Review: One Dangerous Night (The Gambler's Daughters, #2) by Cathy Maxwell


Print Length: 364 pages
Publisher: Avon (March 26, 2024)

From Elise Lanscarr is furious—her very own sister has married the man Elise had marked for herself. Feeling betrayed, she flees London, determined to return to the one place where everything was once as it should her family home in Ireland. But when her stagecoach crashes in a storm, she finds herself cast adrift in the wilds with no one to help but a rough-looking, albeit handsome, stranger—one who has obviously never been informed of the “proper” rules of society.

Christopher Fitzhugh-Cox, the missing Duke of Winderton, has fled all responsibility, preferring the persona of the devil-may-care rake “Kit.” He proudly lives hand-to-mouth, rubbing shoulders with commoners and thieves alike. But while he values his freedom, he’s never been one to leave a lady in trouble—even one as opinionated, albeit intriguing, as Elise.

But this night of booming thunder and flashing lightning is just the beginning of an unexpected, often dangerous, adventure. And two disillusioned souls who have been caught up in their own webs of expectations and disappointments are about to learn that life always holds surprises, and gifts. And all it asks in return is that they risk everything for Love . . . 

My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Good lord. It seems to me the only thing dangerous about this novel is Elise. 

To summarize  this book (since the synopsis did not do it justice); Elise has a temper tantrum because her sister married the man she thought she loved and she couldn't stand to live in their house and watch them make goo goo eyes at each other anymore. Instead of speaking rationally to the third sister, she just takes off (wearing three dresses on top of one another) to go back to Ireland (her birthplace yes, but had she used her brain she would have realized she wasn't wanted there). 

Upon seeing a storm is coming she tries to enter into the mail coach that she only paid for outside passage on. Kit saves her when the driver makes an inappropriate offer as to how she could pay for indoor seating. The coach wrecks. Kit saves her again. Thanks to some random dog (and honestly I found it really hard to believe this dog went from being a stray to not only understanding the name they have given her, but the commands they wanted to teach her as well but I digress).

They find shelter for the night. But despite their close proximity, they don't really bond. So the rest of their adventure together goes much the same. Elise tells Kit he "reeks", Kit goes to bathe, Elise finds him remedying that (aka bathing), but despite his unmentionables being hidden from her, she once again runs off. Only to nearly be raped. Once again Kit saves her. They now enter into a town as "husband and wife" because you know propriety, and seeing ONE thing (a card shuffle of all things) Elise once again acts without thinking. Only this time she means to put herself in even greater danger than she was before. So of course, Kit had to accompany her. 

Yes, she finds the answers to the questions she had (although I think in retrospect she probably wished she hadn't). More chaos ensues and she ends up back in London with her sisters (who are struggling to keep her reputation intact) while she pines after the man she knew for a week. Or maybe due to her blatant stupidity and knack for getting herself into trouble she missed him getting her out of said trouble, who knows. 

Of course, at the end of the day, things are not only tied up in a bow but these two get their happily ever after. 

Now on to my actual review. 

In case it wasn't clear I detested Elise. More often than not she acted like a spoiled (and sometimes petulant child) either not admitting where she was wrong, or only seeing how things "could have gone" after the fact. She certainly did not act like the young lady she was supposed to be. And while I liked Kit a little better, there was still something off about his story-line as well. Sure, he had a journey of self-discovery, but he was still forced back into a role that I would much rather he had accepted on his own terms. 

The one character that intrigued me was the one who I believe might get his own happily-ever-after, and it is only because of this character that if the next book comes to my attention that I might give this author a chance to redeem themselves. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

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