To Love a Gambler [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Jennifer Hoffman
eBook Category: Romance
eBook Description: Can a man wanted for murder and a woman who has only experienced pain and hardship find love in Montana Territory? Or will the fear of their pasts destroy the only love they have ever known?
eBook Publisher: Awe-Struck E-Books/Awe-Struck E-Books, Inc., Published: 2007, 2007
Fictionwise Release Date: February 2007
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5 Reader Ratings:
"Cora Sullivan is having the most difficult time of her life. Her father has recently passed away, and she is trying to manage their claim and pan for gold all on her own in the rough Montana Territory. Jared Matthews is running from a false murder charge. He is from a wealthy family back east, and he has to learn how to survive without the luxury of money. Cora and Jared meet at a most unlikely place, a gambling table. They are both gambling to survive and Jared comes out the winner when he wins the only thing that Cora has left, her father's claim. Together they work the claim, and become close. Unfortunately, Jared is being pursued and his life is in danger. Also, the naive Cora is falling head-over-heels in love. Jared is going to undeniably end up breaking her heart. Ms. Hoffman's Old West novel gives one a fantastic nostalgic feeling. It takes you back to a lawless time where you had to make every moment count. Her characters are three dimensional, and her landscapes are vivid. The plot is dangerous and exciting. To Love a Gambler is a very enjoyable classic historical romance. 4 CUPS!"--Bonnie-Lass, Coffee Time Romance
"To Love a Gambler is an enjoyable read from beginning to end. In fact, you can become so engrossed in the telling that time slips by. This is my first book by Jennifer Hoffman and I am sure it will not be my last. Kudos to Jennifer Hoffman for writing such an entertaining and captivating tale. 4 STARS!"--Elise Lynn, ecataromance.com
"Jennifer Hoffman has written a delightful historical romance, full of humor and heartwarming characters that will linger long after the last page is read. Ms. Hoffman has done an excellent job of revealing the hardships, fears and often desperation of making a living panning for gold, and those of finding true love. Whether you're a young adult, or young at heart, you'll love To Love a Gambler."--Linda Morelli, MyShelf.Com
Jared watched the woman stare warily at her dwindling pile of winnings and heard the breath rush from her lungs. He'd been in gaming halls long enough to recognize a desperate gambler when he saw one. Perhaps she would see his desperation as well though the years of gambling had taught him to hide his feelings. Either way, he had only one choice in the matter. If he didn't make enough off these games to leave, he'd risk being caught and murdered. Everything was riding on this game.
"You shouldn't stare. Lay down your cards and show us what you have."
Jared smiled at the irritation in the woman's voice and did as she'd requested. Never taking his eyes off her, he saw her shoulders slump as she uneasily glanced back to her small pile of money.
Jared sensed the defeat burning through the woman's veins and knew only a thin line was separating her from total destruction. He'd seen many men fall from a game of cards and hadn't cared one bit toward their welfare. They were aware of what they were doing when they sat down at the table and this woman wasn't a fool either. However, her fall would make it painful for him.
"The next hand will improve," he offered, trying to inspire her to the possibility.
She met his gaze, her eyes dull with fear. "Perhaps."
He grimaced, feeling his heart tighten in response to the desperation he saw in her gaze. How could he watch her destroy herself with a game of cards? Hell, if he had the money he'd give her whatever she needed.
Jared sighed and ran his hand through his hair. For a moment he felt worthless. Not even a year ago, he'd had all the money he could ever want, and now he couldn't even afford to buy a second pair of trousers. He was at the end of his own rope and had nothing more than the clothes on his back.
He glanced at the woman. If she continued, she wouldn't be any better off than he was. He leaned closer to prevent the other gamblers from hearing their conversation. "Ma'am, you could stop now before you lose everything."
Her head snapped up to meet his gaze. In her eyes, he saw he was too late. "I already have. There's no reason to stop now."
Cora glanced down at her cards and took a deep breath. She had an ace-high flush and on any other day, she would bet high on this hand. Today was different.
She nervously licked her lips and watched the other gamblers up the bets to an excruciating amount. She'd used all of her gold on the previous games and couldn't even finish this one with what little she had left. The knowledge sent a sickening feeling into the pit of her stomach. She had no other choice than to bet the last thing of value she possessed.
When it was her turn to meet the last person's bet, the gamblers glanced curiously at her empty pile of winnings. If she didn't have enough money, she was out of the game.
Mr. Baker raised a bushy eyebrow in her direction, obviously wondering what her next move would be, or even if she had one. "What'll it be, Missy?" he asked, his expression holding a tinge of satisfaction with her dilemma.
She addressed the group of gamblers seated around the table. "I cannot finish this hand with gold or money. I have only one thing to offer."
"What is it?" Mr. Baker asked, frowning suspiciously.
Cora set her cards face down on the table and reached into the pocket of her skirt for a folded set of papers she never thought she would part with. She allowed the coolness of the papers to rest in her hand for a comforting moment, and then tossed them into the center of the table. "The papers to my father's claim."