A Gentleman’s Game by Theresa Romain
In Book One of Romance of the Turf, a refreshing new Regency series from rising star Theresa Romain, a mystery demanding to be solved brings unlikely allies together in more ways than one…
How far will a man go
Talented but troubled, the Chandler family seems cursed by bad luck-and so Nathaniel Chandler has learned to trade on his charm. He can broker a deal with anyone from a turf-mad English noble to an Irish horse breeder. But Nathaniel’s skills are tested when his stable of trained Thoroughbreds become suspiciously ill just before the Epsom Derby, and he begins to suspect his father’s new secretary is not as innocent as she seems.
To win a woman’s secretive heart?
Nathaniel would be very surprised if he knew why Rosalind Agate was really helping his family in their quest for a Derby victory. But for the sake of both their livelihoods, Rosalind and Nathaniel must set aside their suspicions. As Derby Day draws near, her wit and his charm make for a successful investigative team…and light the fires of growing desire. But Rosalind’s life is built on secrets and Nathaniel’s on charisma, and neither defense will serve them once they lose their hearts…
This book reminded me of Stephanie Laurens book, A Rogue’s Proposal, which centres around the horse racing circuit in Newmarket. This new series by Theresa Romain will also explore the community.
What was similar to A Rogue’s Proposal was the mystery and intrigue around horse racing. Of course there is a love story embedded within as well. Rosalind is serving as Sir William’s secretary but she has been placed there to spy on him and gather specific information.
Rosalind catches the attention of Nathaniel as they are forced to travel together. The romance blooms slowly, but naturally. Both have their past demons that they battle as the relationship forces them to look inside.
What I found the most engaging is the mysterious plot of Rosalind’s past. Her Aunt Annie saved her when she was injured when she was thirteen. For the next ten years, Rosalind has been indentured to her and works to gather information for the mysterious ‘Tranc’. This was a part of the plot that had me guessing and wondering the most. What was the information for? What mystery surrounded Sir William? What connection did Rosalind’s previous posts have with this one? Would she ever be free?
The secrets of Aunt Annie and Rosalind threaten to destroy everything, but that is what made the book interesting. The romance between Nathaniel and Rosalind is sweet and the future they may have together is threatened by the servitude that Rosalind is forced into. Since the two were linked, it made the stakes even higher.
A fun, sweet story that has a great mystery at the heart of it! A good start to a new series by Theresa Romain.