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All In with the Duke (Gambling on Love #1) by Ava March

November 11, 2013


London, 1822

Max Arrington, the Duke of Pelham, vows to never again let a handsome face blind him to a man’s true intentions. But ten months of celibacy and lonely nights drive him to a decadent brothel, where a beautiful young man arouses his illicit passions as never before.

Tristan Walsh has grown tired of being used for men’s pleasure. But his latest client is different: commanding yet generous, Max makes him feel cared for as well as wanted. Yet Tristan knows he’ll never have the choice to leave the brothel and submit only to Max.

So when Max invites him to be his guest at his country estate, Tristan eagerly agrees to his terms—days to do as he pleases while Max tends to the dukedom, and nights spent together in wicked play. But when the “business arrangement” begins to deepen into something more, Tristan must face the fact that he has no true place in Max’s life—or in Max’s guarded heart…

My Review:

When I saw this I just knew it would be for me. As a young girl, my first introduction into the book world of romance was by the wonderful Jude Deveraux. I was hooked. I loved the world of Historical Romance and read everything I could get my hands on. To combine my first love of romance with my current love was a chance I was more than willing to take. This book, this author and the world I stepped into when I read London, 1822 was like coming home for me.

The prologue starts us off right. We know from page one who Max Arrington is on the surface. What he, as a duke (do not get me started on the feels and the puddle I was turned into with the first Your Grace) is capable of and what he will not stand for. The way he hunted to get his point across was amazing. Taking us to the present, 10 months later, we see Max, Duke of Pelham as his official title and his responsibilities that come with it. His intriguing acquaintance and fellow member in the House of Lords, Rawlings just wants Max to have a little fun. With a small suggestion…

You should consider it, though. A night of debauchery puts a smile on a man’s face like nothing else. Rubicon’s. It has something for everyone. Everyone, no matter your tastes.

Something for everyone leads Max to employ the services off Tristan Walsh, a prostitute with the ginger hair who set my Nook, I mean Max’s lust on fire. From the moment the men meet, they realize the attraction they have and how this time, this time things could be different. Their first time together was HOT. No other way to say it, they were so sexy, so passionate and I realized I needed to develop a poker face as I was sneak reading this at my desk as well as taking a walk into the crisp air to cool off.  Max immediately realizes that this will not be a one-time deal for him but with his life, his management of the Dukedom in the country how can he make it work with someone he feels a pull toward in London?

On a positive note, he now has a reason to look forward to returning to London. He could pay Tristan a call whenever he came to Town. It was either an occasional visit to the brothel or nothing. Nothing was damn lonely, and Rubicon’s held an exquisitely beautiful man who fit beneath Max like he had been made for him.

Tristan, my beautiful ginger haired one and twenty year old man who stole my heart the second I realized we also get his POV. Tristan is a whore due to circumstance and as he sees the girls leave the brothel as Mistresses, he knows this can never be his future. Tristan sees in Max what he could never have yet feels the difference lacking in his usual customers with him and when something happens that was not supposed to be seen, Max flexes his Duke muscles and comes to the rescue and offers a Tristan a way out.

“What I am proposing is an arrangement that can be mutually advantageous, and mutually pleasurable for both of us.”

“So…you are offering to keep me?” Tristan asked.


“Similar to a mistress, but I would live with you.”

Max nodded. That about summed it up. All the benefits of a lover without the associated risks. “Yes.”

Once out in the country we get into the heart of these men. We learn their secrets, their past and oh the things they hide in drawers bought from shops before they left London. Yes, I am hinting at the bit of kink in this book that was beautifully done. I loved the scenes we got with it and what a special treat Tristan gets from Max’s wonderful memory. The time spent amongst Max and Tristan was fun, sexy, sensual and breathtaking both in the daylight and darkness of each day spent together.

All in With the Duke was my first book from Ava March and I am now a fan of her work. This was a welcome back to the world of Historical Romance with the mention of White’s, late suppers and the bothersome Ton. I felt so comfortable reading this story, knowing from my prior book experience the lay of the land but of course with the twist of my boys.  This book was gorgeous, the story telling beautiful and the relationship melted me into the puddle where I love to be. I liked how each secret was revealed, how the men dealt with the change in their relationship and grew with it and the end was done wonderfully. I cannot imagine how two men would carry on a relationship during the 1800’s without it being a problem but the solution was believable to this fan girl of historical romance.

One night with you was all it took. I just wanted to be with you again.

I am more than intrigued that there will be more in this series and I am crossing my fingers of who the next books will be about.

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating

*ARC provided by Carina Press via NetGalley*

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