The Gamble by Lyncee Shillard
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Book Title: The Gamble
Author: Lyncee Shillard
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Publication Date: June 2009
ISBN: 1-936000-14-8
Pages: 100
Genre: Contemporary
Suspense
Western
Series: None
Available In: E-book
CRR Heat Level: Sensual
Reviewer: Melissa
Review Score: 4.5 Wings
The Stonewell’s and the Dempskey’s; for years a bitter war had waged between them for the Rough Ride Ranch belonging to the Stonewell’s. For going on three generations, the Dempskey’s had tried to take possession of the land that Rough Ride sat on. Now JT Dempskey’s dead and his will states that the Dempskey who got the title to the Rough Ride would also get the title to Diamond Heart, their horse ranch. Ryder Raven Dempskey, the oldest son, was getting ready to walk away and take up his life in New York, but he goes out to the small tavern in town, and meets the granddaughter of Duck Stonewell, Callie, Rough Ride’s owner. He decides that he can’t let his evil brother hurt her or have her, so he sets about a blackmail scheme that ensnares Callie in an engagement to her family’s worse enemy. But is Ryder as bad as his father and brother? Can he convince Callie that he cares about her, not just wants her family’s ranch? Can the both avoid the killer that seems determined to see Callie dead before their wedding day? All the odds were against Ryder Dempskey and Callie Stonewell before they even were born. Then Ryder meets Callie and knows that his brother would do anything and everything in his power to marry her or otherwise weasel her ranch, the Rough Ride, away from her. He can’t let that happen because, though her family might be his family’s worse enemy, she did things to his body, heart and mind he didn’t understand. So he started out by blackmailing her into agreeing to marry him. After she says yes, she starts getting death threats, which she doesn’t tell anyone about. Then someone hurts her grandfather, she finds his best friend’s dead body two days later when she finds her best friend’s SUV turned over in the ditch. Ryder is frantic now and refuses to allow her to be alone in the house. The sheriff makes suggestions that make her doubt Ryder’s reasons for his actions. Then secrets come out that have been buried since their birth, and Ryder has to fight for his love. The Gamble was very well crafted; I loved the fast paced story line. There were times I got lost in the time line as it seemed that events that should have taken maybe a week jumped almost a month and a half. Lyncee Shillard gave the hero and heroine time to fall in love and try to work out the differences that their family’s generation of dislike and distrust had instilled in them. I would definitely read this author again. I give this story a rating of 4 ½.


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