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Paige has to help her pa con people out of their money. Although she hates doing it, she knows she will get a beating if she doesn’t do it. So she dresses scandalously and, as she walks around the gambling table, she watches for signals from him. Her sister, Missy, used to do it, but after their pa beat her badly and left her for dead in another town, Paige took her place. Paige is sure her sister is dead. So now, it is just her, her brother Adam, who tries to defend her, and their pa.
Royce, a rancher, lives on the family ranch with his pa and his two brothers, Lucas and Creel. Women had hurt Royce too many times; to the point, he no longer allows females at his home. His fiancée had hurt him by cheating on him, his sister deserted him and even his mother had turned her back on him. His pa stayed drunk a lot, missing Royce’s mother. So Royce is always in a bad mood; walking around with a chip on his shoulder, ensuring people keep their distance from him.
As Paige’s pa sat down to play cards, she noticed the good-looking fellow with blue eyes unlike any she had ever seen before. She could not help feeling drawn to him and was stunned when she discovered that this man was her father’s mark for the evening. Then her pa put her up for his ante. Though Royce accepted the ante, Paige could tell something was wrong. Feeling he was on to them, she tried to signal her pa, but he was oblivious. Royce won the game and took Paige upstairs, but all he was interested in was finding out what she and her pa were plotting. She finally told him to leave before her pa and brother found her and knocked him out, stealing from him in the process. Paige explained that Royce didn’t win, her father stacked the deck, ensuring Royce would win, so he could steal from him later. Royce kissed her as she had never been kissed before. Then he made his escape, warning Paige not to be seen in Coyote again, but Paige knew she would never forget him. When her father found her, he started beating her until her brother Adam stepped between them. When Adam told his pa that he and Paige were leaving that night, their pa shot him and then started on Paige.
When Royce returned home the following morning, he discovered that Paige was staying there. His youngest brother, Creel, had found her, unconscious and close to death. She had been well hidden and left for dead. Though Royce put up an argument, Creel promised he would take care of her. When she awoke, she had no memory, but Royce did not believe her. He only wondered what con she and her pa were plotting now. As Paige stays there, she can feel herself falling for Royce. Though he is not a very pleasant person, she can see the vulnerability and desire deep down. What will it take to make him see that she is not like the women in his past? Can she make him see the truth before her pa finds her?
LUCK OF THE DRAW is an intriguing and deliciously sensual, western historical romance. Royce is used to women letting him down so the first thing he thinks is that Paige is like all the women he has known in the past. He is drawn to her sassy innocence, but he does not want to take the chance of getting hurt again. Paige finds herself falling in love with Royce and his family…a family completely different from her own. So when his father asks her to call him pa, she accepts right away. Author Julie Lence tugs at the heartstrings with this delightful story, which will keep you up, anxiously reading to find out what happens next and empathizing with the characters. Though LUCK OF THE DRAW is the first book that I have read by this author, it will not be my last. I highly recommend LUCK OF THE DRAW to anyone looking for a terrific story.
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