Lucien's Gamble (A Novella from Bad Boys Ahoy!) - Sylvia Day My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book...

First off, what’s up with the ugly cover? Are those Julienne and Lucien I see on it? lmaooooo

I’m really disappointed in this one. Barely likable H/h and plot, so barely made 3 stars for me. Don’t forget to count all the eye rolling I did while reading this novella. lol :D

Julienne la Coeur was 1st featured in Catching Caroline as the heroine’s friend, a book I haven’t read because I’m not into vampire stuff. But it’s a free novella so you might wanna give that a try. I think it’s available at smashwords. Anyway, she comes to the Remington’s, a big and fashionable gambling house owned by Lucien Remington, in search of her gambler and irresponsible brother Hugh. She has always been attracted to Lucien and his ‘bad boy, f*cks anything in skirt’ image (not my words, his own lol). Lucien’s a bastard; father is a duke, mother a famous courtesan and these two have a long standing relationship. I’ll talk about that a bit later. So when Lucien catches Julienne in a man’s dressing (again, if she has curves, how could no one else but he identified her? Have you ever had a look of those breeches they used to wear back in the 1800s? *eye roll*). He takes her to his office and starts questioning. Julienne is kinda breathless and almost wet seeing Lucien so close. She’d seen him in various balls and very aware of his liaisons. Lucien has taken an interest in her too, but knew she’s out of his reach. But, he’s a scoundrel for naught if he won’t take advantage of the situation. So he cooks up some plan and makes her stay in private rooms of the club, especially the one he always uses when he’s staying overnight. Needless to say, Julienne didn’t put up much objection and she was soooo asking for it, if you know what I mean, by sleeping naked in his bed because apparently it’s better to sleep naked than wearing a negligee *eye roll*. Oh, she might be a virgin but she knows a lot about sex by reading Hugh’s erotica. *eye roll* So Lucien drops in and this leads to that and they kiss and make out, almost. Lucien considers that she’ll have to marry so gives her release without taking her virginity. Apparently, he feels something different for her.

Julienne leaves the next day. Hugh is still absent, gone to some house party by some rakish friend and she, with her Aunt Eugenia, is very concerned about the debt that he’s piling. But she can’t help daydreaming about Lucien and the wicked things he’d done to her. But on the other hand, in 3 days of their meeting, even though he feels something different for Julienne, that doesn’t deter Lucien from shagging left and right. Yukety yuk! All in the name of ‘removing her from his mind’, though it didn’t work. Oh, puh-leeez, speak the truth f*cker! *eye roll* So, 3 days later, he meets her again in some ball... And incidents like this keep happening. They’d try to talk, then quarrel, then Lucien would say some crude thing about his sexual life (like how many he’d f*cked since he met her but how it doesn’t work etc), then he’d pounce on her, she’d give in (not that she ever really objected!) and they’d make out like bunnies, by that I mean oral and fondling, not full sex (except for one almost incident). Boy but Julienne had some love for oral! It was hard to believe that she really was a virgin.

Even though she’s pretty and all that, because of a low dowry it has become hard for Julienne to find a husband. When Lucien investigates her background, he asks his assistant to make a list of eligible bachelors for her. Lord Fontaine tops the list. This guy was already interested in her. He’s rich and very good looking. A womanizer too. But, Julienne knows he’d never be able to make the impression Lucien made, that she’s already in love with him *eye roll*. I have no idea why. When Lucien visits her house with the idea, Julienne is a bit hurt. Lucien doesn’t tell her of his feelings but he’s jealous all the same when he saw Fontaine with Julienne in some ball. When the talks of fidelity comes up, Julienne expresses that she doesn’t care if Fontaine stays true to her or not (which, by his reputation, is a possibility that he won’t). Lucien kinda blurts out, if she doesn’t care about fidelity then why not marry him? But how can she when she loves him but knows he won’t love her back? Oh good lord, someone kill me now! I was losing interest more and more because this novella was one horrid mess from top to bottom!

But, can’t blame Lucien since his parents are a veritable example of infidelity. Yes, the Duke has been true to his mistress and so had she after giving up her courtesan life but his wife is still alive and he has an heir. Not much of his married life was mentioned, very conveniently if I might add, so I don’t know how to comment of this situation. But I didn’t like it for sure. These two are actually very proud of their son’s accomplishments and I don’t mean only his vast empire from the gambling den but also his conquests left and right. So how can I expect better from him? Ok, so in the scene when Lucien asks her to marry him, Julienne refused. Lucien is angry and stomps away, doesn’t see her for a few weeks. In the meantime, Fontaine is already making it clear that he wants to make it official. Then, suddenly in one ball, Julienne sees Lucien with some slut. Finally, she’s jealous and feels sick watching those two together. He finds her when she retires to some room, alone. They kiss and so on, and then Julienne decides she won’t let him get the better of her again. After that, there was a hot little scene I liked, before she leaves him.

Afterwards, Julienne finds Hugh who had come back and confronts him. Finally she gives him a piece of her mind, after coddling him for all those years. Their parents died when they were young and their aunt took care of them. Hugh became the earl at 9/10 yrs of age so I got that she was too soft on him. But he’d already gone through the Montrose fortune and almost emptied their coffer. Julienne knew this can’t go on anymore. Hugh meets with Lucien soon, who gives him some advice on how to make money and in return, blackmailed out times with Julienne. Hugh can’t object because Lucien wants to court her. He can strike out a hefty sum from the total debt for each meeting Lucien has with her. His mother also encourages him about Julienne. Lucien begs forgiveness to Julienne in a ball, which was kinda heart tugging. He also informs her of his intentions and dances with her. Julienne is confused but of course, she’s inclined to accept Lucien. But Fontaine has been nice to her and so on, so she hesitates. Lucien plans a picnic with her but she doesn’t show up. He’s angry and goes to his mother, only to find she’d invited Julienne at her home. That scene was annoying, to say the least. I was eye rolling so many times, egh! The things Lucien and Julienne were telling each-other... *eye roll* (not sure if they were whispering). Lucien’s parents were there, couldn’t hide their glee and comments on the sexual heat they were producing… wow, just unbelievably not charming! *eye roll and exasperated sigh* And, Julienne finds this union between Lucien’s parents romantic! Really? By then I was impatient for this novella to end, put me out of my boredom and save my eyes!

The ending was abrupt and unsatisfactory. Fontaine just gave up. Where was ‘the fight for Julienne’s hands’ he mentioned to Lucien? I saw nada. So, drama all over the book, unbelievable ones at that and unimpressive characters. I can say there was a scene or two I might’ve liked and deluded myself that this might get better but sadly, nope. I’ve read far better, impressive and amazing hero in Derek Craven. Lucien would never surpass him in anything.

“Lucien’s Gamble” has 12 chapters in all.