by Jodi Thomas

November 2003
ISBN: 0-515-13629-8
Reviewer Graphic Button Jove Books
Mass Market Paperback

Sarah Andrews has just been rescued from a prison sentence for killing a man. No matter that the man she killed was a crook; she was still thrown off the wagon train. Sarah’s choice is either prison or be sold in a “Wife Lottery”. So when Sam Gatlin buys her fair and square to be his wife, she thinks it might just be a good thing – until her new groom ends up with a knife in his back. Sarah decides to nurse him back to health because she doesn’t want to become a widow - again. And because she is his wife after all...and that’s one of the “rules” of marriage...to look after your husband. Sarah soon learns that Sam’s life is always in danger and that she may pass many days just trying to keep her husband alive.

Sam Gatlin is a bounty hunter, searching out the worst of the bad guys to bring them in dead or alive. In the process, Sam comes too close to death himself more than once; this time he doesn’t even mind since his new wife who looks like an angel treats him with the tender care of one. Sam realizes he is still a marked man and may not live much longer, but he’s beginning to enjoy the days he has left. He can’t get over his fascination with this beautiful young woman who says she doesn’t want to be touched, but she does want to be held. And he soon realizes that this little wisp of a woman is much stronger than even she thinks, possessing more courage than a lot of men he knows.

Soon Sarah and Sam are longing for more than just a marriage of convenience. Sarah wants a real marriage–to a man who will only take what she is willing to give. And Sam starts longing for the first time for a life that will enable him to settle down with Sarah and live a normal life. But can they? Is it possible with so many gunmen just waiting to put a bullet in Sam’s back?

When A Texan Gambles took a little time to get into. At the beginning, Sarah seems so naive that it’s unbelievable, especially knowing that she was married once before. But as the book progresses, her character grows stronger and doesn’t seem to be as foolish as first presented. Sam Gatlin is just a downright lovable rogue; for all his scowling and growling, he’s mush underneath when it comes to his ministering angel. You will find yourself rooting for the two of them to make it together, not just for now but for always. And then there is a very sexy Texas Ranger who deserves a story of his own. This is book two of Jodi Thomas’ latest Texas trilogy; it follows The Texan’s Wager published last year. Ms. Thomas has many fans that will no doubt be looking forward to this sequel.

Reviewed in December 2003 by Vivian.

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