by Nicola Cornick

November 2002
ISBN: 0-263-83144-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Mills & Boon
Mass Market Paperback

The Earlís Prize is a very unique story and one that I highly enjoyed. The uniqueness is that it revolves around a lottery ticket. This is something that I have not read before in a regency.

Amy Bainbridge was the daughter of a notorious gambler and she swore she would not grow up to be like him. She didnít bet, play cards or gamble on anything. But what she didnít do, her brother surely did in excess. She did not want anything to do with anyone that gambled and drink in abundance. Amy and her mother were barely getting by, having to plan for everything they bought, which was not a lot, while her brother had a monthly income coming in that he was gambling away. Amy found a lottery ticket after one of Richardsí gaming parties in the dining room, thinking it was Richard's, she went to find him and give it to him. But finding out it didnít belong to him, she set out on a quest to ask the other four players that night.

Joss Tallant, Earl of Tallant, was fascinated with Amy. When he met her, he knew that she didnít care for him in the least, but that did not stop him from thinking about her and occasionally seeing her around town and talking to her. Joss was surprised to see Amy at the lottery drawing; the drawing was for 30,000 pounds. He was more surprised to find out that the ticket he had lost was the winning ticket. He was even more surprised when he found out what Amy wanted to do with the money.

Amy, who detests cards of any type was drawn into a card game that she won; only the bet was different than they agreed upon. Could she accept the bet now in play? She did accept the bet and what a bet it was! Could spending time with a rake and gambler change her view on things, especially this rake? Amy had time to find out a few things about Joss and in the process fell in love with him. She could be herself around him and not the shy, quiet girl who made her debut in society a couple of years earlier. Amy also went after what she thought was right, no matter what the cost to herself in the process.

The story can easily be read in one sitting. Ms. Cornick did a wonderful job of being able to draw me into the story. The intriguing uniqueness of the storyline of the lottery ticket and what Amy wanted to do with the money is different from what I have read before. If you can find a copy of The Earlís Prize it is definitely worth reading, but it might be a little hard to find in the United States until it is released here. It is currently released only in the United Kingdom.

Reviewed in January 2003 by Pam.

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