, uncaring it was cold. She’d chosen to move beyond her disgrace. But could she? Did she have that strength? The fortitude to do so?

“I’ll need to,” she said to the empty parlor. “There’s no choice for it.”
~Meet Kristabel!~ 

Kristabel Reed lives on the East Coast and loves to explore the steamier side of historical romance. "There are so many sexy situations that didn't just pop up in the 21st century and my goal is to burst the myth of the prim and proper debutante." She loves romances of all sorts but currently writes Regency and Contemporary romances with curvy women. She also loves old movies, taking the dog for walks, and anything Cary Grant. And is always interested in talking about erotic romance, so drop her a line: kristabelreed@yahoo.com; or Tweet her @kristabelreed; find her blog: kristabelreed.blogspot.com
 Kristabel will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


  1. Thank you for the chance to win :)

  2. So, she ran off to Milan, but did not marry lover boy. Well!! Well!!

  3. What kind of phone was your first cell phone?

    1. Hmm, I have no idea. In college a million years ago I had one of the first because I went to school far away. It was a clunky expensive thing and grey. I remember the grey!

  4. "... and loves to explore the steamier side of historical romance...." My kind of author, LOL!

  5. Thanks for having me today and for our review!

    1. Your review. Ugh, sorry! I meant thanks for your review!

  6. I like the excerpt. Sounds like a good read.

  7. I'm a huge fan of historical fiction and I love the cover of this book so I'm all over it!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

    1. Thank you, I love the cover too. :) I hope you give Improper Wager a try!

  8. I enjoyed the excerpt and Andra's thoughts, thanks for sharing and good luck with the tour!

  9. Thanks for the giveaway! I like the excerpt. :)

  10. Happy to be a part of this tour, thank you for sharing!

  11. Thanks for the excerpt! Kristabel, you're a new to me author. I'm going to add this to my wish list. :-)

  12. I enjoyed reading the excerpt and your review. This book sounds like a very interesting and intriguing read!

  13. You are a new-to-me author and I love historical romances so I'm sure I will enjoy reading your work. Love that cover. Thanks for the review too.