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Publisher's Summary

Sebastian Audley has spent years setting every city in Europe by the ears and keeping the scandal-sheets in profit. Word that he is finally returning to London becomes the hottest topic of the Season and casts numerous young ladies - many of whom have never seen him - into a fever of anticipation.

Cassandra Delahaye is not one of them. In her opinion, love affairs and duels, coupled with a reputation for never refusing even the most death-defying wager, suggest that Mr. Audley is short of a brain cell or two. And while their first, very unorthodox meeting shows that perhaps he isn't entirely stupid, it creates other reservations entirely.

Sebastian finds dodging admiring females and living down his reputation for reckless dare-devilry a full-time occupation. He had known that putting the past behind him in a society with an insatiable appetite for scandal and gossip would not be easy. But what he had not expected was to become the target of a former lover's dangerous obsession...or to find himself falling victim to a pair of storm-cloud eyes.

©2017 Stella Riley (P)2017 Stella Riley

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Loved it

I absolutely loved this book... and also the rest of Stella Riley's Rockcliff series. Great adventure, great romance! Alex gives a wonderful performance. I highly recommend this book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Just listening to Alex Wyndham say

"The Wicked Cousin" as the book begins is worth an Audible credit. Seriously, though, this is a wonderful story, with intriguing characters, luscious romance, and a bit of adventure. Alex Wyndham's performance is, once again, superb.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Subtle Humor & Laughable Moments

Stella Riley continues to entertain with humor, providing the reader with a window seat into the antics of men and women who eventually come to terms with what society demands of them.

I enjoy the subtle fun-making author Riley weaves into the plot. Narrator, Alex Wyndham’s marvelous job in nailing down the perfect voice for each character, pulls the story together, delighting any connoisseur who wants to read/llisten to a ‘damn good story’!
We get to reacquaint ourselves with memorable and sometimes tedious individuals from the previous reads in the sequel, along with characters of good taste and breeding, already holding a place in my heart.

Lady Sarre, the wife of Adrian, first meets Sebastian Audley. Her grandfather, Mr. Maitland, arrives from Halifax, on his heels. Then Adrian, looking much like a farm laborer, Earl of Sarre, meets Hubert Maitland. It’s a wonderful scene, showing us what stock Caroline and Adrian are from.

Cassandra Delahaye has been attracted to Sebastian in the past, but since, word of his past roguish ways has put her off. Cassie is at the marriageable age, a sweet, biddable young woman any mama would like as a daughter-in-law. But Cassie doesn’t like what she sees in the mirror. She’s not happy with herself. She wants to work outside the box.

Richard Benhalligan, someone who pays attention to Cassie, is a man who blows hot and cold. Is he, or is he not interested in Cassie? Are his intentions honorable? And what about Sebastian Audley? Is he interested in her or just playing with her, true to his reputation?

Charles, Cassie’s father, is a father who really cares for his daughter. It’s very touching. Her French maid, plays a role in giving Cassie more self-esteem.

Sebastian and Adrian, being old friends of youth, and having been years apart, have a wager, privately recorded at Sinclair’s gaming house, which gives Sebastian some protection against himself. He has problems NOT accepting any wager, and with this one, if he takes any other wager that jeopardizes this private wager, he won’t do it. Adrian makes a very astute wager!

If you enjoy laughing at how society amuses itself, how men and women deal with the demands of society and their own esteem, you’ll enjoy engaging this read. I am never disappointed with one of Riley’s books.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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interesting but not consuming

some romances draw me in and captivate me. This one, however, did not. While fun to listen to I found myself being able to take very long breaks without the need to see what happens next. Alex was wonderful as usual.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Caz
  • 10-24-17

Another fabulous listen from Riley & Wyndham

If you've listened to audiobooks by this terrific author/narrator team before, you'll know you're in for another treat. If you haven't - you're really missing out!

In this fourth book in the Rockliffe series, we meet Sebastian Audley, who has spent most of the last six or seven years living it up royally on the Continent and earning himself one hell of a reputation. There's no wager too risky, no lady too unattainable and no bottle too undrinkable for Sebastian, and tales of his exploits as he cut a dash through Europe have spread far and wide. The women want him, and the men want to be him - in short he has the devil's own reputation.

The problem is - what happens when, in his late twenties, he decides it's time to grow up and settle down? A reputation such as his is going to take a hell of a lot of living down, but he has to try.

Miss Cassandra Delahaye is fed up with hearing her younger sister and her friends swooning over the exploits of "Wicked Cousin Sebastian" and thinks he must be an absolutely insufferable man. Their first, accidental, meeting, would seem to confirm this opinion of Cassie's but as the pair of them begin to see more of each other, she discovers instead that Sebastian is warm, witty and kind - and she is well and truly smitten.

What follows is a traditional courtship story, something which is perhaps a little unusual in historical romance these days, when there are so many spies and pirates dashing through the pages of the genre. With a reputation like his, Sebastian knows he has to do everything by the book if he is to persuade Cassie's father to entrust him with her hand and her heart.

There's much to enjoy here besides the sweetly sensual romance between Sebastian and Cassie. We are re-introduced to the Rockliffe set - including the man himself as a new father - and are reminded once again of this author's gift for writing male friendships and snappy dialogue. It's also terribly refreshing to encounter a family like Cassie's well-adjusted, and loving, and to see the seeds of reconciliation begin to take root between Sebastian and his father.

Alex Wyndham delivers another nigh-on perfect performance that's so good it's hard to find something to say about him that I haven't said before. Technically, he's spot on, and I'm amazed at the way he is able to give voice to so many different characters - both male and female - without there ever being any confusion as to who is speaking at any one time. His interpretation of Sebastian is wonderful, light and airy, but with a hint of steel beneath, and I loved his characterisation of Grandpa Maitland, who appears early on in this and whose meeting with his new grandson-in-law - Adrian, from The Player - is a hoot.

In short, The Wicked Cousin is a superb listen and not to be missed.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Bellcanto
  • 10-25-17

An absolute treat!

From the moment Alex Wyndham starts reading one of the best and most moving Prologues I have heard for a long time, Stella Riley’s words transport you into her world of pure magic. She has to be one of the best Georgian storytellers currently writing.
The hero in this, the fourth book of the superb Rockliffe series, is Sebastian Audley – who is just eight years old when his twin brother dies and Sebastian’s life takes a dramatic turn. For what follows is that Sebastian has little control of his life and this continues until he graduates from Cambridge with a first class degree, freedom and a plan. And boy how he enjoys his plan!
However, after a thoroughly good romp throughout Europe where he has lived life to the full, performing dare devil escapades, enjoying many liaisons and learning to excel at chess – something that becomes so relevant and touching at the end of the book - fate plays a hand and Sebastian finally returns home realising he would like a less hectic life.
Once back, he enters London society – but the young bucks challenge him with absurd wagers and all wait with eager anticipation to see what Sebastian will do next. Needless to say it’s not what one expects … after all, this is a Stella Riley story.
I’ll say no more as this would spoil the entertainment but Ms Riley once again writes a terrific story with several twists.
What I will say is that the Riley/Wyndham team is a force to be reckoned with. Ms Riley’s writing is concise and articulate, avoiding irrelevances to concentrates on her characters. Her strength in creating dialogue between her characters result in people who actually live off the page and, when linked with Alex Wyndham’s amazing ability to perform male and female voices that are so distinct from each other the result is a perfect combination.
Thank you once again Stella Riley and Alex Wyndham.
This audio is ‘An absolute treat’ and one that should not be missed.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Elizabeth Archibong
  • 10-20-17

Amazing as always

Classic Stella Riley. Alex Wyndham was amazing as always. Finished this book in one day.. that’s how good it was

1 of 2 people found this review helpful