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Sunday, April 22, 2018

The Last Gamble & Return to the House of Sin by Anabelle Bryant - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

Reviews by Suze

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Luke is the successful business owner of a gambling hell. He's rich, he has many friends and he can have his choice of women. However, Luke is terribly unhappy. His family relationships are making him miserable, he is a bastard, the half-brother of an Earl. Luke is also a father and his brother has stolen his child. Luke loves Nate with all his heart and wants to be a good father. He doesn't want Nate to grow up in a cold and loveless home and needs to find him as quickly as possible. After many months of fruitless searching he finally has a lead, a governess in Coventry. Will she be able to lead him to his missing son?

Georgina is hiding in a cottage in Coventry. She's working as a governess, but comes from a good family. She left London behind and doesn't want to return. However, without Georgina's help Luke and Nate will probably never be reunited. Can she risk going back to the place she's afraid to return to, to help the desperate father? What will happen when sparks start to fly, will Georgina and Luke have a chance together or are their worlds too different to even think about such a thing?

The Last Gamble is a heartwarming romantic story. Luke is a tough man with a big heart. He knows how to seduce, manipulate and gamble, but he's also kind and caring. He will do anything for his son and I couldn't turn the pages quickly enough to see if he'd find Nate. Georgina can help him with his search, but initially she's a reluctant participant and needs plenty of convincing. It was interesting to see how Luke approaches her and I kept hoping he'd eventually break through her barriers. There's a lot of chemistry between them and they have a great intellectual connection. I loved their bond and reading about these two wonderful people constantly made me smile.

Anabelle Bryant's writing has a nice easy flow. I liked her vivid descriptions of her main characters and settings. She gives many fascinating details to make her stories come to life in a great way and I loved reading about her version of the ton. The Last Gamble is incredibly entertaining. I love it when a story is dynamic, dazzling and filled with true love. Anabelle Bryant has given this story a fabulous feelgood factor and I enjoyed every single page.

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Crispin fled London with a broken heart and a large amount of debt. He hasn't contacted his family and friends since he left and stayed in Italy with his friend Count Este. He's learned how to gamble and made a fortune. He also found comfort in the arms of many willing Italian women. Crispin had a chance to heal, but Italy isn't forever. It's time to return to London and pay the owners of the gaming hell where he completely fell apart. When he's just entered his cabin on the ship he finds a woman in his quarters. Lady Amanda is a stowaway on a ship that isn't safe for women and Crispin has to hide her in his room for the entire journey.

Amanda has no luggage. She was traveling with her father and sister, but lost them in the crowd. She found out she's on the wrong ship after departure. That's why she needs help and Crispin is the perfect candidate to give it to her. He might think he's a bastard and a rake, but he's actually a kind man trying to hide behind a facade. Amanda sees straight through this image and feels safe with him. Crispin doesn't want to lose his heart, he can't risk having it shattered again, but spending time with Amanda while keeping his distance proves to be incredibly difficult. Will he be able to overcome his fears?

Return to the House of Sin is a wonderful story. Amanda is very smart, but also a bit clumsy. She often ends up in a tangle and this kept making me smile. She's insightful and kind and that is exactly what Crispin needs. He was young and foolish and made a mistake. He's ready to make amends, but he carefully guards his heart. Amanda is in his cabin and there's only one bed, so if he doesn't want to be close to her, Crispin has to leave. They end up spending quite a bit of quality time together and this made fascinating reading. I loved their sparkling connection.

Anabelle Bryant's fabulous descriptions of the ton are making the world she writes about come to life in an amazing way. The first part of Return to the House of Sin is set on a ship and I loved how captivating she's made that journey. I was intrigued by Crispin's past and couldn't wait to find out if he'd be able to clear his name. Not knowing what he'd find when returning to London made the story even more enjoyable. I couldn't wait to find out if he'd get his happily ever after and read the story in one sitting. Return to the House of Sin is a mesmerizing romantic book.


If you love historical romance The Bastards of London series will be an excellent choice. The stories can all be read as standalones.

About Anabelle Bryant

Anabelle began reading at age three and never stopped. Her passion for reading soon turned into a passion for writing and an author was born. Happy to grab a suitcase if it ensures a new adventure, Anabelle finds endless inspiration in travel, especially imaginary jaunts into Regency England, a far cry from her home in New Jersey. Instead, her clever characters live out her daydreams because really, who wouldn't want to dance with a handsome duke or kiss a wicked earl?

Though teaching keeps her grounded, photography, running and writing, counterbalance her wanderlust. Often found with her nose in a book, Anabelle earned her Master's Degree and is ABD in completing her Doctorate Degree in education. Anabelle's historical romances are character driven. She strives to provide a heartfelt connection between her hero, heroine, and the reader, believing the emotional journey on the path to true love is the most important bond. Clever secondary characters and lively conversation keep the pages turning.

Anabelle knows sometimes life doesn't provide a happily ever after, but her novels always do.


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1. Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

By day I’m a kindergarten teacher and by night, a historical romance author and although the two careers are completely different, I’m never detached from the story I’m writing at the moment. I feel lucky to have chosen a satisfying career which helps children become booklovers and readers, while also pursuing my passion for writing.

2. You write about rakes with big hearts, where does your inspiration for these men come from?

Purely from my imagination and my perception of the perfect romantic hero. I think flaws are interesting and often, people aren’t what they appear to be. Many of my rakes hide a vulnerable heart, tortured past or have been wronged in life, and I believe that makes them more open to finding true love…even if they fight against it.

3. What do you like the most about Regency romance?

I must have an old soul to match my romantic heart because I wish society still upheld the traditions and etiquette found in the Regency period. Men courted women with strict rules and decorum. Values were important and a person’s reputation spoke for their respect within the community. Love was hard won and highly cherished. I would have fit in perfectly during that historic era.

4. You live in New Jersey, while your stories are set in England of the past, why have you chosen this setting and time frame?

Aside from my love of history and enchantment with aristocracy, I have traveled through Europe and fallen in love with its many charms. I’m interested in the elegance of the Regency period. I think the social functions and fashion of this time frame are the stuff of fairytales and my imagination thrives on all of it.

5. If you could travel back in time and be part of the ton for a day, what would you do?

I assure you I would have a very long list for my single day adventure. I would visit Gunters and enjoy a flavored ice, go to the British Museum to see the Elgin Marbles, purchase a gown at the best modiste and wear it to a much anticipated ball where I would dance with a dashing Earl or surly Duke – visit the wallflowers who are too shy to participate, kiss a rogue in a dark hallway alcove and waltz until my slippers wore out.

6. You love happy endings, what do true love and real romance mean to you?

True love and romance live differently in fiction. In real life, love is a combination of so many things. Daily life is difficult. Work and responsibilities easily make a person tired.

I think true love and romance are the ability to see past all the distractions of life and relate to someone on an emotional level - to appreciate their unconditional loyalty and dedication and try to return it every single day.

7. You love traveling, what’s your most memorable experience?

I was fortunate enough to visit several European countries while still in high school. To visit historic landmarks and a long list of cities while still a teenager and very impressionable, is an experience I will never forget. Since that time, travel and our world has changed so much, I don’t think I could every replicate the experience I had back then.

8. How did your writing journey start?

I’ve always loved writing and have a very active imagination, but life took me down many crossroads before I became published. No matter where life led me, I never surrendered my love of writing and in 2013 decided that if I didn’t pursue publication with every ounce of energy, I should abandon the thought altogether. Twelve novels later, I’m thrilled I made that decision.

9. You write about a different time, how do you handle the research for your stories and how do you create the exact right atmosphere?

I’ve always been a history lover and bookworm, so research isn’t a problem – especially with so much information available online. I think the biggest influence on my love of Regency and creating the right atmosphere has been the hundreds of novels I’ve read for over three decades. It’s easy to imagine living in Regency after being immersed in the amazing stories of authors I admire like Kathleen Woodiwiss, Sherry Thomas, Loretta Chase and Jude Deveraux.

10.What are your plans for the future?

I’m hopeful and excited. With a new paperback series releasing this summer, I plan to meet new readers and participate in upcoming conferences. I’ll be in Denver in July for the Romance Writers National Conference too. And of course, my most important plans are to keep writing historical romance.


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One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive digital copies of the complete Bastards of London series by Anabelle Bryant, consisting of The Den Of Iniquity, Into The Hall Of Vice, The Last Gamble and Return to the House of Sin.

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The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. Both books sound like passionate romances woven with rich detail and a touch of suspense.

  2. You are a new to me author and I look forward to reading your books. They sound like the exact types of books I love to read:) Like you, I have an old soul and love anything historical:) Really enjoyed reading your answers to the interview questions!! Carole Burant (

  3. Anabelle's books are delightful, intriguing and seductive!! You will never regret starting one of her series and you'll never want them to end. The characters are so easy to fall in love with. I am looking forward to Anabelle's next series!! Not much longer!!! Enjoyed the Q & A!!

  4. These sound great, and win or not, I will be diving in shortly!

  5. congrats on the series! It sounds fantastic! Thanks for sharing :)

  6. Thank you for the awesome giveaway ❤️
    I hope to start reading your books ❤️

  7. Anabelle Bryant is a brilliant writer. Her stories truly transport you to another time and place and her characters are written with such depth that the reader cannot help but become fully engaged in their lives.

  8. These books look awesome! Great reads!

  9. I appreciate your perspective on love and romance in real life :)

  10. I love a happy ending too!

  11. I am so interested in Bastards of London series! I have it on my Wish List and I would so love to read it.

  12. Michelle FergusonMay 2, 2018 at 10:18 PM

    Looks like a brilliant series, would be perfect reading for my holiday

  13. Wow, look at the cover. They sound amazing too. A historical novel full of seduction and romance? Definitely one to go on my TBR mountain range.

  14. Love a good historical romance novel with glass of wine in the garden, really let's you get into the story properly surrounded by nature