Title: Written in the Cards
Author: Lauren Linwood
Genre: Historical Fiction (Western, 1868)
Review Rating: Four Stars
Reviewer: Linda Hays-Gibbs
Ben Morgan has his share of bad luck. His wife and baby were killed by Indians and now he's a gambler. The problem is the guy he's playing cards with is cheating and his brother, Black Tex Lonnegan is a hired killer. If He don't call Jimmy Lonnegan out for cheating he will lose money, but if he does call him a cheat, his brother may kill him.
Finally, he can take no more and he calls the guy for cheating. He draws killing another fellow before Ben kills him. Needless to say Ben leaves quickly. He joins a cattle drive to head to Abilene, Kansas hoping the killer won't follow.
Margaret Rutherford is about to march down the aisle when she finds out her fiancée only wants her money. He's deep in debt from his father and her money is his only hope. She leaves out the back door with him standing at the alter. Her brother, Marcus Rutherford, head of Rutherford Publishing left a car out front of the church for her.
Next, years later in Abilene a bunch of cowboys come off the Chisholm trail. Margaret wants to interview one of them for her latest book. She sees the most handsome scrumptious specimen and goes directly for him. She doesn't waste time in getting her interview and information but before she leaves he grabs her and gives her the most delicious kiss ever. She is smitten and doesn't know what has hit her.
Maggie's near marriage was nothing to the feelings Ben Morgan makes her feel. Her books are selling. She never wants to go back to New York or marry but this new man has her going in circles.
Ben leaves to visit his brother and finds him at death's door. He was in an accident saving his daughter from a runaway carriage. The girl Jennie can't hear because of having mumps now and didn't hear the carriage coming. He saved the girl but he wasn't so lucky.
Rebecca, Jennie's mother is nursing Ben's brother Adam but he dies. Ben promised his brother he would see about Jennie and the new baby that was coming. He works at his brother's store and helps his brother's family.
Maggie turns up in Easton to see her friend Frank Stansel. Seeing Ben there surprised her. She has an accident and they all take care of her. She falls more deeply in love with Ben.
This is an endearing story of love in the old West. It was exciting and all together lovely. There was only one thing that I had a little trouble with and it was that Maggie traveled alone. Maggie acted completely against the conventions of the times. It was hard for me to see a woman acting like she did in that day and age. It was just highly improbable. That kept me a little twisted and some of the language was off too. I just don't think they talked that way then. Of course, if you can ignore that it is a delightful take of romance in the West.
I gave this fine author Four Stars and look forward to reading more of her work. She is unique, insightful, and very interesting. I think her characters were completely fleshed and interesting and her plot true.