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Gamble of Hearts by Virginia Barlow (Book Review)

If you liked Bridgerton, you’ll love Gamble of Hearts! A regency romance laced with adventure, an arranged marriage, a love triangle, and more!

When a powerful duke arrives to collect his winnings from her brother, Lady Amora Hargrove discovers she is one of them. Following her brother’s arrest, she becomes the duke’s ward and falls for him hard and fast. Problem is, the duke has a violent hatred for gamblers, and she possesses a natural ability. Something he can never discover, or she will lose him forever.
The Duke of Ravencroft exacts revenge for his nephew’s death and gains a ward. Irresistibly drawn to the villain’s sister, he must play and gamble with their hearts or lose everything.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 


I don’t typically reach for historical romances, but I’m glad I read Gamble of Hearts by Virginia Barlow. 




Multiple kidnappings.



Secret identity.

Surprise developments.

Strong heroine. 

Loving hero. 

Multiple villains.


All these elements made this a book I could not put down! 


Alexander and Amora did not have a meet-cute moment. She was given to Alexander by her brother, Nathan. As the story unfolds, readers will be shocked to discover her despicable brother used her as collateral multiple times. Nathan deserved everything that came to him. His sister, Amora, did not deserve all the evils she encountered at her brother’s hand or the hand of other men. However, she did deserve all the love and loyalty of her true love, the Duke of Ravencroft. 

Amora and Alexander did not meet under ideal situations, but their love, their passion for one another, is something people yearn for. Their relationship as a whole is one that people dream about. Who doesn’t want to find a life partner that is loving, supportive, makes you laugh, and brings you endless joy?

I recommend reading Gamble of Hearts. It has numerous surprising moments that will keep you turning the pages. Sex scenes that will have you fanning yourself or reaching for a cool drink. Sweet and tender moments. And scenes filled with pain that will have you wishing for Amora to finally get her happily ever after. BTW – she does. That’s not really a spoiler; I’m sure you already assumed she would. 

Read the book; I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I did!


Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤

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Meet the Author

I love being an author. It’s all about where your characters lead you. I start with a general idea. As the story unfolds I type as fast as I can in hopes I keep up with my characters.They have had me jotting on napkins, making notes while I’m waiting in a line, and waking me up in the middle of the night. The hard part is always the ending. My characters live with me and when I reach the end of the story, it is hard to say goodbye.Sometimes I let the story sit for a few days to make sure I’m okay with them leaving home to get published. Kind of like when you kids move out. LOL

I enjoy my grandchildren, and the time I share with them. They make me smile with their antics. I like to quilt, crochet, knit and sew. Cooking and baking are occasional itches I scratch. The rest of the time, they are necessary evils. LOL.

My greatest support comes from my husband. He has been my sounding board for all my stories. My daughters are also a great support to me. I couldn’t do it without my family.

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