Katie’s Gamble

Katie’s Gamble

This is the first book in the Gamblers and Gunslingers series by Kara O’Neal. The setting bounces between Louisiana and Texas in 1833 when gunslingers, gamblers, cowboys, and cattle rustlers challenged the small homesteads popping up in the American southwest. In one small town, Echols, Texas, a young woman beholden to her orphaned siblings and dreaming of a better future stakes everything she owns to overcome her villainous brother and save her family, and the man she loves, from his wrath.

The story begins with Katie’s desperate attempt to keep her half of the family business that she’s inherited, McCord’s Confectionery, afloat.

She sets off to Louisiana to confront her brother—Johnny McCord, a no-good gambler who’d abandoned the family after their parents’ death. She needs his help, but knowing he won’t give it to her out of love, plans to offer all the money she’s saved to buy him out of his half of the family business. He doesn’t want it. Doesn’t need it. And out of spite and greed, he refuses her offer.

One man, however, takes pity on her plight. Rowdy Denton. A gambler and off and on employee of Johnny steps in and assures Katie’s safe passage out of her brother’s hotel, or rather, brothel/casino, and back to her small hometown in Texas. After she’s gone, Johnny sends Rowdy after her to see if someone in the town will buy his half at a higher price. Rowdy is more than willing to reconnect with the young and beautiful Miss McCord, but he doesn’t plan on doing Johnny’s bidding. Rather, he intends to help her succeed. But both Rowdy and Katie are surprised when sparks fly and secrets are unearthed—especially one that put’s Katie and her kin’s futures and Rowdy’s life on the line.

With romance books it’s often hard to find a unique story line.

While tropes are wildly used and cherished by the reader, plots are where the fun really begins. This is one of those uniquely unexpected story lines that caught my attention hook, line, and sinker. I instantly adored the heroine, Katie McCord who defies all odds to raise her three younger siblings and provide for their wellbeing. 

Book and Image Courtesy of Kara O’Neal

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