Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Temptation, peril, and dirty poker.
Love is a high-stakes game.
When Collin Callahan, British secret agent, goes up against math genius turned surfer bum Oliver Elliot, the battle is epic—and so is the attraction. They’re pitted against each other in an exclusive, ultra-secret—and ultra-illegal—poker match in Gibraltar, but when players start dying and they could be next, they find a common goal: catch the killer before it’s too late.
Evenly matched at poker and romance, they each wrestle personal demons that threaten to consume them as the stakes climb. It’s an all-or-nothing gamble with both life and love on the line as they fight to be the last seven-card studs standing.
I have mixed feelings about this story. On the one hand it was much more complex than most of the others I’ve read in the Dreamspun Desires series. There was more intrigue, more danger, and less of a chance to guess the outcome, but on the other hand, unfortunately, there was less romance. There was sex, and some of it smoking hot, but the MCs constantly bantered back and forth, sometimes sounding as if they were speaking truthfully when what they had to say wasn’t what I’d expect from two men falling for each other.
And there was more info about poker—how to play, how to bluff, how to read tells, etc. than I ever cared to know. Some of the things that occurred as the story was coming to a climax didn’t make sense to me. Things such as Collin’s wireless being jammed, and yet, the next day it’s revealed how Oliver contacted (spoiler) to communicate urgent information. Why was his wireless not knocked out as well? Little things like that drive me crazy.
And the fact that the story did not have what a purist romantic like me would call a HEA? Nope. I’m not happy. So although I’d recommend it to those who can’t resist the Dreamspun Desires series, I’d more likely recommend it to someone who wants to read a story filled with intrigue than to someone looking for a sweet romance.
Cover art by Paul Richmond is wonderful. It has all the elements needed and then some. Love it.
ebook, 242 pages
Expected publication: November 15th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press