A Game of Chance

Lauren Linwood
A Game of Chance
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Soul Mate Publishling
Release Date
January 2014
Historical Romance

Gambler Jed Stone journeys to California to track down Simon Morgan, the man responsible for his best friend's death. Arrested for robbery and murder upon arrival, Jed is shocked to see his face on a wanted poster. He escapes before his hanging, unaware that the man guilty of those crimes is the twin brother he never knew existed. In a case of mistaken identity, Jed acquires the most famous whorehouse in San Francisco in a rigged card game his twin is meant to win.

Lily Frontiere takes over running Lucky Lil's from her dying mother, the house madam who shielded her by sending her away to boarding school. Lily's intelligence and astonishing resemblance to her mother help in her charade, but she's entered a world she knows little about. She clashes with the handsome stranger who turns up with the deed to Lucky Lil's in hand, yet she is attracted to the charming risk taker.

Jed asks Madam Lil to stay on as he learns the business and is fooled by Lily's performance until he stumbles upon the real Madam Lil and learns the truth behind Lily's deception. His admiration for Lily blossoms into love.

But Simon Morgan seeks both Lily's hand and ownership of Lucky Lil's—and he will go to any means to possess both. Will Jed foil his nemesis while bringing his outlaw brother to justice and win Lily's love?

Book Review by Linda Hays-Gibbs (author,reviewer)
Jun 06, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
228 people found the following review helpful
This story opens in 1845 New York with Cara Lee Fisher in labor, being taunted by her horrible husband. Gordon Fisher seems to have no heart, as he callously tells his poor wife she is going to die, and he's taking his heir and son and leaving her. He leaves with his son, but after he left, his wife gives birth to another son and dies. As the midwife doesn't know the woman's or the man's name, she takes the baby home with her.

Fast forward to 1870 in California, and Jeb is in jail for a murder he did not commit. When confronted with his own face on a wanted poster, he was at a loss to explain. He got a chance to escape because there was a sort of riot at the prison. He escapes to San Francisco and hides out in a whorehouse. When a posse comes searching for him in that establishment, the owner hides him. He finds the owner, who is twenty years older than him, very alluring, and he can't understand why he is so attracted to her.

In fact, Lily Frontiere is the daughter of the Madame of the whorehouse, but with her mother ill, Lil had no choice but to take her mother's place in disguise.

In a stroke of luck, Jeb wins that very same whorehouse and falls madly in love with Lil. However, Lil can't seem to define her feelings because she doesn't trust men. It's hard for her, too, for her mother is dying.

But Jeb has other problems, namely his nasty twin brother Cal and Simon Morgan, the man Jeb swore to avenge for his friend's death.

This story twists and turns your heart into a romantic fantasy with unusual style. The characters have their own personalities and voice. It was like they lived for you. I was totally fascinated with the journey that all the characters took.

I enjoyed the detail and scene setting, too. I gave it five stars for carrying my emotions through the gamut. It was a very nice historical romance.
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