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Sharp Love

(Gambling on Love #2)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  600 ratings  ·  127 reviews
London, 1822

William Drake has lived among thieves, bastards and beggars all his life, doing what's necessary to survive. As a young orphan, that included looking after his best friend, Jack Morgan. But as they grew older, Jack took the honest path, leaving Will behind to fend for himself the only ways he knows how.

When an unsavory errand for his employer brings Jack back t
ebook, 199 pages
Published June 9th 2014 by Carina Press
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3.89  · 
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 ·  600 ratings  ·  127 reviews

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~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
4.5 always-been-you stars

This shouldn't be a shocker, but I am an Ava March fangirl. Historical fiction in the M/M genre can be so depressing (real, yes, but I prefer not to have my soul ripped out of my body), yet March manages to make her stories believable and shiny. I've read (and loved) nearly all her books, but

All In with the Duke (Gambling on Love, #1) by Ava March

holds a special place in my heart.

Because Max. And Tristan. And whips. And that damn scene in the park.

Sharp Love overlaps with the first book. When Max, the Duke of Pelham, retu
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
*3.5 stars*

I had SUCH high hopes for this story, and while it ended up being very well done, it didn't come close to my favorites list.

The story for "Sharp Love" takes place in roughly the same timeframe as All In with the Duke. I adored the character of Jack in the first story so I just about died when I heard he was the MC of this one.

Part of my problem certainly stems from the fact that I don't tend to like established couple stories. Now, while this story does not involve an established co
K.J. Charles
Jun 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gay, historical, m-m, regency
I can't not read Ava March. They aren't perfect, and I really really *really* wish her editor would step up to the plate (you could lose your liver in a drinking game with 'prefer men' and 'beyond X') and I don't care. I love Ava March's world. I love that there's no rape/torture, none of the push for extremism that seems to be afflicting m/m currently, and that her people are fundamentally mostly decent, and the games they play are mutually satisfying, and they *talk*. It's comfort reading of t ...more
Optimist ♰King's Wench♰
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Regency & sugarkink lovers
I'm so happy I was introduced to this author. I feel like I found a kindred spirit. If she would put some kilts, panties and maybe a corset on one of these cats, I'd be over the moon. No? Too much? *shrugs* The cheese stands alone.

Sharp Love overlaps All In with the Duke with the focus on Jack Morgan and his childhood friend, Will Drake. Both were orphaned as children and came to rely upon one another. Will's always been quite clever and Jack was the braun of the operation with his 6'5" burly fr
4 stars!

I never know what to expect when I read something from Ava March. Her writing is very often a mixed bag for me. I gave the first book in this series, All In with the Duke, 3 stars. I liked it fine, but I wasn't blown away like most of my GR friends. Though I think it was just because I've read many historical MM books that use the rentboy-and-nobleman trope, so the book seemed very repetitive for me. However, Sharp Love was not just different than what I've normally come to expect from A
This was my favourite book of Ava March so far. I absolutely loved everything about it!

I know that Regency fascinates many people because of the dukes, the fancy clothes, the estates and generally the glamour. This is not where this book takes place. It is about the hard life of the poor in the streets of London. To me, this is the most interesting part of the era's society , the working class, the tradesemen and the labourers, even the gamblers.

This is where Will and Jack grew up. They were eac
Vanessa North
Feb 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
I think Ava March's books are a distinct guilty pleasure for me--this one certainly was. I had to suspend some disbelief at certain aspects of the plot, but it was hot and fun, and I enjoyed the characters and their sweet little dance around each other.
3.5 stars

Sharp Love is the second installment from Ava March’s historical “Gambling on Love” series. Overlapping with the first book, this story features Jack Morgan, the driver of Duke of Pelham (from the first book) and his childhood friend, Will Drake. They grew up together until Jack left to get work ‘in a honest’ way.

While for the most part, I did enjoy this – hey, there’s pining and UST, and that is always delicious – I also thought the to-and-fro internal conflict from both men became a b
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Two wonderful MCs and a light touch of D/s made this book for me. Sure, Jack irritated me at times, but his actions fit his character and he more than made up for it later on. Seriously, how could I resist those blushes? The communication issues felt natural and weren't over the top or angsty, so they didn't bother me overmuch.

I'll definitely read this again, just to spend more time with Will and Jack.
*** 3.5 Stars ***

Ava March always delivers a quality, polished novel with intriguing characters and a realistic HEA for the time period, but I found this one lacking a little of the emotional punch I was looking for from a story about two best friends with twenty years of history between them.
Audio Review: 4 Stars

Upping the rating just a tad because I thought Matthew Holland did a great job with the narration.

Original Review 14Jan2018: 3.9 Stars

At times I thought there was too much of an emphasis on the sex or getting to the sex, or wanting the sex or thinking about the sex...but still a lovely (and hot) read. Another well-planned ending where a couple could be together without drawing too much attention.
Lisa The Novel Approach
Jun 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I don’t think I’m going too far out on a limb by proclaiming Ava March as the reigning queen of erotic Regency romance. Sure, it’s a bit of a niche market in the M/M genre, but as niches go, Ms. March fills it superbly. Her heroes, whether they be noble born or men who have fought to survive a harsh and unprivileged life by any means available to them, always manage to charm, and even frustrate me, as I consume their stories, word for lovely and enticing word.

In a bit of a departure, Sharp Love
May 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: queer, romance, historical
After reading All In with the Duke, I found it difficult to wait for the release of Sharp Love. I could not wait to read Jack Morgan's story. The book is certainly worth the wait. I adored both Will and Jack and literally held my breath through several passages while they worked through misunderstanding after misunderstanding. My heart ached for them. But, none of their troubles felt contrived for the sake of the story. Will and Jack really did have issues to overcome.

The writing is lovely and
When I first read glimpses of Jack Morgan in All In with the Duke, I honestly hadn't pictured him like this. He was silent, stoic, serious - man of few words, yes. But the worry-wart tendency was a surprise. Thank gods he'd had Will as friend.

Romance wise though, theirs gave me headache with the tip-toeing around. A pair of rough-raised grown ups these were. Aaand best friends too! *headdesk*

The smart-ass in me felt some parts of this book too long while others too abrupt. But I still loved Ms.
This is the story of Jack Morgan, a character from All in with the Duke. He had a long, complicated history with his friend Will, but a friends-with-benefits relationship is not enough anymore.

I liked this book a lot. I liked Jack, a gentle giant, with his extreme sense of loyalty and devotion. I also liked Will, and think he is perfect for Jack. What I didn't like was all the misunderstandings and lack of communication.

I liked this book a lot, but I didn't love it, so 3.5 stars, rounding up t
Heather C
I just love a good Regency romance, and Ava March is my go-to author whenever I’m in the mood for a little added kink.

We met Jack Morgan back in the first book, All In with the Duke, working for the Duke of Pelham, so I already had some pretty strong suspicions about what he had been up to in that hotel room while he was watching over Tristan. Sharp Love picks up when Jack has been dispatched to London on and errand for the Duke and searches out his long time friend, William Drake, for assistan
4.5 Stars!

Sometimes I am such a sap. Throughout this book Jack just tugged at my heart strings. I loved him in All In With The Duke, too. He's just so true, so loyal and honest, you can't help but like him and feel a little bit sorry for him. Jack has a fair amount of self loathing because of his desires. Add that to his fear of abandonment and you get one insecure fellow. He can't openly be who he is and it has made him hold himself apart from everyone. Thank goodness he is a huge specimen of a
May 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a really terrific view of Jack. He see that he is loyal to the Duke in the first book, but he backs it up here by refusing to gossip or put his own desires first.

Will is flawed but oh so smart. The kind of smart that finds trouble. I liked that we hardly got any interaction with the Duke and Tristan. It was realistic, given the historical context.

I also enjoyed the way the story concluded, and will be very happy to seek out number three.

This was published today, and I received this copy
Joanna Chambers
Jun 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
I liked this a lot. This is book 2 in the Gambling On Love series which, for me, marks a return to form for Ava March after the slightly disappointing Brook Street series. I like March's formula a great deal; her books deliver. She writes MM historicals that remind me of classic Signet MF regencies of old - and I mean that as a big compliment. This is a writer who understands how to pace a romance and I don't see enough of that. And she writes awesome sex scenes that combine heat with emotion. I ...more
2.5 stars

I found this book to be a little on the slow side due in part to my lack of investment in the couple and because of the characters' own stubbornness. The constant refusals to communicate, not to mention the hurtful insults slung by both parties at each other made Jack and Will's romance really hard for me to get behind.

However, I did enjoy their childhood backstory and the few cutesy domestic moments. The way that Ava March seamlessly intertwined this story with that of Max and Tristan'
* N aka Nikki
Jun 16, 2014 rated it liked it
This was more of a 3.5 for me. There were so many things I loved about it - I'm a sucker for childhood friendships turning into love. But I found the love story a bit slow to get off the ground. I needed more sexual frustration and angst maybe in the beginning to tide me over. I dunno, something was missing in the first third of the book. And the fact that nobody bathed distracted me (way too much I admit). Overall I loved it though, and can't wait to read more by this author!
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't love this one *quite* as much as All In With the Duke, but I still enjoyed Jack and Will's story, and couldn't be happier that Jack found someone who could take care of him, like he takes care of everyone else. Will is the perfect partner for him and their HEA is pretty darn sweet.
Apr 29, 2014 rated it liked it
I received an Advance Reader's copy of this book on Netgalley.

This is a sequel to last year's All In With the Duke, and is on sale today! According to Goodreads there is a third one in the series due out at the end of this year. The time period in this book overlaps with the time period in the first book.

The gambling theme continues with one of the main characters in this book being a card sharp, the other main character works for the Duke of Pelham from the previous book. What I really liked a
4.5 Stars

Jack and Will's story overlaps with Max (aka The Duke) and Tristan, picking up after Tristan threw his hissy fit and returned to London. That, in and of itself, was a little irksome since I disliked that part of book 1. Having said that, however, it was nice to learn about Jack and Will within that context. As I noted in my status update, I wasn't crushing on Jack very much at first. He came across as judgmental and aloof. Frankly, I just wasn't feelin' the love. But that all changed by
Mar 03, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, 3-star, series
Ava March, you are so frustrating!

I've read 12 books by her and I always have a mixed reaction at best. Obviously something keeps me coming back for more. There's no question the woman can write, she's the master of pent-up desires that are eventually resolved in the sweetest of ways. And I don't even mind that she relies on a 'big misunderstanding' to prolong the tease between her lovers.


I really wish her stories had more plot to them, especially her novel length books. They are way too n
This one overlaps with All In with the Duke so definitely read that one first. I can figure out why but I didn't like this one as much as the first. Maybe because their romance was slow to develop or they were already friends that had fooled around? I'm not sure. I will say that the constant misunderstandings got annoying. Overall, a decent read but not fantastic.
Monica Vidal
I'm obsessed with Ava's historical books. There's something so alluring about these men and their fancy way of talking and their elegant manners and clothes, but when they get neikid WOW! All bets are off and it's HOT! Loved this one.

Friends to lovers is one of my fave themes. I like it because the feeling is already there and it's beautiful to watch they realize that that feeling is love and lust. Will and Jake's story is romantic, hot, exciting. I loved it!

On to the next Ava's.
Dee Wy
Jul 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars - The rating would be full 4 stars, but I found this a bit too slow to develop - I get impatient sometimes. But I am still very glad to have finished it. It took me a while to warm up to Will and his gambling habit, but ended up loving both he and Jack by the end. I can look back and say this was a very sweet story, and I always enjoy sweet if it's not extreme. Good Read.
Jun 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical-mm
*3.75 stars*
There are a number of things I liked here -- regency setting(!), regency setting with working class MCs(!) and a believable HEA. I also liked that Jack and Will's hesitancies towards a relationship seemed true to the time. I did find this a little slow, maybe because I was a tad on the lukewarm side about the romance itself.
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
I think, this is the story written by Ava March, which I enjoyed most till now. both characters are really well done and both have their troubles and insecurities.
the relationship develops perfectly paced and is totally believable.

a great story!
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Ava March is a bestselling author of sexy, emotionally intense M/M historical erotic romances. She loves writing in the Regency time period, where proper decorum is of the utmost importance, but where anything can happen behind closed doors. With over fifteen works to her credit, her books have been finalists in the Rainbow Awards and More Than Magic contest, and deemed ‘must-haves’ for Historical ...more

Other books in the series

Gambling on Love (3 books)
  • All In with the Duke (Gambling on Love, #1)
  • Viscount's Wager (Gambling on Love, #3)