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Knave's Wager

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,055 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
"I need no further proof that you are despicable!" Lilith Davenant's sensibilities were appropriately offended. How dare the brazen Lord Julian Brandon kiss her when he knew full well the man she was to marry was in the next room! It mattered not that the cad was handsome, charming and witty...unlike the staid, auburn-haired young widow's fiance. Lilith's repute meant all. ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 240 pages
Published August 28th 1991 by Avon Books (first published 1990)
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Traditional Regency
13th out of 491 books — 221 voters
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Wagers & Bets (HR)
16th out of 105 books — 76 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,730)
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Miranda Davis
Okay so this is the 2nd best reform-the-rake/seduce-the-prude story EVER. This is an utterly fabulous, wonderful read full of what I think are L. Chase's great strengths: brilliant, hilarious dialogue; great, vivid characters you come to love and understand; truthful points of view; plausible conflict; crackling chemistry; and a story that develops organically without any lurching lapses in logic. Just effing brilliant.

I read this last night in one go. Could not put it down. This is Chase at th
Happy to see older novels by Loretta Chase hitting the stands again. She is one of my favorite HR writers. Knave's Wager -- first published in 1990 -- is available in e-book format as well as audio. I decided to read the kindle book, rather than listening to an Audible download. The cost for the kindle book was only $2.99, versus about $13.99 for the Audible version. I had never listened to Stevie Zimmerman, and -- while her sample clip sounded fine -- I didn't want to spend a credit on an unkno ...more
Jul 25, 2015 Daniella rated it did not like it
The hero's an asshole and totally beyond redemption. The heroine has feather for brains. Put them together and you have an illicit affair (the heroine is engaged to another). Oh God. Why did I ever read this book?
I've given this a B for narration and B+ for content at AudioGals, so I'll leave it at 4 stars.

Knaves’ Wager
is one of Loretta Chase’s earlier titles, having originally been published in 1990. The author’s trademark wit and humour are much in evidence, the principal and secondary characters are strongly drawn, and the story features a sweet secondary romance as well as the very well-developed central one. The book also boasts one of her wittiest, sexiest heroes and lots of wonderful, battle-of-t
Huge 5 stars...

One of the best historical romance books that I've read. I loved it!
4.5 stars

Lilith Davenant, a widow at 28 years of age, is thought to be an ice queen. Appearing emotionless, no one is aware of her unhappy past. "According to some wags, Mrs. Davenant bore such a stunning resemblance to a marble statue that it was a wonder she had a pulse."

At the opening of KNAVES' WAGER, Lilith is slowly running out of monies to live on. Her deceased husband left her in debt and she had been using what she had to fund her nieces' seasons. Lilith first met Julian, the Marquess o
Kathy ~ Bookworm Nation

Loretta Chase only has a handful of clean regencies and this is one of the few. I wish all her books were clean because the couple I have read have been well written and fun. I thought Knave’s Wager had a lot of charming moments, the chemistry and banter between Lilith and Julian was great. Lilith does comes across pretty cold throughout the book, but when we get things from her perspective and when she is with Julian we get to see a softer side. She has learned how to control her emotions we
Vanessa Kelly
Jul 25, 2009 Vanessa Kelly rated it it was amazing
I simply loved this book - I would give it ten stars, if I could. The hero, Julian, rates up there with the best of LC's heroes, just one step below Dain. Although this is one of LC's more traditional regencies, she doesn't soft-pedal the sexual tension or Julian's questionable morals. And Lilith's emotional growth and her own struggles to resist temptation are very moving. In fact, this book just drips with heart-felt, realistic emotion. If you've been looking for an LC fix and haven't read thi ...more
Nov 10, 2015 Noelia rated it liked it
3.5 ...more
Lady Wesley
Oh, what a delightful book! Writing in 1990, the young Loretta Chase was not yet at the top of her game, but there are flashes of the brilliance to come. And as is so often the case, Chase creates a hero who is appalling and seductive at the same time and a heroine who is not the least bit cowed by him.

This is getting to be a bad habit, but once again, I would refer any potential reader to my friend Caz's excellent review of the audio book.

The narrator is very good, but I have to mention that
Nov 15, 2012 Grace rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, historical
The thing with Loretta Chase that makes her sort of interesting is that reading her books is like the lottery. Some of her books are horrid (Captives of the Night), and some are just like spun candy. This book luckily falls in the latter category. It belongs in the category of her books where it's not too sensational of a book, and the characters just fit right. (Maybe she should stick to level-headed female characters? I feel that some authors do better sticking to a certain type of characters ...more
Went back and forth a lot on the rating. For the first few chapters after the plot starts (i.e. the titular knaves' wager) the hero reaches a level of smarmy douchebag that was off-putting, but then the book recovers and I really enjoy it the rest of the way through, with him serving up some excellent pining (I am a sucker for a good pine) for the heroine whom I liked very much, and the secondary characters being particularly great.

So...!??!?!? 3.5???/

Numerical scales man. ART IS MORE COMPLICATE
The parts of this book where Julian and Lilith bantered back and forth, were so good. I loved it. I loved the build up between them and I loved how at the end Julian was pouring his heart out as well as Lilith putting herself on the line. All of those things make for a perfect book for me. But then there are the parts that are not so perfect:

The Mistress talk. ENOUGH already! We get it, these yucky guys get around.
The fact that Julian was not such an amazing guy and even towards the end I was st
3.5 stars
So this was very cute! Not my favorite by Ms. Chase, but an enjoyable, light story.
Elis Madison
The knave in question is Julian, Marquess of Brandon. He got the rep by accidentally killing a wronged husband in a duel. He’s lived mostly on the Continent since, but he’s back in England now.

The wager is between him and his idiot cousin Robert’s French mistress Elise. Rob was stupid enough to write love letters, promising marriage to this woman, and Elise intends to hold him to it. Julian threatens Elise, so she challenges him. If he can seduce the famously icy widow, Lillith Davenport, within
Jul 09, 2014 Alison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story was fabulous - read it in a day!

Brandon and Lilith are a worthy hero and heroine, battling one another and Lilith's niece Cecily was also a great character.

An intelligent, fun and well written book - highly recommended. Also refreshingly close to a traditional Regency novel.
Michelle McKay
Feb 26, 2015 Michelle McKay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 10, 2014 Cruth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Author: Loretta Chase
First published: 1990
Length: 3569 locations, 269 pages
Setting: London, 1814
Sex: Clean.
Hero: Rogue.
Heroine: Widow.

(view spoiler)
Sep 03, 2010 Ilze rated it really liked it
The first half of the book wasn't engaging at all and I would have put it into the DNF pile if it wasn't a Loretta Chase book - the hero was a cold, blase, arrogant SOB and the heroine was the Ice Queen who despised him, with good reason. But after the heroine was goaded into tearing a strip off the hero about half-way into the book, things completely turned around and the book turned into a wonderful "unputdownable" romance.
Dec 29, 2015 Lucimar rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Zel Polev
Feb 15, 2015 Zel Polev rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I enjoyed this one because it was very light. It was an ideal romance novel for me to read when I just felt in need of cheering up. I didn't really like Lilith as a character though, but Julian manages to turn her around. I wouldn't call this a BR in any way shape or form because all they share are kisses and such.
I would recommend this for when you are just in dire need of a nice, sweet, romance.
Another Loretta Chase novel that showcases her genius for witty dialogue and realistic character creation! The romantic path for Julian Wyndhurst, the 'knave' and the emotionally guarded Lilith Davenant is full of challenge, simmering sexual chemistry, and touching personal growth. Once begun, I couldn't stop reading until I learned how they would find their HEA. Simply love this book!
Tami (synchro from BL)
Very nice historical - with some Georgette Heyer deja vues. With Lilith I was reminded quite a bit of the female lead in "The Nonesuch" (Ancilla Trent).

Also the storyline of the younger relative (of the male lead) who wants to marry a girl of bad reputation reminded me of "Faro's daughter" though the constellation was not exactly the same.

not happened elopement of her warden that brought them together again
reminded me also of "The Nonesuch" - and "Faro's daughter" again :-)
Goodness, I must have read over 10 of Ms Chase's novels one after the other and I'm not yet bored of them!

The Amazon blurb:
Lilith Davenant, has ample reason to detest Julian Wyndhurst, Marquess of Brandon: he's exactly the kind of man who hastened the demise of her profligate husband, and the debt he owed to Julian has forced her to an engagement with a wealthy suitor for the sake of supporting her beloved nieces and nephews. Besides that, Lord Julian somehow manages to ignite disturbing...feeli
Dec 10, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-it, regency
Starchy heroine vs rake, with a very cute secondary character- loved the young niece! I assume this was very early LC, written in that very sweet regency style, but with Chase's trademark humor and bite. I thought it was just light fun til my eyes filled up!
Kathie (katmom)
Jan 29, 2013 Kathie (katmom) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was fun. The banter between the H/h was fun. She was SO icy and he was a scoundrel.

She was engaged and he was trying to win a wager.

He was a very bad boy...and then he GREW. I like to see that in a Hero.

Another winner from Ms. Chase.
Lady Wesley
Jan 30, 2013 Lady Wesley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an older Chase. A chaste Chase, you might say. But it's full of her delightful repartee and compelling characters. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Jun 12, 2014 Δέσποινα rated it it was amazing
Έχωντας διαβάσει πολλά βιβλία αυτού του είδους το τελευταίο διάστημα ,δεν περίμενα να με ενθουσιάσει πολύ αυτή η ιστορία, αλλά πραγματικά ήταν πολύ ωραία. Σε μερικά σημεία ομολογώ έχασα τη ροή των γεγονότων, ίσως επειδή τα αγγλικά μου δεν είναι και πάρα πολύ καλά, αλλά το απόλαυσα πραγματικά αυτό το βιβλίο!
Και οι δύο ιστορίες που περιγράφονται ήταν ιδιαίτερες. Βρήκα πως οι χαρακτήρες κάπως συμπλήρωναν ο ένας τον άλλο και ήταν πολύ ωραία η πλοκή, ακόμα και αν από την αρχή σχεδόν ήξερα τι θα ακολο
This was just a good read for me and wasn't near as good as LoS, IMO. Very clean romance with just kissing.
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Goodreads Librari...: ISBN: 1490373624 2 19 Jan 20, 2014 11:10AM  
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Loretta Lynda Chekani was born in 1949, of Albanian ancestry. For her, the trouble started when she learned to write in first grade. Before then, she had been making up her own stories but now she knew how to write them down to share. In her teenage years, she continue to write letters, keep a journal, write poetry and even attempt the Great American Novel (still unfinished). She attended New Engl ...more
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