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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Gambling with Love by Kaye Spencer - January #blogabookscene #prairierosepubs #westernromance

The blog-a-book-scene theme for January is Baby, It's Cold Outside. Here is teaser from my western romance Gambling with Love, which is set in Wyoming and Colorado in the spring of 1883.

Deputy Federal Marshal Nick Foster is on the trail of gambler Lainie Conrad, a woman wanted for murder, and has finally caught up with her at a hotel during a spring blizzard. They have a history...


Taking the stairs to the second-floor hallway, Nick let himself into Lainie’s room. Low light glowed from the oil lamp on the bedside table, and fire burned in the parlor stove near the bed, neither of which surprised him. Lainie liked to be comfortable, and paying to have a warm, lighted room awaiting her arrival was something she would do.

Stowing his gear and coat in a corner, he looked the room over. Apparently, she was traveling light nowadays. Her steamer trunks and portmanteau were missing. It looked like she was living out of a couple of oversized leather bags. For as fastidious in her dress and grooming as she was, that wasn’t like her, which made him wonder what she was up to.

Nick added another piece of wood and a shovelful of coal to the stove, grateful to be inside after riding three hours through the raging blue norther that, right now, was doing its damnedest to batter down the building with gusts of howling wind that rattled windowpanes and slammed loose shutters. He looped his gun belt over a bedpost within easy grasp, stretched out on the bed, situated his hat on the off-hand side, and slipped a set of handcuffs beneath it. He’d give her a chance to come with him of her own accord, but knowing Lainie… Well, she wasn’t getting away so easily this time.

While he waited, it felt good to let the weariness of the trail ease from his bones. Minutes later, the doorknob grated, and the door opened. That she didn’t use her key told him she knew he was waiting for her. It was her gambler’s nature; she noticed every little detail.

She paused at the threshold, coffee pot in hand, and the trim line of her figure silhouetted for a moment against the dim yellow hallway light before she stepped into the room, closed and locked the door. Crossing the few steps to the stove, she situated the coffee pot on the flat top, and placed a coffee cup, the room key, along with her reticule, on the table. Taking her time, and seemingly oblivious to his presence, she removed her short-waisted jacket, draped it over a chair back, and sashayed to the bed.

Lamp light shadows played off her swept-up golden tresses, and visions of their last night together in New Orleans seized him. Right then, he hated himself for how shamelessly he still loved her.

“You can only imagine my extreme disappointment when I saw you standing on the stairs. All this time I’d hoped you were dead.”

The teasing welcome in her tone belied her harsh words, and a warm rush of missing her made it hard to keep a clear head with a churning den of rattlers twisting around in his belly. He’d never loved a woman before Lainie waltzed into his life, and even though she’d run out on him almost as quickly as she’d arrived, there was no room in his heart for another woman. There never would be.

“Your aim was off. It was just a graze, but it rang my bell and bled like hell.” There wasn’t enough light for her to see it, but he turned his head and pointed to the scar that began at his right temple and ended over his ear.

“Why are you assuming my aim was off? By your own admission, it did knock you out, which was the object of my intent, I’ll have you know.”

Nick cocked an eyebrow, mocking her. “So, you’re a sharpshooter?”

He loved the lyrical lilt of her laughter, and she laughed now. “Next time you use that little parlor gun of yours, make sure you’re close enough to cram it right into the poor chump’s belly when you pull the trigger. You still might not kill him, but you’ll increase your chances of slowing him down, that’s for sure.”

“Why, thank you so much for the advice. However, in my defense, if you hadn’t tried to disarm me, I wouldn’t have pulled the trigger. It was your own fault that I shot you. Your ultimatum left me no choice, but to demonstrate the sincerity of my convictions.”

 Her voice dripped of syrupy sweet sarcasm.

Nick remembered all too well. “Are you planning on shooting me again?”

A grin played at the corners of her lips. “That depends upon your intentions toward my virtue.” Lainie busied herself with adjusting the lamp wick until she was satisfied with the glow.

Her subtle jasmine fragrance made it difficult to keep his hands to himself. “You know my intentions toward your virtue have never been honorable.”

Gambling with Love is available on

Print | eBook | Kindle Unlimited

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Until next time,

Kaye Spencer
Writing through history one romance upon a time


  1. Eeek!!! Omgoodness this story has been on my tbr pile for a while now and I'm thinking ... It needs moved up to tbr SOON!!! This clip just makes me wanna dive in now!

    1. Michelle,
      Long about 2007ish, I entered an on-line writing contest sponsored by The Romance Studio. It was a 3-Round competition. The first two stages of the contest were writing the first 1000 words of a story based on their pre-determined story prompt. The third stage was to create a newsletter. At each stage, you posted your entry and readers logged-in and voted. If you 'finaled', you went on to the next level. (FYI: I made it to the newsletter level, but I didn't win. I think I placed third or fourth overall.)

      Anyway, Gambling with Love, evolved from one of the story prompts of that contest. This was the contest prompt:

      Character A is in law enforcement and must find and arrest Character B. These characters have a romantic history that went sour. Character A's feelings are still strong for Character B. Write their reunion scene with the arrest in mind.

      Consequently, my western romance, Gambling with Love, was born from that prompt.

      Gambling with Love is set in 1883 in Denver, Colorado against the backdrop of a high-stakes poker tournament. The heroine, Lainie Conrad (Character B) is a professional poker player seeking revenge against the gambler responsible for her husband's murder. Her plans for revenge are compromised when U.S. Deputy Marshal Nick Foster (Character A) shows up to arrest and escort her back east to stand trial for suspected murder.

  2. What a delicious scene, Kaye. I wanna read more....all of it. Have to buy it soon.

    1. Elizabeth,
      Thank you for the compliment. I suspect you are rowing in the same reading boat with me... So many books to read and just so much time to accomplish it. *sigh* I used to read a couple of books a month, but it's been a few years since I've even managed two books a year. I've promised myself that I'll read more this year. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. LOL That scene gets just a tad bit steamier...

  4. I loved their banter. My favorite part was “You can only imagine my extreme disappointment when I saw you standing on the stairs. All this time I’d hoped you were dead.” It cracked me up.
    I liked this excerpt. All the very best to you, Kaye...

    1. Thanks, Sarah. *hugs* The banter continues throughout the story.

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