by Carla D. Ledbetter

July 2004
ISBN: 1-932014-13-6
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When a vehicle accident leaves Emily Sane without use of her artist skills, she is forced to abandon her career as a movie special effects sketcher and seek other employment. Although her talent in floral arranging provides her with a moderate, steady income, a new heightened sense of hearing is what really pays the bills. With her acute hearing, Emily is able to recognize changes in the sounds of a slot machine which signifies that the machine is about to have a payoff. As long as she can get to the machine before someone else does, the money is hers.

Too many wins though can make casinos suspicious and after a while, a casino security representative, Glen Craigone, notices Emily. He knows she has some kind of system for beating the game, but heís not completely sure what it is. He is so fascinated by her that his observation of her continues even when Emily moves to Vegas.

When Glen moves into Emilyís apartment complex, Emily is immediately attracted to his good looks and likeable personality. The two get closer when Glen threatens to report his findings about Emily to the casinos if she doesnít agree to work with him to get one huge win.

As Glen and Emily finalize their plans for the big job, they are interrupted by a vicious criminal, Mike Dragonisi. Mike has been entrapped by Kate, Emily and Glenís friend and neighbor. To protect himself, he takes extreme measures, even putting a hit out on Emily. When this happens, Emily and Glen will realize that what they have together is worth a lot more than one final spin.

Jingle of Coins by C.D. Ledbetter is a romantic suspense novel with a daring plot and an intriguing cast of characters. Although Emily and Glen both have a slight touch of criminal, itís impossible to hold it against them. If all hands are counted guilty, they would perhaps be the most honest of them all.

Although I wish she had been stronger, Kate was actually this reviewerís favorite character. I kept hoping she would be able to change her life as much as she wanted.

Unfortunately, the romantic aspect of this story was greatly overshadowed by the suspense, so much in fact that at times, it was possible to forget that this novel actually belongs somewhere in the romance genre. There were also a few instances where the behavior of the characters was overly dramatic for their particular situations. Luckily, the engrossing plot helped to minimize these distractions.

Reviewed in September 2004 by Natasha.

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