Read When a Texan Gambles Online

Authors: Jodi Thomas

Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #Historical, #General

When a Texan Gambles

Table of Contents
 
 
Praise for the novels of Jodi Thomas ...
THE TEXAN’S WAGER
“An exciting western romance filled with engaging characters ... fans will know they won by reading
The Texan’s Wager.”

Midwest Book Review
 
“A poignant, heartwarming tale ... It’s the perfect beginning for Ms. Thomas’s new Texas trilogy. If, as I do, you love Texas, its exciting history, and a sweet romance, don’t miss
The Texan’s Wager.
It’s one terrific book.”

Romance Reviews Today
 
“A superb start to this new trilogy that will make my keeper shelf... Jodi Thomas has long been a master at character development, but the portrait of Carter is her best yet. I eagerly await the second book in this series ... Kudos to Ms. Thomas for another stunning read!”
—The Romance Reader’s Connection
 
“A great western read! ... [A] tender loving story... touching and romantic ... It is a testament to the author Jodi Thomas’s skills!”—
The Best Reviews
 
“Jodi Thomas, the queen of the Texan romance, just keeps turning out entertaining stories with interesting characters and plots.
The Texan’s Wager
will undoubtedly delight her many fans, especially since she has created in Carter McCoy one of the most unusual heroes I have ever come across... A most enjoyable beginning of what promises to be an entertaining trilogy.”
—The
Romance
Reader
 
“An honestly good story ... Jodi Thomas’s tale of the Old West will warm your heart and touch your soul ... A must-read for lovers of expertly crafted historical romance.”

Escape to Romance
 
“Thomas’s crisp prose, sprightly dialogue, and homespun characters will charm.—
Publishers Weekly
 
THE TEXAN’S DREAM
“Packs a powerful emotional punch ... [Thomas‘s] latest western historical romance highlights the author’s talent for creating genuinely real characters. Kara, in particular, is an appealing blend of vulnerability and strength, and watching this plucky heroine discover her own sense of worth and find true love is just one of the joys of reading this exceptional romance.”
—Booklist
 
 
 
TWILIGHT IN TEXAS
“A powerful Lone Star romance that brings to life the decade after the Civil War ... filled with action ... loaded with tender passion ... another exciting tale.”

Midwest Book Review
 
 
 
TO WED IN TEXAS
“Entertaining.”
—Publishers Weekly
“Tender, sweet, funny and touching.”—
The Romance Reader
“A thrilling tale ... a story that readers will want to read again and again.”
—Rendezvous
“Your heart will be moved by the passion, the action, the loyalty, the suspense and the emotion.”
—Oklahoman
 
 
TO KISS A TEXAN
“Compelling ... fans will appreciate Thomas’s subtle humor and her deft handling of sensitive topics.”
—Booklist
 
 
THE TEXAN’S TOUCH
“Delightful and memorable characters and a rollercoaster pace... Another wonderful read from a true shining star.”

Romantic Times
 
TWO TEXAS HEARTS
“Jodi Thomas is at her remarkable best in Two
Texas Hearts.”
—Debbie Macomber
 
 
TEXAS LOVE SONG
“A warm and touching read full of intrigue and suspense that will keep the reader on the edge of her seat.”

Rendezvous
 
 
FOREVER IN TEXAS
“A great western romance filled with suspense and plenty of action.”—
Affaire de Coeur
 
TO TAME A TEXAN’S HEART
Winner of the Romance Writers of America Best Historical Series Romance Award
“Earthy, vibrant, funny, and poignant... a wonderful, colorful love story.”—
Romantic Times
 
THE TEXAN AND THE LADY
“Jodi Thomas shows us hard-living men with grit and guts, and the determined young women who soften their hearts.”
—Pamela Morsi,
USA Today
bestselling author
of
Doing Good
and
Letting Go
 
PRAIRIE SONG
“Thoroughly entertaining romance.”—
Gothic Journal
 
THE TENDER TEXAN
Winner of the Romance Writers of America Best Historical Series Romance Award
“[A] marvelous, sensitive, emotional romance... spellbind ing.”—
Romantic Times
Titles by Jodi Thomas
TWISTED CREEK
 
 
TALL, DARK, AND TEXAN
TEXAS PRINCESS
TEXAS RAIN
THE TEXAN’S REWARD
A TEXAN’S LUCK
WHEN A TEXAN GAMBLES
THE TEXAN’S WAGER
TO WED IN TEXAS
TO KISS A TEXAN
THE TENDER TEXAN
PRAIRIE SONG
THE TEXAN AND THE LADY
TO TAME A TEXAN’S HEART
FOREVER IN TEXAS
TEXAS LOVE SONG
TWO TEXAS HEARTS
THE TEXAN’S TOUCH
TWILIGHT IN TEXAS
THE TEXAN’S DREAM
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by the Penguin Group
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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
WHEN A TEXAN GAMBLES
A Jove Book / published by arrangement with the author
PRINTING HISTORY
Jove mass-market edition / November 2003
 
 
Copyright 0 2003 by Jodi Koumalats.
eISBN : 978-1-101-15351-2
 
 
JOVE®
Jove Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
JOVE is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
The “J” design is a trademark belonging to Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
 
 

http://us.penguingroup.com

ONE
Texas
The Fall of 1883
 
SAM GATLIN REMOVED HIS RAIN-SOAKED COAT AND shirt, knowing they would never get dry before morning. He neatly folded his trousers over the chair before he turned and noticed his new wife had slipped from the bed. She had disappeared, along with one of the Colts from the holster he’d hung on the rusty bedpost moments before.
The pale lightning of a dying storm blinked in the small room, offering him enough light to see. Far away thunder echoed, barely a rumble through the night as it blended with the tinny piano music of the bar across the street.
He was bone tired, so cold he would never get warm, and now he had lost the woman he just married. She couldn’t have gone far, not in these cramped quarters. He stood between where he had set her atop the covers and the door leading into the hotel hallway.
She was either under the bed or folded into one of the dresser drawers.
He found little comfort in discovering his new bride might be insane as well as armed. But bad luck had been running a wide streak through his life lately, so he did not bother to be surprised by the possibility.
He knelt on one knee and stared into the shadows beneath the iron railing of the bed frame.
“Now look, Miss...” he began, knowing she was no longer a ‘miss’ but forgetting the name the sheriff used several hours ago when Sam paid her fine, got her out of jail, and married her. “There’s no need for you to hide.”
He expected she would have the good sense to be grateful that he coughed up the money to save her from a life behind bars. But she hadn’t said a word since they left Cedar Point. He might as well have bought a china doll for all the company she offered on the trip.
The barrel of his Colt poked out from under the bed.
“It’s been a long night,” he mumbled without moving. They’d driven through the worst storm he had seen in years in a flimsy rented buggy. “I’d like to get some sleep in the few hours we have left before dawn. Then I’ll buy a good wagon that can take us the rest of the way to my place.”
No answer.
“Lady.” Lady didn’t sound right. A man couldn’t go around calling his bride lady. Sam straightened his large frame, hating the way his body always ached when he had to cram into a buggy. Man was meant to ride on a horse, not behind one. If he had been alone today, he would have braved the weather on horseback. But his new bride looked so weak, a dozen raindrops would have probably drowned her.
Sam decided to take the direct approach. “Get out from under that bed, lady. The sheriff said you’ve been married before. You should know by now what’s expected on a wedding night. Stop this foolishness and climb under those covers.” .
The barrel pointed at his heart. It occurred to Sam how her first husband might have met his end.
She had looked like an angel when she stepped up and pulled his name from a hat back in Cedar Point. He’d won. A bride for the price of her fine. He thought it fair when he read about the wife lottery. Three young women had confessed to a murder, but the sheriff hadn’t found the body they’d admitted to killing. So, in the name of justice and because the county couldn’t afford to hold them indefinitely, Sheriff Riley had held a lottery.
Sam had gone more to watch than participate, but one look at Sarah changed his mind. He had to at least put his name in the hat. The likelihood of winning had seemed more of a wish than possibility.
“I’m not goin’ to hurt you.” Sam tried to sound kind, but kindness was not something he wore easily. “I’ve never hurt a woman in my life,” he added, then decided that didn’t make him sound much better.

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