Anya Wylde a couple of months ago, asking me if I would read and review her novel. The Wicked Wager is a cozy mystery with a little bit of romance thrown in. This is not a Christian fiction novel, but neither is it profane.
The story starts out with two characters--the heroine Miss Emma Grey, and Lord Richard Hamilton--in Regency England. Lord Hamilton decides upon Miss Grey as his wife, and while the family mostly supports the two, Miss Grey's uncle--the Duke of Arden--does not. Not persuaded to be thwarted by the Duke's decision that they not be wed, Lord Richard plots a scheme to trick the Duke into allowing him to wed Emma. What results is an interesting tale of woes, frustrations, and murder! As a who-dun-it type of story, The Wicked Wager is a story that nicely weaves some romance, mystery and a splash of comedy here and there.
The story started out a bit slow and dull to me. It didn't feel like it had much content at first. I struggled to hold on through several chapters, but then things took off a little. The characters seemed very corny, flaky if you will. There were a few instances where there were POV issues. I had a hard time in places trying to figure out which character was acting narrator at the time.
There were secondary characters in the book who fell in love. I felt that they added to the storyline, but their story, I felt, began to take precedence at one point and I lost interest in the actual main characters' story.
At the end when the murder mystery evolved and then was preparing to be solved, the explanation by the Duke went on and on. I felt like there was too much emphasis in the "explaining" of the murder.
Overall, this story was an interesting read. It had sort of a classical Jane Austen type of tone to it. I think that this author is one to watch. With some more editing and focus on POV, there will be some interesting reads come from Anya Wylde.
Thank you to Anya Wylde for the free copy of her book in exchange for my honest opinion.