The Book: Straight For The Heart by Marsha Canham
The Particulars: Historical romance, Bantam Dell, 1995, Out of Print
"The Game Is Called Cutthroat Gentlemen. Quick and Vicious ... Just The Way I Like It Sometimes."Is It In Wendy's TBR?: Amazingly enough, no. Reading this back cover blurb this is just the sort of book I'd "rescue" if I were to stumble across it in a used bookstore. I know how I am....
She risked everything to play a man's game in a man's world. As the elusive, mysterious Montana Rose, she was known as the queen of the Mississippi riverboats, a sensual and dangerous Southern beauty who was willing to gamble everything, even her life, on each cut of the cards.
Intent on calling her bluff, the equally devious and dangerous Michael Tarrington is determined to teach the fiery lady gambler a lesson in seduction. But instead, the rakishly handsome Yankee finds himself swept into her world of illusions, treachery, and smoldering passions that threaten to cut ... straight for the heart.
Any Reviews?: A couple actually. Booklist gave this one a very quick write-up, ending on this vaguely positive note:
"Canham deals out plenty of surprising twists in her paperback historical fiction."Publishers Weekly is a bit more thorough, although not all that positive:
"Canham's (In the Shadow of Midnight) latest is deftly plotted, and Amanda is sympathetic, if a bit insipid, while Michael is engagingly complex. But secondary characters are flat and stereotypical, and readers who dislike excessive violence will find the concluding chapters disturbing."You can read both of these reviews in full, as well and see some customer reviews (ranging from 2 to 5 Stars) over at Amazon.
Anything Else?: Initially intrigued by this back cover copy, I'm glad I never have stumbled across this book at a used bookstore and fell under the spell of impulse buying. Why? Because turns out our fair heroine in this story has a scheming twin sister.
Every romance reader has at least one trope that makes them go a big rubbery one. Twin stories happen to be one of mine. These stories seem to have two speeds - either one of the twins is a eviiiiiiiiiil or we get the ol' Parent Trap trope where the twins "switch places." Neither of which flips my switch. I don't loathe these as much as the soul mates trope - but yeah. It just ain't my bag baby.
That all being said, I do know readers who lurve stories about twins. I also know that Canham has a bit of a loyal and fervent fan following out there in Romance Novel Land. So feel free to use the comments section to convince me that this is one twin story I just might want to give a whirl. What can I say? I love me American settings.