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Publisher's Summary

Hazard: A game of Chance and Luck, made riskier when Fate is rolling the dice. 

For Aristide Delacroix, the first throw summons shades from his past. A man he had met, just once, over a card-table... and the lovely girl indirectly responsible for plunging his life into catastrophe.  

For Lord Nicholas Wynstanton, tired of waiting for Madeleine Delacroix to make up her mind, it slyly suggests he begin a whole new game with loaded dice; while for Madeleine, it devises a terrifying lesson in missed opportunities and the uncertainty of second chances. 

And for Genevieve Westin, hoping widowhood will be happier than marriage, it brings a rude awakening - leaving a single, wild gamble as her only option.  

A cardsharp turned businessman, a duke’s charming brother, a stubborn, razor-edged beauty, and a desperate widow.  

Four players in a game of Hazard... all playing for very high stakes. 

©2018 Stella Riley (P)2018 Stella Riley

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent continuation to a delightful series

This book, a continuation of the author's Georgian romance series, features two couples, for once not as a principal and a secondary love story but of equal weight. In fact, it should not be read without knowledge of the prequels. Nicholas and Madeleine's story has begun in Book 3 (The Player), and was present in Book 4 (The Wicked Cousin); and Aristide Delacroix, the other hero and Madeleine's brother, was also introduced in Book 3. This story starts with Aristide's past catching up with him: he is accused with having cheated in cards, years ago, in Paris. Since he is now the owner of a very respectable gaming club proud of the scrupulously fair play they ensure, the accusation could destroy his business. However, the closely knit group of his friends, the characters from previous books, lead by the Duke of Rockliffe, an enigmatic, larger-than-life, omniscient aristocrat, set out to ensure that the Delacroix siblings are supported and accepted, and in general, everyone within their circle of influence is judged based on their own merit and not based on gossip or scandals they may be tainted with through association. As one of the characters says,"birth and title don't make a gentleman [...] Character and manners do that".
This leads to Genevieve, widow of an extremely unsavoury and scandalous Earl, getting introduced in this circle and becoming acquainted with Aristide. Or rather, reacquainted - as it turns out, Aristide holds her responsible for the break in his career and the tragedy of being late from his dying mother's bedside.
So now, two young ladies who feel outcasts of society and hopeless of finding acceptance let alone love, are thrown together with the gentlemen who find them irresistible. Two very unconventional courtships mesh together with dodging attacks from adversaries who have the title and birth, but not the character and intentions of a gentleman. Aristide's reasons for marrying Genevieve may not be quite the right ones, but his protective instincts and natural kindness will lead him to help her come out of her shell and out of the shadows her late husband's abuse cast over her - leading to a heartwarming love between them. And what Nicholas's determined pursuit can't quite accomplish with Madeline, the danger he falls in by protecting her will successfully destroy her self-protecting walls and let her open up to accepting his love and admitting hers in return.
Having read the book first and listened to the audiobook afterwards, I can assert that the audio rendition, narrated by the incomparable Alex Wyndham, enhances the reading experience greatly. As always, the flawless narration, the display of subtle emotional undercurrents and humor, the excellent play with voices of the characters, the complete palette of French accent, suave aristocratic drawl, servants' and cockney dialect draws the listener completely in the scene and allows the listener to experience the romance, the conflicts, the angst and the friendship of these loveable Georgian characters. I highly recommend it!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Historical romance at its finest!

This is historical romance at its finest! The authoress is an absolute master of the period (1700s England), and the story is superbly written and remains blessedly true to the period. And it's not simply narrated, but magnificently performed by the incomparable Alex Wyndham. It just doesn't get better than this! So sit back, put your earphones on, and enjoy intrigue, adventure and above all, romance of a time long ago.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great!

I Love how Stella Riley makes each of her characters so unique and then interweaves them throughout the various stories that she creates. Just SO perfect! Absolutely loved Aristide and Genevieve and their slowly awakened love, as well as finally seeing the culmination of Nicholas’ patient pursuit of Madeleine. And, of course, no one can beat Alex Windham’s narration in nailing every voice and characterization! Can’t wait for more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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More Please!!

This book grows on me, every time I've replayed it. I will admit that I originally preferred it in the written form but having only a few Audible books as yet, I find I like it better each time I have listened. As Mr Wyndham's interpretations have grown more familiar, they have settled into place. I still find some of his characters not quite as I imagined them, and he differentiates the individuals to an extent by age and type/position, but his general narration is excellent.
Having read the book first and the rest of the series as well - I've been an avid fan of Ms Riley's works for years and I was very glad when she resumed her writing career - I am pleased to say that she has continued to delight me with her characters and their stories and I hope she carries on with them. They have developed into friends with problems to be solved or assisted by other known people and the romances which are the raison d'etre are carried out with feeling.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Deborah C
  • 05-19-18

Highly Recommended

Deborah C
I have just finished listening to Hazard by Stella Riley and narrated by Alex Wyndham. The writing and narration are first
class and if you like reading books set in the 18th century then this is for you. I have read all of the Rockliffe series and have them on audio as well. So if you want to escape the 21st century for a few hours I highly recommend these books.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Yildiz
  • 05-25-18

HAZARD – A winning pair.

Stella Riley and Alex Wyndham are once again a winning pair in Hazard, the 5th book in Ms Riley’s thoroughly entertaining Rockliffe series.
The characters created by Ms Riley are always well formed, articulate and credible. Her expertise in writing interaction between them is so realistic that you believe you are eavesdropping into conversations. So when the amazingly talented Alex Wyndham speaks the lines so beautifully crafted by Ms Riley, you are transferred into what is best described as a radio play with all roles performed by just one person, Mr.Wyndham. Old men, young women, children, aristocrats make no difference to this narrator. He is amazing.
In Hazard, humour and poignancy are in evidence throughout. From Edward, Aristide’s new assistant who hums constantly while working and Patrick, the cheery and constantly talking footman to Genevieve who opens up her heart to Rockliffe’s baby daughter in a private moment by describing how only princesses in stories have happy endings.
I will not go into the story as some reviewers do but will say that I love Aristide Delacroix and the way every word written and spoken is balanced and exquisitely delivered. The romance between he and Genevieve is delicate, delightful and so romantic.
Then there’s Lord Nicholas Wynstanton, brother to the Duke of Rockliffe, whose on/off relationship with Aristides sister Madeleine has been brewing since book 3 – The Player. Will she or won’t she accept his hand in marriage? The outcome is fraught and somewhat uncertain but worthy to the end.
Amongst these two relationships is Braxton, a man set on revenge and Ralph Sherbourne, a new character from Ms Riley who warrants further investigation. He sounds very interesting.
But the real triumph of this book is the family of friends that we’ve grown to love since Ms Riley’s Rockliffe book 1 – The Parfit Knight, once again brought together with so much warmth, love and support for each other.
Well done Stella Riley and Alex Wyndham. Together you are winning pair.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • David Green
  • 06-02-18

Riveting

Had me gripped from the first word to the end, it draws you into the lives of every character. so well narrated by Alex. i would recommend this series to everyone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Alexandra
  • 05-18-18

Book 5 - Hazard

I looked forward to this book. Beautifully read, and a delight as Riley books always are for me, the story was as complex and intriguing as always. I slightly regret the change in tone though - but that’s just me, there was a reason I originally became a Riley follower

3 of 4 people found this review helpful