The Wicked Wager is a book by Anya Wylde that has romance and a murder mystery in the Regency period.
Lord Richard Hamilton falls for Emma Grey and asks her to marry him. Her parents approve but, her uncle the Duke of Arden wants them to wait a year vs the two months that Richard wanted to wait. Richard makes a wager with Emma about whether the Duke or someone else would see through his disguise as new head gardener or find him in a compromising situation with Emma so they would be forced to marry earlier. Richard discovers that the Duke's sister has been blackmailing people and she tries to blackmail him. To complicate matters the Duke sens for Richard to come for a visit. So, Richard gets his good friend (who has black hair vs Richard's blond hair) to come as Lord Hamilton. Of course, the friend falls madly in love with Emma's best friend and sometimes forgets to woo Emma.
To further complicate matters, the servants quarters are locked and Richard cannot make his way back to them one night and winds up spending the night in Emma's room. It happens that the Duke's sister is murdered during the night and almost everyone is a suspect except the Lord's one servant who was following the real Richard and Emma. The fake Richard is seen going into his "love's room" and the Duke decides both couples must marry as soon as possible.
I have to admit I was looking for the murder much earlier than in actually occurs. I did enjoy reading this e-book. I feel that anyone who likes romantic novels especially in the Regency period would love this book. I am not sure all mystery fans would feel the same way about the mystery happening so late in the work as the characters are well developed and the book is interesting to read.
I was given a free e-book by the author who asked me to write an honest review.