Loretta Chase's "Knave's Wager"

Knave's Wager - Loretta Chase

The first half of the book wasn't engaging at all and I would have put it into the DNF pile if it wasn't a Loretta Chase book - the hero was a cold, blase, arrogant SOB and the heroine was the Ice Queen who despised him, with good reason. But after the heroine was goaded into tearing a strip off the hero about half-way into the book, things completely turned around and the book turned into a wonderful "unputdownable" romance.