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LILY AND THE GAMBLER
by Linda McLaughlin
Sensual Western Historical Romance
Respectability is in the eye of the beholder. Or so Lily Penhallow hopes when she assumes the guise of the widow Albright. She has learned the price of flaunting convention and is determined to obey society’s rules from now on. After her lover, Nigel Albright, was killed in a duel over a card game, Lily dons widow’s weeds and travels to Grass Valley, California where she plans to marry the man her uncle works for, a respectable mine owner named Hugh Ogilvie. Then, on the riverboat from San Francisco, she meets Creighton ‘King’ Callaway, a professional gambler, just the kind of man she should avoid.
King believes that since life is a gamble, there’s no point in planning for the future. You have to trust Lady Luck. After meeting Lily, King knows he has found his Queen of Hearts. But can he convince her to pass up a sober businessman for a foot-loose card sharp?
Only Lady Luck knows for sure…
(Previously published in a shortened version by Amber Quill Press)
“5 Stars… As always, the author comes through with an entertaining, smart and well written book that keeps you involved to the very end.
Lily Penhallow posing as the widow Alright and King Callaway are fantastic characters and their story is everything you hope for in a Western Historical Romance. The heroine was smart and strong despite her young age. The hero was enticingly rakish. What King did, seemed not right to Lily, but I was able to see glimpses of his true, kinder, more gentlemanly self as well. It was an intoxicating combination. Although they may protest, women love a “bad boy” regardless of the era. The seduction scenes were wonderful. Hot and spicy and deliciously drawn out. For me, there is nothing better than the anticipation as long as it culminates in a HEA. The road to this HEA was paved with obstacles and misunderstandings and a little bit of danger that made this one of the best stories for in a Western Historical Romance I have read this year.”
“4 Hearts… This is a wonderful story with two slightly extraordinary characters coming together and realizing that they are meant for each other. I enjoyed the fact that everything works out well for all involved. A true love story for all romance readers.” — Glenda K. Bauerle, The Romance Studio
“4 Angels… Lily and King were a really good match, as King brought out the wicked side in Lily, while Lily brought out the sweet and romantic side in King. I like the “western” setting, when California was still considered part of the “Wild West.” — Sarah, Fallen Angel Reviews
“I have read a lot of historical romances, but none with a heroine like Lily. She was passionate, brave, and I think the perfect match for Creighton Calloway… a story that tells a different side to the women in the old west.” — Dina Smith, Romance Junkies