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Monday, June 28, 2010

Gambler by Eryn Blackwell

Gambler by Eryn Blackwell
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (45 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

From the moment he set eyes upon the beautiful Regina, Draven McCormick wanted her for his own, preferably in his bed. He never dreamed her husband would gamble her away. Draven hasn’t made The Southern Belle into the most well-loved gambling establishment in Galveston in 1887 because he let chances pass him by.

Regina’s learned most men lie, but Draven commands her trust as he awakens her passion. She’d lost all hope until the night her husband lost a card game to the gambler, who instructed her in the art of pleasure. And for the pleasure Draven offers her, she’d give almost anything.

Won in a card game? Really? Sounds like Gambler.

I’m not big on historical stories. Many times the authors don’t really make me feel like I’m there in the time period. Not so with Eryn Blackwell. This story had me interested from the first page. I wanted to know how a man could sink so low that he’d gamble away his own wife. The emotion written into such a short amount of space simply pours from each page. I felt for both Draven and Regina. I loved how Ms. Blackwell showed the lunacy of the west.

Draven was an interesting hero. He didn’t want to be in the position he was in, but he took it with grace and passionate humility. He wasn’t hard on the eyes, either. But what rubbed me wrong about him was the unanswered questions. Was it just that his past bothered him? Was it just that he wanted to be his own person? If those questions had been answered, I think I would’ve understood and liked him more.

Regina was another quandary. Again, there were plenty of unanswered questions with her. I liked that she followed Draven’s lead and explored her sexuality. The discovery and the journey were written with heart and passion. But again, there were things in her past that really bothered me — things I wanted to know about and almost felt short-changed on. I realize this is a short story and there is only so much space, but I wanted to get to know her more in order to like her and understand her better.

But this story sizzled with emotion that belied the quickness by which they met. The sex is hot, involved, and unforgettable.

If you want a story that’s red-hot, you need to read Gambler. I give it 3.5 cherries.

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