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When a Texan Gambles
by Jodi Thomas
ISBN: 0515136298
November 2003
Historical Romance

This 2nd installment of a historical romance trilogy is one of the few I have found that can actually stand-alone. The premise for the trilogy is that 3 women are traveling with a wagon train in 1883 and are put out of the wagon train for various reasons. They leave the wagon train and start traveling on their own and are attacked by a man named Zeb Whittaker, who steals their wagon, and one of the women tries to take off. They all attack him and think they killed him and turn themselves in to the sheriff in the nearest town. Since no body is found, the sheriff decides that he will raffle the ladies off for the price of their fine, since they all confessed and the town is short of marriageable women.

This story is about Sarah Andrews, who lost both her husband and her newborn daughter from the same sickness that she barely survived. She is “bought” as a wife by a bounty hunter who took one look at her and thought she looked like an angel. Since most people think he is the devil, he thought it only proper to marry an angel. Sarah is a very delicately built woman with an angelically blond, blue-eyed countenance. But her history is nothing close to her looks. Having grown up as a foundling at the mercy of others, she married a man who would take care of her, but didn’t love her, because she had no where else to go.

Although she decides she doesn’t think much of her new husband, she finds herself continually rescuing him and tending his wounds. He finds himself continually captivated by her angelic countenance and thinking that he will leave her at his farm so she won’t suffer from his way of life. How they reconcile their differing views of what they should do is very much a part of the times of the late 1800’s and is only accomplished with the help of others.

This was an interesting story that was hard to put down. Although Sarah and Sam (the bounty hunter) both have many things in their past that have them coming from entirely different directions in their relationship, both want to belong to someone. Luckily for them, they find each other. The question is, can they keep each other and avoid the problems created by their earlier lives. If you want to find out, READ THIS BOOK. I’m glad I did, and I definitely plan to read the other 2 parts of the trilogy!

Marcia Corbett, December 2003

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