June 22, 2009

Book #44: The Gamble

I thought I had read all of Lavyrle Spencer's novels years ago, but I somehow missed The Gamble.

All Lavyrle Spencer novels are about families. Some are about the traditional families that are bonded together by blood, and some are about the families that come together by choice.

Agatha Downing is a lonely spinster who limps through her quiet existance, making hats for a living and crusading for temperance in her tiny 1880's Kansas town.

Scott Gandy is the charismatic former riverboat gambler who buys the saloon next to Agatha's milliner shop. Soon he is joined in town by his rag-tag and flamboyant group of bartenders, card dealers and dancing girls.

Agatha and Scott clash at first, but eventually band together to care for a 5 year-old orphan boy.

Lavyrle Spencer's romances build slowly, which always feels more realistic than the typical overly dramatic love-at-first-sight books that saturate the genre.

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