by Gail Link

March 2006
ISBN: 0-8439-5663-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Leisure Books
Mass Market Paperback

Montana Territory, post Civil War

The luck of the draw in a high-stakes poker game had finally won Beau McMasters what he had sought his entire life! Claiming the deed to his new ranch and saloon located in Heavens Grace, Montana, now Beau would have money, power and respectability, and no one there would know about his painful past while growing up in New Orleans! While journeying aboard stagecoach to the wilds of Montana territory there was only one other passenger with him and Beau was noticing her, a lot! Beau being a southern gentleman appreciated the auburn haired beauty of the new schoolteacher for Heavens Grace. Yep, Beau was going to enjoy his winnings and the charms of Mrs. Abby Butler!

Abby Butler, aka Abigail Butler Breckenridge of the socially prominent New York Breckenridge family was only one slight step ahead of the Pinkerton agents her overbearing father had pursuing her for the past three years. Taking on the guise of a widow and changing her name had kept her safe until Abby spotted the wanted poster in San Francisco and had to once again uproot herself quickly. Good thing she was able to secure this teaching position in sleepy Heavens Grace, Montana! The long powerful reach of her father would never get her there. If only Abby had not lied about her status as a widow, for now she was lost as to how to deal with the arousing lure of Beau McMasters! The Luck of the Draw had dealt both gamblers a hand they could win with, if not for dark secrets threatening their happiness.

Luck of the Draw by Gail Link has an interesting premise starting off, then for some reason half way through loses its momentum. By the time the story culminates it leaves the reader feeling almost bereft! Beau McMasters was too mysterious and could have been explained more in depth earlier on. Instead we get snippets of flashbacks that leave little to go on to understand the makings of this hero. Abby is a jumbled mix of bits and pieces and we are confused as to why she feels the need to run away! That piece of information is not dealt with until three quarters of the way through. A "contrived" villain is thrown in confusing an already unconnected plot even more.

Reviewed in April 2006 by Bonnie.

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