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The Gamble

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  2,302 Ratings  ·  115 Reviews
Only the Gift of Love Could Free Their Lonely Hearts

AGATHA was the picture of primness and propriety although her green eyes could blaze with anger or sparkle with humor...

SCOTT was the picture of lazy charm and happy indifference to what others thought was right and wrong.

They were enemies, then friends. Then the sweet innocence of a child opened their eyes and their hear
Unknown Binding, 485 pages
Published 2000 by Harper Collins (first published January 1st 1984)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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May 21, 2016 Yolanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Me ha enamorado esta historia.
Qué gran narradora es LaVyrle Spencer.
La manera en que describe y ambienta sus libros... te hace sentirte en 1880 en una taberna, en una sombrerería, en una gran mansión sureña. Lo ambienta al detalle y tan minuciosamente que te envuelve.
Lentamente transmite emociones y sentimientos. Te envuelve la soledad que siente Agatha y sientes sus anhelos, su aceptación de esa vida vacía. Te enamoras de Scott Gandy y entiendes que huya de un pasado que no puede olvidar. Sient
Maria Clara
May 21, 2016 Maria Clara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tengo tantas cosas a decir, que me he quedado sin palabras. Sin embargo, he buscado una que pudiera definir la sensación que me ha dejado esta historia y me he quedado con dos: dulce y tristeza. Más bien una mezcla de estas dos palabras.
Si hay algo que siempre digo, es que me gustan las escritor@s que arriesgan con sus novelas, y me parece que LaVyrle lo hace aquí de manera magistral. ¿A qué me refiero? A la protagonista y su dolencia física. En cuanto a la historia en sí, para mí, MARAVILLOSA.
3 1/2 Stars

The Gamble is a book full of richly developed and endearing characters with an engaging and fleshed-out plot. This book overflowed withheart and soul. The ending was beautiful and left me feeling like a hopeless romantic. That said, I would not classify this book as a romance novel. It felt more like general historical fiction with a splash of romance. While the book had very little romance, what little it had left me feeling starry-eyed and dreamy.

Overall, I enjoyed reading the The G
This is my fourth book by this author. I fell in love with her work after reading Morning Glory and Hummingbird. She has a wonderful way of expressing her character’s emotions so that you feel a part of their lives. Their happiness, pain and sorrow, their hopes and dreams become yours. And with each book I become completely immersed hating when I have to stop and put the book down and somewhat sad when the book ends!

The Gamble certainly held all these attributes and I was not disappointed! In 18
May 29, 2016 Lidia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Juegos de azar tiene ese sello inconfundible de romántica clásica, de los enamoramientos que se dilatan en el tiempo, del cuidado en la ambientación, en los detalles.
He notado alguna cosa "rara" en la traducción - como un "lo balearon"-, esa clase de detalles que me sacan de la lectura. Eso y que me ha faltado más pasión entre los protagonistas es lo que ha hecho que se quede con 4 estrellas.
Lavyrle Spencer es una gran apuesta.
I should review this. I have some strong opinions on it. Especially disliked her facile treatment of the post-slavery South. The whole "slavery wasn't so bad if your owner was a swell guy" and the whole "Mammy" thing with the old housekeeper made me angry. Add in a bizarre three-page-long scene involving horses mating and the brilliance of the preceding 300 pages just went up in flames. Just, no.
Feb 17, 2013 Sheri rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. Before she retired, LaVyrle Spencer was probably my favorite author. I thought I'd read read every one of her books, but found a reference to The Gamble, which was unfamiliar to me. The style of the book is different than what's selling today. But I was just as caught up as I was 30 years ago.

The Gamble is a friends-to-lovers story. An oh, it takes forever to get to the lovers stage. What an enticing wait it is. There was plenty of sexual tension, and even the kisses--once they finall
Apr 15, 2013 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
I recently found a copy of this book on a clearance rack at my local Half Price Books. I remembered reading it, uh, a couple of decades ago (how can I be this old?) and thought I would re-read it to see if it was as good as I remembered. It was -- though as is true in most paperback romances set in a particular historical period, the reader is asked to tolerate a GREAT deal of dramatic license. Still, this romance between Agatha, a spinster-ish temperance worker, and Scott, the owner of a rowdy, ...more
Jane Stewart
This was ok. But I wasn’t excited to keep reading.

The author writes well, but the underlying story just wasn’t as interesting as some of her other stories.

Agatha is a 35 year old spinster who sews and makes hats. She was injured as a child and has a limp. Gandy’s wife and daughter were killed at the end of the Civil War. He has been wandering since, and recently opened a bar with gambling and dancing girls.

Agatha works to help pass laws to prohibit alcohol in Kansas in 1880.

Narrative mode:
Feb 02, 2015 Jan rated it it was amazing
What a book!!!!!! This is one of those books you file under 'keeper and never will let it go' because it's just the kind of book you wish EVERY historical novel/romance was---so completely absorbing you won't notice clocks, calendars or other pesky things like jobs and laundry.
Feb 08, 2016 Tanya rated it really liked it
Fun short book.
RomReader *Spoiler Giver*
Prim 34yo milliner is protesting the new saloon close to her store b/c it's taking away from her hat business. Saloon-owner Hero takes her protests as a business challenge & even hires her sewing skills for his dancers' customs. They establish a friendship of sorts along with Hero's unique family of employees despite their opposing views about alcohol. Their r/s broadens when Hero & heroine take on the care of a neglected 5yo boy. But growing sentiment for alcohol prohibition threatens H ...more
Oct 17, 2014 Trea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: challenges-2014
This is my very favorite of all LaVyrle Spencer books I read when I was younger! The story is so touching, the romance very believable. It is set in 1880 around Kansas becoming a "Dry" state, and the war that is waged in the streets of a small town.

Agatha and Scott are on opposite sides of the war, but a series of events brings them together to the point where they fall in love with one another. Their love happens slowly, like a flower blooming, and is a joy to watch. There is a huge cast of su
Sep 23, 2011 Aleisha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This was one of two books my mother first gave me as a teen. Having a slight disability myself, I found myself falling for the imperfection of the character-how refreshing!-but besides that it was just a wonderful read. Great characters, that are both heartwarming, endearing and at times stubborn...I love it. I find myself picking it up every few years and rereading it again. I can never get enough of it. Will always be one of my top 2 favorite romance novels of all time....
Una historia muy interesante e intensa, llena de cuestiones morales y de dudas. A pesar de que el final es un poco lento, es un libro maravilloso.

Reseña completa en http://beldevoradoradelibros.blogspot...
Sep 19, 2015 Robin rated it really liked it
When Scott Gandy opens the Gilded Cage Saloon in Proffitt, Kansas, the ladies of the Temperance Committee are not happy. Led by Agatha Downing, the committee visits each saloon, handing out pamphlets, carrying a petition, and praying for the souls of the inhabitants. Scott tires to charm the ladies. When that doesn't work, he tries to outsmart them by bringing in dancing girls to fill the seats at the saloon. Agatha and Scott may have their differences, but those take a backseat when they come t ...more
Barb in Maryland
I first read this in 1987 when it was originally published and loved it. I re-read it a couple of times and then lost track of it.
I got around to re-reading it recently and loved the romance part of it all over again. The setting is frontier Kansas around 1880.
Agatha is one of my favorite heroines--a true old maid(she's 35!) who feels that because of her physical disability (severe hip injury from her childhood that's left her with difficulty walking)and age, she is never, ever going find true l
Nov 30, 2011 Marleen rated it really liked it
Shelves: lavyrle-spencer
“The Gamble” is without a doubt another very enjoyable read by LaVyrle Spencer. I have to admit I couldn’t put it down. I just had to know how the relationship between these two very incompatible people was going to work out. It did remind me a tiny bit of Hummingbird, but that’s one of my all-time favorite Spencer books, so I didn’t mind.
The story seems to be divided into two very distinct parts: the one in Profitt, Kansas and then the 2nd part on the “Weaverley” plantation, Mississippi. Both
Jul 12, 2011 Audrey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
3+ overall. My first LaVryle Spencer book. Finely detailed imagery and setting, but the story and romance ran a little too slow for my tastes. The secondary characters (and subtle secondary romance) help make the story. Although it was realistic considering his feelings at the time, the nit picky and idealistic romance reader in me didn't like the sorta-cheating-lite aspect (view spoiler) ...more
Jenny Jo Weir
Feb 26, 2016 Jenny Jo Weir rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did this as an abridged production audio book and it was good, but since I had never done an abridged production before, I didn't realize how condensed the stories become.

I think I would have really enjoyed the unabridged production much more but it was perfect seeing that I only had a few hours and it filled the need perfectly.

I'm still giving it 4 stars because it was very good and I liked the story. A lot happens and its a good book. I can only imagine how wonderful the full version is.

May 03, 2011 Gaynell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spencer-lavyrle
The book was an enjoyable read. I really loved Scott and Agatha. The only thing that bothered me was Scott saying y'all when he was only talking to about one person. I'm from Kentucky. We say y'all when we are talking to more than one person - just you when just one. Maybe it's different in Mississippi, but I doubt it. Other than that it was a really good book. I love the way Spencer's characters aren't all perfect.
Jenny E
Aug 05, 2011 Jenny E rated it really liked it
I couldn't decide between 3 or 4 stars. There were a lot of things I really liked about this book, but also things I didn't like. I definitely would have given the book more stars had there been an epilogue with just a little future glimpse. I know they all live happily ever after, but I really like a little glimpse of that... it's like a little bonus for the reader at the end of a story and after reading 570 pages, it would have been the cherry on top.

Nov 05, 2014 Fatma rated it liked it
I really liked this book but it had some problems, first it was boring sometimes..a lot of the scenes were unnecessary and I had to skip them. Also the romance started halfway through the book and it irritated me that the love story didn't seem to be the main focus of the author. I loved Agatha and Scott and I wished the author gave more attention to their love than the other things happening.
Jan 29, 2013 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an old favourite - I read it for the first time about 10 years ago, and picking it up was like catching up with an old friend. LaVyrle Spencer's writing has the power to transport me into Scott and Gussie's world, and I was falling in love along with them.
May 08, 2007 Mrelia rated it liked it
I'm not much of a Romance reader, never have been. But this book was filled with details that brought the characters to life, like the description of a character's temptation by sewing machine. :)
Lindsey Pierson
Jun 18, 2013 Lindsey Pierson rated it it was amazing
My all-time favorite book. EVER! I can re-read this book, and still become giddy as the story unfolds.
Sep 09, 2015 Amafle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gran historia
Jan 06, 2014 Lucy rated it it was amazing
great characters, great plot even 'though the ending was obvious to all but the 2 people involved
May 27, 2016 Sonia189 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really special and worked perfectly for me.
Jan 15, 2014 Morgan rated it it was amazing
Quite possibly my favorite LaVyrle book.
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LaVyrle Spencer is an American best-selling author of contemporary and historical romance novels. She has successfully published a number of books, with several of them made into movies. Twelve of her books have been New York Times bestsellers, and Spencer was inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame in 1988.

Spencer is known for creating realistic characters and stories that focu
More about LaVyrle Spencer...

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