When I first read this book years ago, I was hooked. The
characters werevery real, and the situation exciting as
well as dangerous and had you keep turning the pages.
Serena Staverly, a young lady whose father with an addiction to gambling, loses all his fortune, home and his daughter as well as her dowry. In the book, the hero Justin Vulcan who caused her fathers gambling, is her betrothed. I didn't like that part. Justin Vulcan is portrayed as a cold, heartless man who wins at every game he plays.
In the book version, her father committs suicide-in a stupid way by starting a fight with someone. During the story, Serena gets easily confused. She finds out what kind of a man Justin Vulcan really is, and all their deep, dark family secrets. The villain in the story is his mother, who of course can't stand Serena. She is-seriously a gangster mom.
The book really has some weird parts in it. His mother and the gypsy, the
way his mother goes after Serena in the end, which I like to refer to as
'the chase' and how the gangster mom is defeated just don't make too
much sense. In the end, of course, hero and heroine get together and
it's a happy ending(as in all her books).
A Hazard of Hearts
(Helena Bonham Carter, Marcus Gilbert
Christopher Plummer, Diana Rigg)
Hands down, the movie is much better than the book. It takes
all the nonsensical, and ridiculous parts and makes it realistic.
Another villain Lord Wrotham lusts after Serena Staverly. The
movie begins where, Serena's father is just about to leave after
winning a game, when this creep shows up and angers him
into playing with him.
Lord Staverly intending to win everything he lost from him back, ends
up losing more. So he gambles away his daughter and her 80,000 guineas
hoping to win everything back. He doesn't, Justin Vulcan steps in, and wins
her over, but not before Lord Staverly committs suicide.
Serena is distressed over the situation, but will not back down and intends
on honoring the family debt. Once meeting this man who is bethrothed he
is opposite of what everyone says about him.
The movie sticks with the great romantic parts in the book, and the end
plays out better than the book. In the book the ending is crazy. In the movie
Lord Wrotham returns, and the passing of gangster mom makes more sense.
Read the book, but definitely get the movie. It's the favorite of all her films.