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Friday, July 10, 2009

Winner Takes All By Sandra Sookoo

Winner Takes All By Sandra Sookoo
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Genre: Historical
Heat: Sweet
Length: Short
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Lily Henderson's greatest passion is knowledge. Christopher Farnsworth thrives on order and decorum. A simple dinner party and a bowl of potato soup are ruined when Lily's penchant for suffragette rallies and Christopher's military ideas of prim and proper meet and clash.

The two soon find themselves agreeing to a wager and love is the intended outcome. The premise? A suitable match by Easter. If he loses, he'll attend Easter church services dressed in one of his aunt's outrageously colored and beaded gowns. If she loses, she'll ride, Lady Godiva-style, around the heart of Indianapolis.

The problem is neither Christopher nor Lily can find matches that measure up to themselves. Romantic sabotage is the order of the day. The original wager is forgotten and the only thing the pair gamble with is their hearts.

Sandra Sookoo’s Winner Takes All, is an absolute delight. Her characters – and indeed the busy turn-of-the century Indiana, leap to life immediately. Sookoo’s word choice somehow evokes not on the mood of the times, but a turn-of-the century sort of elegance. The dialogue engages the reader from the first and presents to quirky, strong minded characters in an intimate light.

From the first disastrous dinner, we start to get a picture of the life of a suffragette; a suffragette that the family either wants to marry off or pack off to some touch minded great aunt. Every person in the family is a stark but believable individual, and every one has their funny (or perhaps more realistically -– their infuriating) quirk.

The unexpected in the everyday challenge young suffragette Lily Henderson – but none anything like a certain Christopher Farnsworth… who waffles wonderfully between the best of men and the most aggravating. He knows his own self less well than Lily, but is drawn to her. Although Lily says she wants to live life ‘in her own way,’ her parents and friends keep busily trying to arrange her life for her. And Christopher taunts her.

Every character in Sookoos work is a character. Take tough-minded Zelma Farnsworth; sure, she is almost admirable, but there is no denying her manipulative qualities. She doesn’t mind twisting even her colleagues and family to her own ends. Lily puts up with a lot from her, as well as from her friends, who fail to be as determined in their own goals as she might wish. Part of the joy of reading this story are the many minor surprises -– and realizing that not only do things Not go as Lily expects, but also not as the reader expects. I’ll give none of it away -- you'll have to read Winner Takes All.

Sookoo’s delicate humor threads throughout this delightful romance. Pick up a copy of your own. You won't be disappointed.