Author Interview: Vanessa Riley & A Gamble at Sunset

Posted May 20, 2024 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, clean, historical, romance, Vanessa Riley / 2 Comments

Vanessa Riley interview

I am so delighted to have author Vanessa Riley on the blog today to talk about her new Regency romance, A Gamble at Sunset!

Vanessa Riley

Vanessa Riley is an acclaimed author known for captivating novels such as Island Queen, a Good Morning America Buzz Pick, and Queen of Exiles, an ABC View Lit Pick. She was honored as the 2023 Georgia Literary Fiction Author of the Year for Sister Mother Warrior. Her craft highlights hidden narratives of Black women and women of color, emphasizing strong sisterhoods, diverse communities, and power across historical fiction, romance, and mystery genres. Her works have received praise from esteemed publications like the Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, Publisher Weekly, and the New York Times.

Vanessa holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering from Stanford University and several degrees from Penn State. She’s a member of Regency Fiction Writers, Crime Writers of Color, Mystery Writers of America, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Christian Book Lovers Retreat, and the Historical Novel Society. When not writing, she can be found baking, crafting her Trinidadian grandma’s recipes, and writing on her southern porch, fueled by the perfect amount of caffeine. You can connect with Vanessa at her website.

A Gamble at Sunset by Vanessa RileyA GAMBLE AT SUNSET by Vanessa Riley
Betting Against the Duke #1

GENRE: Historical/Regency Romance (Clean)
RELEASE DATE: May 21, 2024
PAGES: 336

Award-winning author Vanessa Riley turns all convention on its head for the first in an enchanting, dazzlingly diverse new Regency romance trilogy featuring a duke, three sisters, and a tantalizing bet with a most desirable reward…

“A triumphant return to romance….Riley renders the Regency in living color, with impressive historical detail and an admirably diverse cast. Historical romance readers will be entranced.” –Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

When a duke discovers the woman he loves was tricked into marrying another, the master chess player makes the now-widowed Viscountess the highest-stakes wager of his life in a last-ditch effort to win her affection: he will find husbands for her two sisters—or depart forever...

Georgina Wilcox, a wallflower with hidden musical talents, is furious when her reclusive older sister—the recently widowed Viscountess—refuses sorely needed help from the Duke of Torrance, the only gentleman who has shown kindness to the bereft Wilcox sisters. Georgina decides to get back at her sister and shock the Viscountess by kissing the first willing stranger she meets in the enchanting gardens of Anya House. Unfortunately, her sister is not the sole witness. A group of reporters and the ton’s leading gossips catch Georgina in a passionate embrace with a reticent composer, Lord Mark Sebastian.

The third son of an influential marquis, the tongue-tied Mark is determined to keep the scandal from ruining Georgina’s reputation and his own prospects of winning the celebrated Harlbert’s Prize for music. Under the guise of private voice lessons, the two embark on a daring gamble to fool the ton into believing that their feigned courtship is honorable while bolstering Georgina’s singing genius to captivate potential suitors. Sexist cartoons, family rivalries, and an upcoming ball test the fake couple’s resolve. Will their sudden fiery collaboration—and growing attraction—prove there’s nothing false about a first kiss and scandalously irresistible temptation?


affiliate links used

A Gamble at Sunset book review

Hi Vanessa! Welcome to the blog!

Vanessa: Winter.  I love cold weather. That’s sweater and boot weather. My favorite time of the year.

Carrie: same!!

Vanessa: Coffee.  It’s the juice of the angels. A good coffee or latte is the best way to start the morning.

Carrie: “the juice of the angels” – haha! i love it.

Vanessa: Hallmark. I have to say Hallmark, because I worked with them for the production of Sense and Sensibility that released in February.

Carrie: that was so cool!!

Vanessa: Oceans.  I love the smell of sea water. I love beaches. I can drive to them and not fear falling off a tiny road.

Carrie: you do have a valid point about falling off tiny mountain roads lol

Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?

Vanessa: Speeding up or slowing down time would be the power I claimed. There are moments I want to rush and others I want to last forever, like eating great chocolate.

Carrie: yes please!

Q: Other than the Bible, what are some of your most cherished books? 

Vanessa: Pat Simmons, Guilty of Love
Beverly Jenkins, Something Like Love
Octavia E. Butler, Kindred
Debbie Raleigh, A Proper Marriage

Carrie: i love seeing Pat Simmons on your list!

Q: Writing spaces are as diverse as authors and books. Where is your favorite space to write?

Vanessa: I love to write on my porch. I have a rocking chair and table.

Carrie: that sounds lovely!

Q: Which character in A Gamble at Sunset was the most difficult to write?

Vanessa: Lord Mark Sebastian. Mark is a quiet man with a lot of thoughts and feelings in his head. Balancing his restraint in speech, thoughts, and actions was delicate yet crucial. The duke was also challenging as a major player without overshadowing the story.

Carrie: you achieved both of those balances so well!

Q: Were there any songs that inspired you as you wrote A Gamble at Sunset?

Vanessa:  Yes, I have a complete playlist that I used to write the book. My reader/book club guide has all the songs.


Carrie: what an awesome reader’s guide!!

Q: What is something God taught you while you wrote A Gamble at Sunset?

Vanessa: That it’s OK to blend humor with deeper, darker threads like chronic illness. Historical romance can be joyful and provide escapism while remaining truthful to real-life challenges.

Carrie: that’s so true. As someone who has a chronic illness, i can tell you that humor is a great coping mechanism!

Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.

Vanessa: Book 3, Murder in Berkeley Square, the third installment in the Lady Worthing Series.

In this mystery, Lady Abigail Worthing, is thrust into a deadly game when a blizzard traps herself, her cousin, and her neighbor at a dinner where murders linked to a past injustice force her to uncover the truth, risking everything to stay alive and keep Florentina Sewell and Stapleton Henderson falling prey to Rebel Rhyme killer.

What about you? What makes you want to read A Gamble at Sunset by Vanessa Riley?

Tags: , , , , ,

2 responses to “Author Interview: Vanessa Riley & A Gamble at Sunset

  1. Kay Garrett

    Thank you for the interview with Vanessa Riley. Love the cover on A GAMBLE AT SUNSET and the story within sounds like an amazing read. Great way to introduce me to a new to me author too.

Leave a Reply