Title: Lily and the Gambler
Author: Linda McLaughlin
Genre: Western Historical Romance
A mail order bride sets out for a new life in California only to be tempted by a charming gambler. Can he convince her to pass up a sober businessman for a foot-loose card sharp?
After the death of her lover, Lily Penhallow reinvents herself as the widow Albright and travels to California as a mail order bride. On the riverboat from San Francisco, she meets "King" Callaway, a professional gambler, just the kind of man she should avoid. Against her better judgment, she finds herself drawn to the handsome, charming gambler.
King believes that since life is a gamble, there's no point in planning for the future. After meeting Lily, he knows he has found his Queen of Hearts. But she’s engaged to his uncle, a man King respects.
Will Lily choose respectability or love?
Lily and the Gambler is a Second Chance at Love western historical romance. If you like mail order brides, charming scoundrels and sensual romance, don’t wait. Grab your copy today.
He held the door for her. Lily led the way inside. She should offer him a glass of lemonade, but hesitated to encourage him to call.
“Which room is yours?” He walked past her headed toward the stairs.
She hurried after him. “What do you think you’re doing?”
He turned his head to grin at her. “Delivering your package.”
“Then bring it in here,” Lily said. She entered the dining room. “I need a large table to cut the material.”
He entered and laid the package on the table, then turned to stare at her.
Lily stood beside the doorway, hoping he would leave immediately. “Thank you, Mr. Callaway. Now if you’ll excuse me…”
“Are you really going to marry my uncle?”
She gasped. “Your uncle?” Oh, good Lord, no. “Hugh Ogilvie is your uncle?”
“Yep. If I’d had any idea…”
She closed her eyes. What a mess she’d gotten herself into.“I should have mentioned I was promised to someone.”
“But you didn’t.”
Lily opened her eyes and glared at him. “Had I known you actually lived in Grass Valley, I might have told you about Mr. Ogilvie. You weren’t entirely honest either.”
He sighed. “No, I wasn’t, but you flirted with me, led me to think… Uncle Hugh deserves to know what kind of woman he intends to marry.”
His words stung, but she knew they were not entirely undeserved. “What do you mean? I may have flirted with you, but…”
“Mrs. Albright, a woman like you should be careful who you flirt with.”
She ground her teeth. Being respectable was harder than she’d imagined. “Nigel never objected when I flirted with his friends.”
“Perhaps, but this isn’t England. So you never cheated on your husband?”
She stiffened in outrage. “Certainly not. And please keep your voice down.”
He advanced toward her, his intentions clear. “But are you going to be true to Uncle Hugh?” he murmured.
“Yes,” she said, backing away from him. She could be faithful. If only this man would stay away from her.
“You could tell him you’ve changed your mind. Tell him you’ve met someone else.” His voice was low and seductively husky.
“And if I don’t?”
He stood close, his body almost pressing into hers, the whisper of his breath caressing her cheek. “It’s your choice. What do you want out of life? Money and social position? If that’s what you want, then go ahead and marry Uncle Hugh. But remember this—money won’t keep you warm and satisfied at night.”
She stared at him, tempted to her core. There was no doubt in her mind that he would be an exciting lover. A jolt of desire forced her to look away. She clenched her fists to keep from reaching for him. What did she really want out of life? When she left England she had thought she knew the answer to the question, until this charmer came into her life. Why did he have to turn up everywhere she went?
She made the mistake of looking at him. Light smoldered in his gold-flecked eyes. He reached out for her hand. “Give up this crazy marriage notion and be mine.”
“I can’t,” she whispered and pulled her hand from his. “It wouldn’t be right.”
He clenched his fists. “Damn it, marrying for money isn’t right either.”
“Is that what you think I’m doing?” she asked, taken aback.
“Why else would you marry a stranger, if not for money?”
She glared at him, hands on hips. “Maybe I’m tired of worrying about what the future will bring, about whether I can support myself. It’s much easier for a man to be alone than a woman. Now I think it’s time you left.”
Before he could respond, she spun around and led the way out of the room.
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Lily and the Gambler is a bad boy/good girl story with a twist. The good girl isn’t as good as she wants everyone to think she is. King is quite the charmer, tempting her into straying again as she did when she was a girl. Will she choose respectability or love?
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Runs April 20 – April 28, 2021.
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Linda McLaughlin grew up with a love of history fostered by her paternal grandmother and an incurable case of wanderlust inherited from her father. She has traveled extensively within the United States and has visited Mexico, Canada, Australia, Europe and Iceland. She now lives near the ocean in Orange County, California.
Linda writes historical and Regency romance under her real name and spicier romance under the pseudonym Lyndi Lamont.
Social Media Links:
Reading Room blog: https://lindalyndi.com/reading-room-blog/
Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/author/lindamclaughlin
Twitter: @LyndiLamont https://twitter.com/LyndiLamont