Thursday, June 5, 2014
Title: A Game of Chance
Author: Lauren Linwood
Genre: rrHistorical Fantasy
Review Rating: Five Stars
Reviewer: Linda Hays-Gibbs
This story opens in 1845 New York with Cara Lee Fisher in labor taunted by her horrible husband. He says such cruel things to her, as she suffers labor.
Gordon Fisher seems to have no heart, as he callously tells his poor wife she is going to die, and he's taking his heir and son and leaving her dying. He leaves with his son but after he leaves his wife gives birth to another son. The poor midwife doesn't even know the woman's or the man's name. The poor Cara Lee dies and the midwife takes the baby home with her.
Next it's 1870 in California and Jeb is in jail for a murder he did not do. When confronted with his own face on a wanted poster; he was at a loss to explain. He got a chance to escape because there was a sort of riot at the prison over another prisoner.
Jeb escapes to San Francisco and into a whore house where he hides out. When a posse comes searching for him in that establshment the owner hides him. He finds the owner, who is 20 years older than him very alluring to him. He can't understand why he is so attracted to her.
He's broke and decides to gamble into a little cash. He ends up winning big and finally; winning the exact whorehouse that he hid in that first night.
Lillian Frontiere is the Madame of the whorehouse but she is ill and her daughter is disguising herself to be her mother. The daughter's name is Lil or Lillian too but goes by Lil.
Jeb Stone's luck seems to have changed since he became the owner of the whorehouse. He finds out that Lil is the daughter and falls madly in love. Lil can't seem to define her feelings because she doesn't trust men. It's hard for her too for her mother is dying.
There is the nasty twin brother Cal Hart Fisher that turns up in the same town and whorehouse. This is a very busy place for even the father Gordon Fisher frequents it and the man Jeb swore to avenge for his friend's death, Simon Morgan.Gordon's grandfather Max Fisher lives in this town too and he throws Carl Hart out on his ear for his behavior. Max loved Lillian and cares a great deal about Lil. He is also a multi millionaire.
Jeb meets Max later and Max is utterly amazed at the likeness of Jeb to Carl. The two could be twins.. Max can't believe the story he hears from Gordon on how he treated Cara Lee and how he left his other son.
Actually the boys are twins and it is a heartfelt story of one man's cruelty and selfishness tarnishing the lives of three generations. It shows the consequences of a brutal nature on the lives of others and how fate has a way of catching up to everyone. I was totally fascinated with the journey that all the characters took. How the rash orders of a grandfather could actually father cruelty.
I was so happy that one of the twins was raised an orphan with no prospects but poverty. He had to work for his education from the nurse that raised him. He had to work hard to eat but he knew the value of having someone to love. He could have gone so wrong but he doesn't. He becomes a gambler but not a cheat. It makes you think about all the spoiled brats that are raised because they are given everything. The people that work hard and achieve something are the better people.
This story twists and turns your heart into a romantic fantasy with unusual style. The characters have their own personalities and voice. It was like they lived for you. I enjoyed the detail and scene setting too. I gave it five stars for carrying my emotions through the gamete. It was a very nice historical romance with a very good lesson or moral in it.