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The Highest Stakes

(Georgian Gamesters #1)

3.28  ·  Rating details ·  275 ratings  ·  72 reviews

In the high stakes gentleman's world of 18th century horseracing, when the blood of the "desert kings" ruled the English turf, a hero returns from war to claim the girl he has loved since he first spied her riding hell-for-leather over the Doncaster heath. Determined to have her at any cost, he will risk everything.
A story of star-crossed lo
Paperback, 542 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first published 2010)
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Average rating 3.28  · 
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Jul 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
We’re off to the races with the epic romantic adventure: The Highest Stakes, and when I say epic, I really mean epic, the novel spanning over the years as two lovers fight to be together and are torn part by the greed of others and finally reunited after going through hell and back, but their love was ever constant and strong.

The stakes are none so higher when it comes to love and horse racing with the cast of characters sharing the spotlight at one time or another, but none so much as Robert
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 23, 2010 rated it really liked it

Wow, I don’t know where to start with this book, so much to say, so little space! First I need to say I LOVED it, it was INCREDIBLE. So why the 4 star rating, well, that’s the problem, there are so many layers to this book, one would almost have to review it in stages to really do it justice, it’s just that complex.

The first half of the book spends a lot of time describing the intricacies of the horse breeding and racing world of the 18th century. To a horse lover or anyone open to learning, it
UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

The Highest Stakes is author Emery Lee’s debut novel and, quite simply put, a story of epic proportions! It’s a tale of betrayal, murder, redemption, love lost and love found, scheming, more betrayal, heroes and villains, heroines and shrews, war and peace, retribution, manipulation, love lost again, then found again, greed, humor, sorrow, twists, turns and… well… sounds a bit like a historical soap opera, doesn’t it? But I’m telling you… General Hospital was never this good!!

I've often found th
Tara Chevrestt
Jan 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Tara by: Misfit
This is a very dramatic tale, reads much like a soap opera in the early days of horse racing. However, the book cover may have one thinking it is mostly about Charlotte. That is not the case.. It follows Robert and his friend Philip most of the time with very little of the limelight focusing on Charlotte who despite donning a pair of breeches and riding astride a horse, is a typical damsel in distress.

I liked the book tho. It kept me guessing. For once, I couldn't predict every turn and outcom
Amy Bruno
Jan 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Let me start of by saying that when I accepted this book for review I was a little hesitant because I’m not really a horse person and have no knowledge of horse racing, but with my quest to broaden my historical fiction reading I thought I would give it a try. And, I am so glad I did!! Emery Lee’s debut novel The Highest Stakes was a really fabulous read.

Set in 18th century England, the main plot of the story is of Charlotte and Robert and their quest to be together despite Charlotte’s uncle’s d
Emery Lee
May 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
THE HIGHEST STAKES - commentary author Emery Lee

Since THE HIGHEST STAKES' release, I have done a number of guest blogs to answer questions about my creative process, why I chose Georgian England and Colonial Virginia as my settings, and how I researched the novel. I also wrote about the history of horseracing and my own passion for equines. I would now like share some of these thoughts and add some background information on the novel itself.

It is always said that one should write one's passions
"Set against the sights, sounds, and excitement of the brand new sport of thoroughbred racing. "The Highest Stakes" is a story of drama, love, and retribution in a world where pedigree is everything and fortunes can be won and lost in the blink of an eye."

"From the first day she learned to ride, Charlotte Wallace lived for the freedom that comes from tearing across the heath on one of her uncle's prized stallions. But that freeom is shattered when her uncle makes her the pawn in his bet on a hig
May 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The love of all things equine first drew me to Emery Lee’s debut novel, “The Highest Stakes.”

The author’s ability to spin a story keep me entranced between the covers of this moving historical romance. “The Highest Stakes” is set in England during the mid-18th century. At that time, horseracing was a gentleman’s sport catering to the society of nobility.

This is the story of forbidden love, greed, hatred, revenge, and retribution with a good dose of history mixed in.

The story focuses on star-cros
Christy B
Taking place in the 1740s and 50s in both Europe and the American colonies, The Highest Stakes is a vastly researched novel about horse racing and love.

Robert Devington desperately wants to marry Charlotte Wallace, but her uncle and guardian forbids it because, simply, Devington is a nobody.

I admit, some of the stuff in this novel flew right over my head. I know jack about horse racing and horses – I've never been near one in my life. I enjoyed the details of the racing. It was exciting. It felt
Jan 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

The story begins in 1742 and is focused around the love story of Charlotte Wallace and Robert Devington. Upon the death of her parents, Charlotte was raised in the household of her Uncle, Lord Gower. Surrounded by uncaring relatives Charlotte always is more at home in her uncle’s stables and develops a close relationship with Robert, but as a groom he can never hope to wed her (although they can dream…..). Robert signs up as a soldier in King George’s army and eventually strikes up a cl
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: horse lovers
Recommended to Shelly by: my sister
THE HIGHEST STAKES – Review by Shelly
Although I am not a big book reader, particularly in a literal sense (and this is a very big book) I am a lifelong lover of all things equine. The horse racing alone gave this novel enough mystique for me to pick it up, and although it was a big investment of my time to read, it was absolutely worth it!

I was totally engrossed by the historical aspects of this book from an equine perspective. The author fills the pages with so many fascinating facts and detai
Jan 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Heres is the link for my review:
Jul 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Free Kindle download — something I've had for a long while but only recently took up reading because I saw a favorable review of it on a blog. I'm actually vacillating between giving it three stars or four, but I'll go with four because I'm feeling generous today.

First, this is a historical romance ... with horses!

And actually, the horses figure pretty heavily in this book. The main characters are really into racing them, breeding them, training them, riding them, buying and selling them, whatev
Highest Stakes is a historical novel set in Georgian England. It is not a romance novel, although a romance is central to the story. It is about greed and ambition, class and the lack of choice for women and commoners. It's about the lucrative and vicious business of horse-breeding and racing, soldiering in the Napoleonic War, and characters attempting to break out of their social status.

I really enjoy historical fiction that doesn't focus on famous people and events because the outcome isn't p
Kathleen Kelly
Jan 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finished
This debut novel by life-long history buff, equestrian, and romantic, Emery Lee, tells the tale of horseracing, war and unrequited love in 18th century England and Colonial Virginia. It takes place from 1742 until 1751 and tells the well researched story of lowly stable hands to upper class Lords and Ladies. This tale is full of intrigue, suspense and the ins and outs of horseracing which is very competitive amongst the upper classes in England and most anyone in colonial Virginia. Fortunes are ...more
Apr 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
What first piqued my interest in THE HIGHEST STAKES was the back cover blurb about the origins of Throroughbred racing and pedigrees, but the book proved to be so much more than a bland history of horseracing!
The book opens with a horse race described in such blow-by-blow detail, that I felt like an active participant. The suspense became so heightened I felt I had placed actual stakes on the race in which Robert Devington rode.
I was then captivated by the heartrending story between Robert, a lo
Feb 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
3.5 stars
Read my full review on my blog: Book Review of The Highest Stakes

With The Highest Stakes, Emery Lee has given the reader a highly detailed and researched plot. While reading this novel, there was never a time when I knew what was going to happen next. Unexpected twists kept you guessing until the very last page. There are just a couple small issues I had with the book, the first being the times when writing became a little dry with the abundant equestrian detail. The detail of the horse
Laura Hartness
Jan 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Read my review of The Highest Stakes and enter to win the ARC:

Deadline for the giveaway is May 1st, 2010.
Sep 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Highest Stakes is an historical fiction novel with some very strong romantic elements. It was a very interesting mix of romance, class struggle, friendships, and (as you can tell from the cover) horse racing. All these aspects mix in the form of Robert and his pursuit of his employer's daughter, Charlotte. When her guardians refuse to allow him to marry her, he sets off to prove he is more than just a worker - he joins the King's Horse. This is where he befriends Drake, the second son of an Earl ...more
Aug 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
When I first picked up “The Highest Stakes” it was with great trepidation that I began reading. Considering I read and write Young Adult fiction, the sheer weight of the book sent me running in the other direction. Oh, and not to mention the fact that I know NOTHING about horses, old England, or racing. However, I’d seen such high praise about the book I decided to give it a try.

With limited time I planned to read fifty pages a day. By day two I’d completed the book. There’s nothing like startin
May 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle-edition
This was cute but not sure why its been heaped with all of the superlatives. It was better than your average garden variety Harlequin romance but the characters while likable, were predictable, as was the plot. It was very tedious in several places and I found myself fast forwarding through quite a bit. I am hugely impressed that this was a first book and I expect we'll hear more from this author.
Christy English
Jun 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one...the Georgian voices and the beautiful horses are made this a really engaging read... And it turns out that there are two romances that serve as a backbone for the book, not just one! I love romance...I recommend this one...
Aug 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Thank you goodreads for sending this book to me. I enjoy horse racing and reading the excerps was very enlightening. The three main characters in the book were well developed and kept you turning the pages to the end. Anyone who enjoys historical fiction will be happy they picked up this read.
Lindi Peterson
Nov 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book and recommend it to everyone. Great characters. Amazing setting and time period. Romance, intrigue. I really can't say enough good things about this book. I can't wait for the next one by Emery Lee.
Jul 04, 2010 added it
Shelves: 19th-century
Written in combined Jane Austin and modern style, this novel starts out somewhat awkwardly but persevere like the race horse and you will find yourself in for quite a ride.
Apr 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Thought the ending was too abrupt but a good read!
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Whether historical fiction or historical romance, self-professed Georgian junkie Emery Lee loves nothing more than crafting emotionally compelling stories that bring the past vividly to life.

"Lee brings the atmosphere of the Georgian era to life with lush descriptions that beg the reader to see, hear, feel and touch it all....with a lively cast of characters and surprising twists and turns that a

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Georgian Gamesters (2 books)
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