Love's Gambit - Meg-Lynn Roberts Edit: I did a quick and dirty reread of this last night. My below info still stands, but I'll clarify that the marriage doesn't occur until ~60-70% of the book. I still think it's a MOC theme, though, because a good portion of the middle part of the book is Viscount Sedgemoor's trying to convince Georgie they must marry both (a) to save her reputation if it ever got out that she was compromised and (b) to satisfy his honor as a "St. Regis" man. So, technically, the first 30% is their initial meeting at a country inn and then his injury/her nursing away from London, during which time they get to know each other; the next 30-40% occurs in London set amongst glittering balls and such; the last 30-40% is their married life, when the reader can see that they're both head over heels but they themselves don't recognize it.

*****

4-4.5 stars. Very sweet marriage of convenience traditional Regency with an unconventional country miss (Georgie) who is caught in a compromising situation with a haughty by-the-books viscount (Augustus) who takes himself just a bit too seriously. So, what does she do? She calls him "Gus," of course.

They are at daggers drawn from their first meeting, as one can only expect from such seemingly clashing personalities. However, at one point, Gus is injured and Georgie nurses him, and Gus, upstanding gentleman of the ton that he is, realizes that all of this time spent together without being chaperoned can only mean one thing: marriage. Now he just must break the news to Georgie, if only he could catch her without her swarm of friends and suitors, for once!

This story is sweet and shows an unlikely pair that, in getting to know each other, finds that they may actually have found love in their marriage of convenience. The book also introduces us to the hero of Rake's Gambit, who does his part to foster a bit of jealousy when he strikes up a friendship with warmhearted Georgie. Gus brings a bit of gravitas to Georgie's sometimes wild ways, and Georgie's infectious enthusiasm for life causes Gus to loosen up over the course of the book.

Note, too, that, for a traditional Regency, this one isn't entirely closed door and instead peeks in on some steamy scenes. They're married, after all, and we all know that means a wedding night (and more!). One of my favorite scenes is when Gus needs to wait to consummate the marriage because of his injury, Georgie wonders if there's a way to make it more comfortable for him and asks if there's "um...another position," and Gus FREAKS THE HELL OUT and sputters "What do you know of OTHER POSITIONS???" *chuckles* No raunchy and explicit language or anything, but definitely more sexytimes than the norm for these Zebra and Signet traditional Regency offerings.