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Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Man with the Money by Lynn Raye Harris

The Man with the Money by Lynn Raye Harris
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (186 pgs)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Notorious gambler Jack no longer gets a buzz from the risks, or the money, he takes at the card table. In fact, it bores him. Until one night he wins more than he ever bargained for.…

His prize is the stunning Cara Taylor—she might be down on her luck but she certainly doesn't need rescuing by a maverick card-shark like Jack! Now she's stuck with him and she doesn't know whether to love him or loathe him. But, cut from the same pack, playing Jack at his own game is the most fun she's ever had!

This tale was a lot of fun because it tells of another Wolfe brother who finds his happily ever after and in the most unusual of places! I enjoyed the novelty of it and the fact that another tragic soul gets redeemed in a manner so subtle, he falls without realizing it.

Jack is bored. See Jack perk up. Watch Jack think he’s getting his cake and eating it too. Enjoy the cake, in this case, Cara, the heroine, as it bites back. Marvel at how much Jack is clueless as to what it means to dream about a person when they aren’t with him. Poor Jack. He’s about to get a reality check and a mirror thrust into his face – and he doesn’t like what he sees. But what to do?

I enjoyed how the author set things up for the hero. I clearly understood that he’s burnt out emotionally, and that Jack, although successful in material things, was numb. What I didn’t realize until mid way through the story was that Jack was in hiding. He had such deep pain that he’s avoided anything and anyone that might prod the wound. Unfortunately, he was doing well in that regard. That is until he walked in and saw Cara and his inherent white knight syndrome rushed to the fore. The action and character byplay picked up from there and never stopped and certainly kept me on the edge not knowing how it was going to play out.

Cara, is a croupier. I had no idea what that was but the author filled me in as she told the tale. I didn’t stay perplexed for long, for which I was grateful and I liked the natural way the fine points of her job were revealed. I also thought the whole set up was cool. I’ve only watched things like that on television when they have poker playoffs. I was fascinated to see it used as a backdrop for the start of a romance.

The heroine is one classy lady, despite what those snobs said. She’s industrious, hard working and loyal to a fault. Plus she has heart full of love to give and the person who needs it the most won’t take it. My heart ached for Cara because she’s struggled so much and tried so hard and one oil-skinned boss took it away because he forced her into a situation that had her making a life altering choice – money or family honor? I appreciated that the heroine recognized the slippery slope she was on and her decision is one I could respect. It was really exciting there for a bit – very dramatic and heart pumping.

The rest of the book was heart thumping in a different way -- when Cara and Jack realized how physically compatible they were. I was treated to some very well written and passionate encounters that ramped up the romance to a tender yet hot level.

There weren’t too many secondary characters and only a passing nod to the rest of the Wolfe family. The book is without a doubt a sturdy standalone story. The facts of Jack’s history, the painful reunion of sorts and his finally getting the chutzpah to face his worst fears made him a hero in my estimation. I enjoyed how he acted so loving and wished I could be the recipient of one so generous. But he’s also high maintenance so it’s a good thing Cara was up to the task of redeeming him.

The Man With the Money is easy reading with a heartwarming story and delightful characters that reach the romantic inside. The book left me feeling very happy and satisfied and I giggled at Jack’s last line in the book. In fact, the courtship is sexy, sensual and at times remarkably sweet. And other times, wickedly naughty. It’s a well told tale with perfect editing with characters I really enjoyed getting to know. Pick up your own copy and have some fun.