Betting Hearts

Author: Dee Tenorio

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Release Date: June 6, 2006

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.5

Format: EBOOK

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Cassandra Bishop, otherwise known as CB doesn't have the faintest idea how to be feminine. She's a rough and tumble sort of girl who's not afraid to get her hands dirty, inhale her food in public, or even throw a punch if it's warranted. Her ex-fiance's, Luke, reappearance in town has her doubting her own appeal and feminism. After all, he supposedly left her because he was gay, now here he is with a woman who reminds CB of a Pomeranian and insisting that CB is just too masculine acting to be considered womanly. CB is determined to prove him wrong. She's enlisting her best friend Burke to help with the transformation.

Burke Hallifax has been a friend of Cassandra's for a very long time. Hayne (CB's brother), CB and Burke often hung out together. She's always been his buddy. So why would she think that he can help her find her femininity? To make matters worse, he's suddenly seeing her as more than just a buddy, there are curves he never noticed before. But there is no way that he is going to have any part of changing her into a "woman."

Breaking Luke's nose should have given CB a small amount of satisfaction. After the way he'd deserted her a year ago he did deserve some retaliation. His derogatory comments about her lack of feminine behavior really hurt. CB does what any self respecting woman in her position would do - gets drunk. Then she proceeds to visit her friend Burke to ask him if he'd have sex with her if she asked. At three-thirty in the morning, the last thing Burke feels like doing is arguing with a very drunk soaking wet woman who resembles a drowned rat. While he did tell her that no, he would not have sex with her, he still forces her in out of the rain and has her sleep it off in his guest bedroom. After sobering up a bit, CB explains about Luke being back in town and breaking his nose. When Luke drops off an invitation to his wedding to the Pomeranian, CB makes the big decision that she is going to prove that she can be feminine and do so with more style than his little blonde with the double-D's. Burke claims he can see her femininity so he should be able to help her bring it out, right? He's refusing to help but Cassandra has a plan. The weekly poker game is tonight and Cassandra's determined to win. Since she's the dealer, she gets to pick the game. Tonight's game is five card stud, aces high, favor game. Showdown rules. Cassandra needs a date to Luke's wedding, and she needs someone to show her how to be a woman and she's dead set on Burke fulfilling both roles.

Let's hear it for the tomboys! Cassandra is such a fun character. She's bold and brash yet still girly, but not in a makeup and high-heels sort of way. She wants to be loved and get married, even have kids but Luke's cruel comments push her into a deep-seated need to prove to everyone including herself that she is a woman. Burke loves Cassandra just the way she is, her changing forces him to realize that she is desirable and he's always been attracted to her, that's why he hates Luke so much. Matters of the heart are always a gamble, but it's so worth it when you bluff and win.

BETTING HEARTS is Dee Tenorio's first published novel. Watch for the first book of her REMINGTONS series titled MIDNIGHT SONATA to be released sometime this fall.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Chrissy Dionne

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