Saturday, October 3, 2015

Between Love and Lies (Gambling Hearts Book 1) by Jacqui Nelson - #5StarReview #HistoricalRomance #WesternRomance

Between Love and Lies 
(Gambling Hearts Book 1) 
by Jacqui Nelson 

Published:  August 30, 2015
Publisher:  Self Published
Length: 261 pages
Genre:  Historical Western Romance
Available:  Amazon  

In a town ruled by sin, will he earn her love or her lies?

Dodge City, Kansas – 1877

Sadie Sullivan lost everything when a herd of longhorn cattle bound for Dodge City trampled and destroyed her farm. Now she works in Dodge—one of the most wicked and lawless towns in the West—at the Northern Star saloon. But her survival in this new world of sin and violence depends on maintaining a lie so deadly it could end her life before the town of Dodge can.

The one man capable of unraveling all of Sadie’s secrets is Noah Ballantyne, the Texan rancher whose herd destroyed her home. Back in town and taking up the role of deputy alongside legendary lawman Bat Masterson, Noah vows he won’t leave until he’s made things right. But with the saloon’s madam unwilling to release Sadie and a rich cattle baron wanting her as well, the odds aren’t in favor of finding love…or leaving town alive.

You’ve heard the phrase, ‘Time to get out of Dodge’?  Well this time, we’re going back.  Back to Dodge City, Kansas circa 1876 during the prime days of the Wild West, when men like Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp walked its streets.  This is the setting of Jacqui Nelson’s Between Love and Lies.
This is not Ms. Nelson’s first rodeo or her first visit to Dodge. She gives us first timers a very detailed vista of the mud and the muck, the adventure and the dangers lurking about in our view of the setting.  This story is filled with such wonderful romance as well and plot galore with twists and turns enough to make a sharpshooters gun cylinder spin but it’s the romance that I truly lov…Hold on.  I am getting the cart before the horse.  Before we start talking about any romance, we need to meet the characters.

Ms. Nelson’s knack for detail is not lost when we meet petite, re-headed Sadie Sullivan.  While Dodge is far from the ideal place for a young, innocent woman, Sadie knows how to play the cards she’s dealt.  Smarter than a whip and with enough backbone to stand up to just about anything or anyone, she wouldn’t know good luck if it jumped up and slapped her.  But she has plans, plans that some tall, no-good, handsome, pain in the neck, good-lookin’ Texan keeps messing up!  And oooh, he gets her all riled up!  Now what is she supposed to do with all of those feelings that Cowboy gives her?

Noah Ballantyne, the Texan in question, is a good man but he is drowning in guilt - guilt for his brother who died last year during a Longhorn stampede.  Guilt for the ranch that said same cattle ran over and destroyed.  He wants to right the wrongs that he can.  His brother, he cannot return him to the living but the old man and his daughter and their ranch that was their livelihood, that he could do something about.  But things may not be that simple, as they are not always what they seem.

Sadie hates that Noah has come back into her wrecked life, rubbing salt into her wounds.  Noah vows he just wants to make things right for her but there is danger lurking about everywhere, especially in the shadows. He wants to protect her but there are secrets worth killing for and more than a single debt is owed.  All the while Sadie and Noah are beginning to falling in love although Sadie says she still wants him gone.  There is chemistry between them and it’s beginning to sizzle.  He comes up with a plan to win her heart.  Thankfully everything comes together somehow in the end.  Hey, after all, this is a Romance. ;)  Just remember, Jacqui writes some of the best historical Western Romances I have read and does so with loads of details and exciting dynamics.  The Wild West is a place where anything can happen.  Anything!  5 Stars!!


Rating:  5 Stars - A MUST Read!

Heat:  2/5 Flames - Flirty

Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Meet Author Jacqui Nelson:
Jacqui Nelson writes historical romantic adventures set in the American West. Her stories include an Oregon Trail scout, an ex-Rebel spy turned government rabble rouser & a Dodge City cardsharp gambling with love & death. Those are her heroines. Wait till you meet her heroes! Her love for the Old West came from watching classic Western movies while growing up on a cattle farm. She's been nominated for over 20 awards and won the RWA® Golden Heart® for historical romance & the Laramie® for western romance drama.

LEARN MORE at or join her newsletter (to hear about her new releases, events, and book deals) at

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Liberty Ann, for reading my novel! Your wonderful review is keeping a permanent smile on my face :)