The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh, by K.J. Charles
A Society of Gentleman Short Story
This story was originally released in an anthology last year, but this is my first time to read it. An excellent filler while waiting for SoG Book 2 to come out in December!
Ash was a wastrel, a rattle, and a damned fool to boot.
Lord Gabriel Ashleigh wakes up to his worst nightmare: the previous night he got drunk and gambled away every penny he owned, including his house, to his family’s greatest enemy.
Francis Webster, impeccable, poised, dangerous Webster, with his supercilious sneers…
Francis has hated Ash and his brother since they were in school together, when he was mercilessly taunted for being from a lower class family. Now he is a respectable gentleman, and he’s managed to get his revenge.
Will you play?
When Francis gives Ash a chance to win back his fortune and his honor, Ash has no choice but to accept. However, the game quickly takes a turn that Ash had never expected.
I think I discovered a new favorite plot device… the Victorian equivalent of strip poker! Whew!!
And what stakes do you propose?
Oh my goodness, this short story was so gloriously sexy! I loved every second of it, from the flashbacks of Ash and Francis meeting in school, to Francis’ manipulations.
The couple appears in the other Society novels, so really excited to see the beginning of their relationship.
Historical romances are usually stuffed with overly-flowery language and boring facts that authors cram in to show off their research. K.J. is SO MUCH BETTER than that! Her writing is fantastic, her characters are complex and flawed and realistic, and she perfectly balances historical details with plot.
For only a dollar, you really can’t go wrong!