“I suppose a kiss of gratitude is out of the question?”
Widowed Lady Eleanor Peyton has chosen a life of independence. Living alone on her rocky coastal outcrop, she’s cut herself off from the world of men—until William Rudhale saves her life and demands a kiss!
As steward to Lady Eleanor’s father, Will knows the desire he burns with is futile—but he’ll still wager he can claim Eleanor’s kiss by midwinter. Yet when the tide turns Will realizes vulnerable Eleanor is far too precious to gamble with.
Can he win his lady before it’s too late?
Eleanor Payton after the death of her husband has now decided on living the rest of her life in solitude, she has always vied for more independence and now she has it, she wants to prove that she doesn’t need a man in her life to take charge. Eleanor knows that her peaceful, quiet – if lonely existence – will one-day end, if her parents have their way. Even though she is a widow and living on her own mean’s, they still meddle into her life at every opportunity and they have made it abundantly clear that she must re-marry. Even though she is now in a horrendous position Eleanor being the tough cookie that she is has vowed that no matter who her family push in her direction she will not yield to them. That is until she meets her father’s new steward.
When she first meets William Rudhale, he first saves her life and being the rogue that he is demands a kiss for payment she thinks him nothing but a scoundrel. A handsome one at that, who as irritating and infuriating as he is, she can’t stop herself from thinking about him. Eleanor is a spirited young woman, she is stubborn and highly picky but underneath all that gutsy bravado lies a young woman who just wants to be loved. She wants the thing that alludes so many other’s she wants a true marriage where she can love and be loved and be happy.
‘You can let go of me now,’ she muttered.
The horseman’s eyes crinkled. ‘I could,’ he said, ‘though I just saved your life. There must be some benefits to rescuing a beautiful maiden in distress and holding her until she stops shaking is one of them. I suppose a kiss of gratitude is out of the question?’
Well, what can I say about Will? He is such a great character. Strong – not just in body but in body but in mind too, canny and rough around the edges. He is grafter, he knows the concept of hard work. Because of his knowledge, his determination to prove himself and his wit and boyish – if sometimes serious – charm he has made a name for himself, his had got a sold intelligent head on his shoulders, he has pulled himself up from practically nothing and slogged hard to make something of himself and all that grit and stamina has worked as he is now head a steward at his young age, plus various little off shoots in wine that not just bring him extra income but greater respect from people who would normally look down their noses at him. This man is such a keeper, he may have a brusque rudeness about him at times, but that just adds to his appeal. Hobbes has got Will spot on, he is the thing that keeps me glued to the book.
Will think’s that the wager he accepts to steal a kiss from Eleanor before midwinter is going to be a piece of cake, after all he has seen the way she blushes in his presence and he knows how she watch’s him how her eyes have more than once taken in every aspect of his body. So, he gladly takes on the wager – after all you can never have too many sheep.? But as he begins to woo her, he finds that she is not at all what she said seems. She isn’t the thick-skinned, fiery woman he first thought her to be. She is vulnerable and looks at life and him with eyes which are filled with suspicion and something else…fear!
‘Why did you come?’ she asked instead.
‘To protect you, of course,’ William answered. He sounded surprised that she had to ask. ‘What other motive do you suspect me of?’
‘I don’t need your protection,…..’
…She drew the dagger from its scabbard and brandished it aloft. ‘I won’t hesitate to use this if I need to.’ William stopped laughing abruptly and his face became solemn.
‘I’m sure you won’t…’
As a couple they go through so many emotions, from furious and irritated to scared and distrustful. Then there are the sneaky glances with heated eyes the lustful stares and the little touches, the atmosphere crackles around them. The way that they move from lady and steward to a lusty and caring couple is very beautiful, the slow burning only makes them even more alluring and when they do give in – even with a small touch – it is worth the wait. They are a cute couple.
The only thing I do have to say against it is, the first chapter is a bit of a slow burner for me, up until we meet Will – who for me is the driving force of this book. Don’t get me wrong there is absolutely nothing wrong with the book before we are introduced the Will as Hobbes does a great job at building up Eleanor’s past for you to understand her story and her character.
I did really enjoy the story itself, I know that Hobbes says this is more of a Christmas book and I can really see that, it isn’t as dark or heavy as the other books I have read from her – which is what I have come to expect from medieval romance, and it’s a pleasant change. It’s different but in an entirely good way. It’s a great read and as we’ve to come to expect from Hobbes, she sprinkles her unique charm across it and she has created an alluring and thoughtful story.
The Wager for the Widow is perfect for those starting out in medieval romance and those who have just come across Elisabeth Hobbes, it’s a fresh and classy romance with that medieval edgy-ness that I love about this era, as always with this author, highly recommended.
This was a complimentary copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Wager for the Widow is put now and can be found in all retail outlets including Amazon.