KatLynne's Reviews > The Gamble

The Gamble by LaVyrle Spencer
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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 1880, fifteen years after the Civil War, in a small town in Kansas lived thirty-five year old Agatha Downing. A milliner owning her own business, this spinster could have been the poster child for primness and propriety. Suffering from a hip disability received during her childhood, she has almost given up hope of finding love and having a family of her own. I admired her strength and tenacity and will remember the heart-wrenching sorrow of her desolate days/nights along with the joy I felt with her HEA!

How much I liked the hero, Scott Gandy! The complete opposite of Agatha, this handsome rogue, with southern charm oozing from his pores, has just become her new landlord. Not only does he live upstairs in an apartment next door, but below, next to her millinery shop, he has just opened the doors of his new saloon, The Gilded Cage. With not a care or a thought to what others think of him or in their beliefs of what is right or wrong, this charismatic charmer fills his days with making his business a success while also fighting the memories of what used to be in his life. There was so much I liked about Scott Gandy and when an innocent child enters the picture, I liked him even more.

There are no hot, steamy descriptive love scenes and not even a strong sensual sizzle until nearly the end. What I found was a gentle unfolding of a tormented heart and a captivating, charming, beautiful man running from his past, who start out enemies and then surprisingly find themselves friends. And slowly, over the many months of sharing the responsibility of a young five year old child, and in spite of their differences and beliefs, and with the tension over prohibition and the temperance movement, a tender yet strong love develops.

I enjoyed the journey this author took me on, experiencing the simple pleasures and the hardships of life during the 1880’s from Kansas to Waverly plantation in Mississippi. I loved the secondary characters who made up Scotty’s saloon family, a motley crew for sure, but with such charm and lovability!

A tender, poignant love story first published in 1987 with endearing and heartwarming characters. Though somewhat different than most I’ve read and having a few things that bothered me, it was still one that I enjoyed from beginning to end! Thank you Jill and Tammy for another recommendation that I loved!
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Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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Lisa Kay Great review, KatLynne! Very poignant love story. I don't know if I could re-read this one; I don't want to cry.


message 2: by Jill (new)

Jill Oh, KatLynne I'm almost tearing up reading your review. That's beautiful! I'm so glad you liked this. And have to agree with Lisa Kay it is very poignant.


Maldivianbookreviewer Wow KatLynne. This review itself makes me want to shed a tear or two. So beautifully written, you have managed to convey how you felt whilst reading the story. :)


KatLynne Lisa Kay, Jill & MBR - Thank you ladies for reading my review and for your comments. This book was heart-wrenching and how amazingly talented an author who with mere words penned onto paper can have the reader experiencing the deeply felt emotions of her characters! I could have cried buckets as Agatha's loneliness is slowly revealed. Whew...going to have to find a light fluffy read to follow this one:-)But I loved it!


Maldivianbookreviewer KatLynne, a job well done I must say on your part as a reviewer :)


Kristen (Peddler of Smut) Fantastic review, KatLynn! You've made me want to read this book.


Jenny E I really liked this one too! Great review!


KatLynne MBR - Thank you for your kind words. I am honored as I always enjoy and look forward to your reviews:-)

Kristen - Thank you! I don't know if you've read anything by this author, if not, I highly recommend starting with Morning Glory and Hummingbird. While this book is wonderful, these two are amazing!:-)

Jenny - Thank you Jenny! Don't you just love LaVyrle Spencer?


Jenny E YES! Morning Glory is one of my all-time favorite books ever! I haven't gotten to Hummingbird yet, but I own it, just haven't read it yet because I keep getting distracted with one book or another!


KatLynne Jenny E wrote: "YES! Morning Glory is one of my all-time favorite books ever! I haven't gotten to Hummingbird yet, but I own it, just haven't read it yet because I keep getting distracted with one book or another!"

LOL...I know about distractions. I am so bad to post a book as "currently reading" then pick up another just to take a quick look and find myself reading that one instead:-) I loved Hummingbird and hope you can read it soon.


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