Gambling on the Outlaw by Margaret Madigan

June 26, 2015 Historical Romance, Reviews 0 ★★★½

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Gambling on the Outlaw by Margaret MadiganGambling on the Outlaw by Margaret Madigan
Series: Nevada Bounty #1
Published by Entangled Publishing on June 23, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 251
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Nevada is no easy place for a woman, especially for Beth Caldwell, a gambler's widow with an independent streak. When she refuses to marry the local cattle baron-who wants to add her land to his empire-Beth ends up with a powerful enemy. But it's not until she finds a handsome outlaw hiding in her barn that her trouble really begins.

Isaac Collins survived the Civil War only to find himself the scapegoat for stagecoach robbery and murder. With nothing left to lose, he gambles everything on revenge...and barely escapes with his life. He stumbles back to Beth's place, and as she nurses him back to health something tender and heated grows between them.

But in Nevada, sometimes everything can ride on one high-stakes game of chance...and Beth's rejected suitor will do whatever it takes to get what he wants.

Several years ago, Beth Caldwell lost her card-shark husband to a bad game of cards.  Since then, she’s run her homestead and taken care of the local misfits – a Native American woman raped and left for dead with a child on the way, another woman abandoned by her family and deserted at the altar, and a retired prostitute.  Beth has a big heart, but she’s practical too with a spine of steel.  When the neighboring cattle-baron comes sniffing around demanding Beth marry him, it’s easy to reject the sleezy, but powerful tycoon.  But that same tycoon has also framed Issac Collins for multiple-murder and stagecoach robbery, so when Beth finds Issac hiding in her barn she believes his story of innocence and helps him escape the sheriff’s posse on his tail.

Beth is one determined woman!  When she sets her mind to something, there is absolutely no wavering from her path.  She will make whatever-it-is happen and woe-be-tide anyone who has the misfortune to get in her way.  Beth’s nerves of steel and stead-fast nature allow her to thrive in the tough Nevada desert, not just against the harsh climate but also against the equally-harsh men who run the town.  She’s also as great a card-player as her late husband and the men in the story all underestimate her and her abilities, which comes in handy when later gambling with Issac’s life.

Issac also possesses a very determined nature, but in a very different way from Beth.  Issac’s near-single-minded focus throughout the novel was the murder of the cattle-baron tycoon who framed him for murder at the beginning of the novel.  This focus clouds everything he does until very slowly, his love for Beth begins to take root and weed out the hatred in Issac’s heart.  Issac is quite heroic and a take-charge kind of guy, ready to ride in and rescue his damsel in distress.  Except he quickly learns that while Beth may be a damsel, she can get herself out of her own distress thank you very much!

I really enjoyed watching Issac and Beth learn how to work together.  Issac needed a goal and focus beyond the tycoon’s murder and Beth needed to learn how to let others take care of her, that she didn’t always have to have all the answers.  A good read, especially if you enjoy novels set in the wild west.

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