Going for Broke
Harlequin SuperRomance, Dec 2007, $5.50
Jake Chandler came home to River Bluff, Texas after a decade away for the burial of his Uncle Verne. Even at the funeral he heard the townsfolk call him “fire-starter”, “barn-burner” and horse killer. Almost no one believed he never set the inferno that killed the horses. He has to decide whether to fix up the Wild Card Saloon knowing the hostility he will face.
Her former husband Alex took their money, ruined her decorator business, and vanished; leaving Rachel Diamonte with nothing except their beloved learning disabled baby Zoe. She returns to River Bluff, but her perfect mom refuses to allow her or the imperfect infant in to her home. Desperate she asks Jake for work at the saloon even though she knows he will likely say no as she was his alibi, but she failed to step forward to clear him. However, he says for the kid’s sake he gives her a job; deep inside he knows he gave her work because he still attracted to R.D.
GOING FOR BROKE is a tender second chance at love tale starring two interesting protagonists who have two strong reasons not to come together. The story line focuses more on the changing relationship between Jake and Rachel but that comes at the cost of a superfluous glimpse at a single mom raising a handicapped infant alone instead of a profound character study. Still readers will enjoy wondering whether Jake will forgive the woman he loves for her silence condemned him and whether he, unlike her spouse or her mom, will volunteer to help raise someone else’s handicapped daughter.