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Gambled Away: A Historical Romance Anthology

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  180 ratings  ·  66 reviews
Get revenge. Pay a debt. Save a soul. Lose your heart.

Spanning centuries and continents, five brand-new novellas from beloved historical romance authors tell the stories of men and women who find themselves wagered in a game of chance and are forced to play for the highest stakes of all: love.

“Gideon and the Den of Thieves” by Joanna Bourne

London, 1793 – Soldier of f
Kindle Edition, 600 pages
Published May 31st 2016
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  180 ratings  ·  66 reviews

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Jun 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
All or Nothing by Rose Lerner, 3 stars

I am feeling 3 stars. I wasn't sure whether it's a story about the relationship the hero Simon had with his ex boyfriend Clement or his wild sexual fantasies with just about anyone or the budding relationship with the heroine Maggie, aka Miss I love rough sex. The identity twist is unusual (Jewish culture, homosexuality and some mild form of BDSM?) wasn't sure what it did for the story though.

Very elegant writing, but I have a feeling that this was a story
May 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Historical Romance genre paired with the theme of Gambling was too good to miss. Put that with this line up of writers still my book-loving heart, I'm all in. As this is an anthology, I'd like to touch on each book individually so I'll arrange things in mini reviews. I'll be reading it out of order, but I'll try to arrange my review thoughts so that it follows the contents of the book.

All or Nothing by Rose Lerner 4 stars
A bawdy story about a Jewess running a London gaming house w
May 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
Originally reviewed at The Book Adventures.

Gambled Away is a novella collection that I find difficult to review. Objectively, this collection is well written and I enjoyed how all of the authors played with the historical romance genre, offering readers something different in a genre that is often slammed for its sameness. While intellectually I appreciate how unique all of the novellas were, I confess to feeling that none were to my personal taste. Perhaps it was the constraints of the novella
Maria Rose
Gambled Away is an anthology of five historical romances with different settings, but featuring a common theme – that of a game of chance whose consequences involve characters’ lives. For purposes of length, I’m reviewing three of the stories, but all five are definitely worth reading.

All or Nothing by Rose Lerner

This romance is unconventional, to say the least with characters more fluid in their sexuality and acceptable behavior than a typical regency romance. Maggie is Meyer’s partner and Mist
ARC provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review.

I’m a pretty serious poker player in my every day life. And, if I could, I’d spend all day at a blackjack table even though, yes, I know that, eventually, the house always wins. Add to that my romance novel obsession and the fact that, once upon a time, before I decided I did actually need money to live and sold my soul to the Bar, I was an historian: this book was always going to hit my TBR. Historical, romance, gambling. It’s the tri
ms bookjunkie
All or Nothing by Rose Lerner
Unexpected. Delightful. Hot. *happy sigh* 4 stars

The Liar’s Dice by Jeannie Lin
Fascinating, yet frustrating…need more Wei-wei and Gao! 4 stars

Raising The Stakes by Isabel Cooper
Cunning. Sneaky. Charming. 3.5 stars

Redeemed by Molly O’Keefe
Heart-wrenching. Hopeful. Heartwarming. 3.5 stars

Gideon and the Den of Thieves by Joanna Bourne
Fascinating. Intense. Familiar character-baiting. 4.5 stars

Great anthology, very refreshing. Maybe my enjoyment of it means that my histo
Apr 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Edit 2 June 2016

Here is my review, posted on my blog as well:
All or Nothing by Rose Lerner - 4.5 Stars

What a unique and hedonistic story!

The writing was impeccable as I have learned to expect from Ms Lerner and the story itself packed so much emotion and complexity in such a short format.

Maggie and Simon had strong distinctive voice which I loved very much. They both stood out with their complexity, being a little lost and a lot of in love/lust. He was full of good intentions and yet, failing to
Molly O'keefe
Apr 12, 2016 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
You know those old school historical romances when the heroine would get gambled away to clear her father's debts, or to save her family home or settle some score for her brother?

I LOVED those stories. And this anthology features five amazing stories with fabulous twists on that trope. Each story is romantic and surprising and thoughtful. Gambled Away will be released May 31.

My story - Redeemed - is the third of my Into The Wild series. Here's more:

The men of the West flock to watch the Norther
Really like the way the authors have experimented beyond the conventional selection for an anthology - we have explorations of dark themes , slightly open happy -for - now endings , and a couple of protagonists whose sexual kinks are a strong part of their identity

Jeannie Lin, Joanna Bourne and Molly O'Keefe 's contributions were of particular note. The overall rating was pulled down by the other two- their plots sort of meandered without any clear destination
It's a tale as old as time: someone is wagered and won in a game of chance. It's a romance trope I love, though I can see why some readers might shy away from it, given the implied lack of agency. Thoughtful writing and thoughtful twists make it work for me, and there's so much emotional chewiness at work in this trope that I'm not surprised it's such a favorite: there's rescue fantasy, there's competence porn (skillful at cards/dice/whatever, or skillful at elegantly cheating at the same), ther ...more
Rashika (is tired)
***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

All or Nothing by Rose Lerner

This was easily my favorite short story in this anthology and not just because it had a Jewish character and a bi character. There is just something about Rose Lerner’s story-telling style that manages to sweep you off your feet and make you so invested in a story that not even extreme tiredness can stop you from finishing. Her stories are always engaging and rarely ever have dull moments. All or Nothing tel
Eva Müller
Rose Lerner - All or Nothing: 3-4 Stars

This was perhaps a bit too much for such a short novella. I really enjoyed the characters and the bare bones of the romance, i.e. the story of Simon and Maggie and the problems they faced in their relationship because of money (or lack thereof), religion and Simon's ex. And just that would have made a great novella. However, additionally, there was also the issue of Simon's inability to say 'no'. At one point he talks to Maggie about it, she tells him how t
May 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Rose Lerner's All or Nothing--this is the first work I'd read by Ms. Lerner after hearing many good things about it, and indeed, all the praise is fully justified. Her writing drew me in from the start. Her characters aren't paragons but feel like flesh and blood, with richly drawn personalities, full of admirable strength and the weaknesses we shy away from acknowledging in ourselves. Her story was moving and passionate and hopeful. I very much look forward to catching up with her backlist!

Regan Walker
May 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 18th-century
Joanna Bourne’s Novella is a Wonderful Georgian Love Story in London’s Underworld!

Note: This story is a novella contained in the anthology titled Gambled Away. I read and review only Joanna Bourne’s story.

Set in London in 1793, Gideon and The Den of Thieves is another lovely story from one of my very favorite authors. It brings back some of the characters from her stories, including Hawker from The Black Hawk, who is his youngest yet… only 13 in this story.

Aimée Beauclerc is a part of the Broth
Wooo. By far, the most excellent romance anthology I've come across. Each story is exquisite, fully fleshed, intelligent, unique and deeply satisfying. Not a throw away or half effort in the lot.

I was already a fan of each of the 5 authors in this collection, but I still didn't expect to be as enthralled with an anthology as I turned out to be.

These are spectacularly talented writers, writing serious work. I can't recommend it enough.
I only read the Joanna Bourne (though I may go back and read the others), but I really loved baby Hawker and Aimee. I just miss this universe. Give me more soon, please!
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, arc
Disclosure: I received this ARC from Rose Lerner. Thank you to Rose, Joanna Bourne, Isabel Cooper, Jeannie Lin, and Molly O'Keefe for the opportunity. Yes, this is an honest review.

* * *

When one of your favorite authors contact you about an anthology she is in, and mentions the names of more of your favorite authors, you drop everything and read it. Gambled Away features 5 brand-new short stories that all explore the theme of gambling.

In the first story, All or Nothing, Rose Lerner's Simon Radcl
Sheila Melo
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is an anthology of five historical romance novellas all with a connection to gambling.  I found the collection uneven but I decided on a 4 rating because I absolutely loved two of the stories, and liked one.

ALL OR NOTHING by Rose Lerner: A regency romance, in this story Simon Radcliffe- Gould is an architect who needs someone to pose as his mistress so that he can get work done at a scandalous house party and allow him to avoid a former lover.  Maggie da Silva is in charge of a gambling den
Laura J.
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
So far I've only read 3 of the 5 stories and those alone are worth the 5 star rating. Joanna Bourne and Rose Lerner are among my favorite authors and they did not disappoint. Joanna Bourne's story takes place in the crime world of London. The heroine is a Frenchwoman who has escaped the Terror (barely) and is a fence for the crime boss, Lazarus. The hero is a exporter/importer (and so much more) who is going to ransom his sister from Lazarus. There's also a 13 year old Hawker, a smart, complicat ...more
Jun 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Pleasant. This collection features five very different historical romance novellas and it was likeable, but not outstanding. I loved the diversity of these stories--there are people who are Jewish, Chinese, bisexual, poly, drug addicts, thieves, non-human, and more. I also enjoyed the variety of locations, and America, London, and medieval China are featured.

I enjoyed Rose Lerner's story, but my favourite was definitely Joanna Bourne's novella, which isn't surprising because I love her Spymaste
May 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
I liked how the stories were all very different despite the common theme. Lerner is a favorite and I really enjoyed Lin's The Lotus Palace. I've been curious about O'Keefe and Bourne since they're so adored and they didn't disappoint. An excellent anthology for anyone wanting to try historical romance! ...more
Penny Black
Jun 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Excellent story by Joanna Bourne, filling in the dark spots in the story of Hawker's life before he joined the British Service. Did not bother with the others. Wish it came as a stand alone. ...more
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved the Bourne. Not so crazy about the others.
Jun 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Gambled Away is a diverse selection of stories linked literally and figuratively by games of chance. I found the anthology entertaining and satisfying, though some authors were more successful than others. Each novella stands alone, but familiarity with previous works by these authors (particularly Ms. Lin), would probably help to establish context the shorter format doesn’t allow.

I’m reviewing the novellas in the same order they appear in the anthology. Though if I have to pick a favorite - or
Sep 24, 2017 rated it liked it
In order of appearance -
Raising The Stakes by Isabel Cooper
Interesting concept, but it didn’t quite come together for me. I liked the hero and heroine, but the hero wasn’t, I dunno, hero-y enough. The setting of Depression-era California was very interesting, as is the heroine.

All or Nothing by Rose Lerner
Mixed feelings on this one. I liked that Maggie owned her choices and sexuality. I didn’t like the hero, Simon, very much. He is so whiny. His bisexuality wasn’t used to much effect, could h
*3.5 stars*

//cracks knuckles

Reviewing Anthologies is hard. You have so many different feelings about so many different stories that you can't honestly give it a composite review but giving individual reviews is so much more work.

Ah well.

Redeemed by Molly O'Keefe (5 stars)
Definitely my favorite story. It's dark and raw and built with characters who have steel cores and homicidal impulses. Psychological manipulation, respect for people you are lusting over and dealing with opium withdrawal? Yeah,
Stevie Carroll
May 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Previously reviewed on The Good, The Bad, and The Unread:

I’ve been trying to read more anthologies this year, as a way of discovering new authors, but that does mean I’m ending up with an even longer To Read list of full-length novels, as I discover yet more authors and series I want to investigate further. This collection of stories in which one or other of the main characters is won in a game of chance by another character is no exception.

The anthology opens with Rose Lerner’s Regency tale of
Morwa Pal
Jun 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Gambled Away: A Historical Romance Anthology
I couldn’t wait to read GAMBLED AWAY—how could I resist a new historical anthology that contains two of my favorite authors, Jeannie Lin and Joanna Bourne? Both are masters of the eras in which they write: Lin with her lyrical tales of ancient China and Bourne with her brilliant stories of the early days of the Napoleonic wars.
In “The Liar’s Dice,” Lin takes us back to the Lotus Palace world, giving Lady Bai (WeiWei) her story, which is as complex and
May 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Gambled Away features five historical romance novellas set in a variety of different countries and periods, united only by the common theme of gambling. Whatever your taste in historicals, there’s probably something for you here.

“All or Nothing” (Rose Lerner)—This novella may be set in 1819, but it isn’t a typical Regency romance. It features a bisexual hero, a Jewish heroine, discussion of dominance and submission play, and some frankly erotic sex. Having read a LOT of Regencies in the past, I
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Gambled Away is one of those wonderful collections of stories loosely linked by a common theme yet otherwise widely divergent one from the other. Each of these stories is a page turner and offers compelling reading.
All or Nothing, by Rose Lerner is a richly sensual tale that will have you squirming one minute and hoping Simon and Maggie find their happy ever after the next. Far from the traditional love story, this book delivered an erotic love story that was a very satisfying read. I loved it!
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Joanna lives in the foothills of the Blue Ridge with her family, a medium-sized mutt and a faux Himalayan cat.

She writes Historical Romances set in England and France during the Napoleonic Wars. She's fascinated by that time and place - such passionate conviction and burning idealism ... and really sexy clothes.

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