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Summary

Hazard: A game of Chance and Luck, made riskier when Fate is rolling the dice. 

For Aristide Delacroix, the first throw summons shades from his past. A man he had met, just once, over a card-table... and the lovely girl indirectly responsible for plunging his life into catastrophe.  

For Lord Nicholas Wynstanton, tired of waiting for Madeleine Delacroix to make up her mind, it slyly suggests he begin a whole new game with loaded dice; while for Madeleine, it devises a terrifying lesson in missed opportunities and the uncertainty of second chances. 

And for Genevieve Westin, hoping widowhood will be happier than marriage, it brings a rude awakening - leaving a single, wild gamble as her only option.  

A cardsharp turned businessman, a duke’s charming brother, a stubborn, razor-edged beauty, and a desperate widow.  

Four players in a game of Hazard... all playing for very high stakes. 

©2018 Stella Riley (P)2018 Stella Riley

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Highly Recommended

Deborah C
I have just finished listening to Hazard by Stella Riley and narrated by Alex Wyndham. The writing and narration are first
class and if you like reading books set in the 18th century then this is for you. I have read all of the Rockliffe series and have them on audio as well. So if you want to escape the 21st century for a few hours I highly recommend these books.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Alexandra
  • Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
  • 18-05-18

Book 5 - Hazard

I looked forward to this book. Beautifully read, and a delight as Riley books always are for me, the story was as complex and intriguing as always. I slightly regret the change in tone though - but that’s just me, there was a reason I originally became a Riley follower

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • noagnes
  • 17-05-18

Excellent continuation to a delightful series

This book, a continuation of the author's Georgian romance series, features two couples, for once not as a principal and a secondary love story but of equal weight. In fact, it should not be read without knowledge of the prequels. Nicholas and Madeleine's story has begun in Book 3 (The Player), and was present in Book 4 (The Wicked Cousin); and Aristide Delacroix, the other hero and Madeleine's brother, was also introduced in Book 3. This story starts with Aristide's past catching up with him: he is accused with having cheated in cards, years ago, in Paris. Since he is now the owner of a very respectable gaming club proud of the scrupulously fair play they ensure, the accusation could destroy his business. However, the closely knit group of his friends, the characters from previous books, lead by the Duke of Rockliffe, an enigmatic, larger-than-life, omniscient aristocrat, set out to ensure that the Delacroix siblings are supported and accepted, and in general, everyone within their circle of influence is judged based on their own merit and not based on gossip or scandals they may be tainted with through association. As one of the characters says,"birth and title don't make a gentleman [...] Character and manners do that".
This leads to Genevieve, widow of an extremely unsavoury and scandalous Earl, getting introduced in this circle and becoming acquainted with Aristide. Or rather, reacquainted - as it turns out, Aristide holds her responsible for the break in his career and the tragedy of being late from his dying mother's bedside.
So now, two young ladies who feel outcasts of society and hopeless of finding acceptance let alone love, are thrown together with the gentlemen who find them irresistible. Two very unconventional courtships mesh together with dodging attacks from adversaries who have the title and birth, but not the character and intentions of a gentleman. Aristide's reasons for marrying Genevieve may not be quite the right ones, but his protective instincts and natural kindness will lead him to help her come out of her shell and out of the shadows her late husband's abuse cast over her - leading to a heartwarming love between them. And what Nicholas's determined pursuit can't quite accomplish with Madeline, the danger he falls in by protecting her will successfully destroy her self-protecting walls and let her open up to accepting his love and admitting hers in return.
Having read the book first and listened to the audiobook afterwards, I can assert that the audio rendition, narrated by the incomparable Alex Wyndham, enhances the reading experience greatly. As always, the flawless narration, the display of subtle emotional undercurrents and humor, the excellent play with voices of the characters, the complete palette of French accent, suave aristocratic drawl, servants' and cockney dialect draws the listener completely in the scene and allows the listener to experience the romance, the conflicts, the angst and the friendship of these loveable Georgian characters. I highly recommend it!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Evie Callahan
  • 12-05-18

Historical romance at its finest!

This is historical romance at its finest! The authoress is an absolute master of the period (1700s England), and the story is superbly written and remains blessedly true to the period. And it's not simply narrated, but magnificently performed by the incomparable Alex Wyndham. It just doesn't get better than this! So sit back, put your earphones on, and enjoy intrigue, adventure and above all, romance of a time long ago.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful