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For once, he has met a lady less inclined to marry than he is. How unfortunate that she is the only bride he will consider.

George Clavering is much too young to think about getting married. Yes, his older brother—and even his younger sister—have managed to tie the knot, but he has plenty more years of play and sporting events ahead of him before he need consider such a thing. Even matchmaking becomes a sport when gentlemen bet on the season’s successes or failures in the club. He will not give them an opportunity to bet on him. Furthermore, why settle down when there are young women like Lady Alice who liven the sport of matchmaking with friendly wagers?

Lady Alice St. Clair is the fifth daughter of the Duke of Carr, and as she is independently wealthy and may do as she pleases, she has no reason to wed. She certainly has no intention of doing so. If the marriage mart offers nothing more than the unattractive boors who have presented themselves at her door for the past five seasons, it should hardly surprise her parents she cannot be persuaded to the altar. True, George Clavering has a full head of dark hair and a smile that is as mischievous as it is attractive, but no lady of character would change her mind for one above-average specimen of the male race.

For both, what began as a friendly bet between two bored guests at a ball turned into an earnest desire to help their protégés find happiness. And if some deeper feelings should stir in George to win Alice’s heart, then he has no choice but to dampen them. After all, Lady Alice has sworn she will not marry, and George has applauded her decision. For him to try to weaken her resolve now would be...unsportsmanlike.

©2022 Jennie Goutet (P)2022 Jennie Goutet

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  • Laurie S
  • 08-06-22


I loved the previous book. This one is okay so far, but it feels like the writing is different. The concept intrigued me, but I’m not engaging with it like I wanted to. It’s explaining a lot more than it’s showing. There’s not much to the plot, so maybe that’s why it also feels like the pace is sluggish so far. I generally enjoy this author’s clean stories, so I’ll keep going and hope the pace and delight pick up a bit more. One funny quirk is that we get to hear about Alice’s train being pinned up or not quite frequently. It does play into her intent not to marry, but there surely must have been other ways to convey the meaning with more variety. Also, I’m a big fan of Stevie Zimmerman’s work, but she pronounces Amos as A-Moss. I’ve always heard it sounded out as A-Muss, and the internet doesn’t give examples contrary to that. She is probably correct, as she’s a native UK speaker, but now I’m curious and would love to know for sure.