I recently had the pleasure of reading Holt’s Gamble, a western historical romance by Barbara Ankrum. This book was originally published in 1990 under the title Passion’s Prize, and was recently re-released in ebook format by the author (with the new title and gorgeous new cover art).
At the beginning of Holt’s Gamble, the heroine, Kierin McKendry, is indentured to a saloon owner (who let’s say is not exactly a nice guy). The saloon owner gambles her contract in a card game, and loses to Clay Holt. Obviously the heroine does not like being played away like a possession & questions Holt’s motives at first. Misunderstandings and sexual tension ensue, and these two end up going on quite an adventure through the old wild west.
I absolutely loved this story. I thought the plot was original & entertaining, and the romance between the hero & heroine was well developed (with equal measures of sweetness & steam). Admittedly, I have a bit of a thing for western historicals; Lorraine Heath’s Texas trilogy & Lavryle Spencer’s Hummingbird, for instance, are some of my favorite historical romances. Holt’s Gamble reminded me of those books, which I mean as a huge compliment to Barbara Ankrum. This is definitely a book I’d recommend; if you try it I would love to hear what you think (you might just claim Holt as your next book boyfriend).
The second book in the Wild Western Hearts Series, Renegade Bride, is also currently available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I’ve already picked it up & can’t wait to read it.