Contemporary Romance

Playing the Odds by Nora Roberts

Playing the Odds
Serena MacGregor is a blackjack dealer on a cruise ship sailing the Caribbean and she’s very good at what she does. What no one knows is that she’s from a well known, wealthy family and decided to go down a different path after graduating from college, wanting to experience the world outside of the bubble of her family. Then Justin Blade sits at her table and she knows he someone different. He experiences the same connection and makes it his mission to have this woman.

Justin is more than he first presents himself to be and there’s a secret he’s keeping that involves Serena. I won’t divulge that as it makes the story more interesting and I liked getting that as a surprise. I really liked both of them, especially Serena as she was strong, self assured and talented. But the romance was problematic for me, which was the only thing that made this book feel dated. Justin never respected Serena saying “no” and was continually grabbing her, not letting go. Even she was uncomfortable and it definitely threw me out of the romance and story each time. Otherwise, everything else worked but this was a big issue for me.

There were a lot of other things that I enjoyed, specifically Serena’s family and their relationship with each other. Justin also has a complex history and there was a lot to like about him despite his sexual aggression (it was the nature of romance writing in that era). And, it was clear he was the foundation for Roarke, one of my beloved characters in the In Death series. There’s a bit of suspense, too, just enough to add an interesting angle to an already good story. I definitely plan to continue the series despite my issue with the romance.

Book Info

  • Release Date: April 1, 2012 (originally March 2, 1985)
  • Series: The MacGregors #1
  • Page Numbers: 312
  • Publisher: Intermix

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17 thoughts on “Playing the Odds by Nora Roberts”

    1. Gill, remember the old bodice rippers of that time? Where the men took when the woman said no and meant it? It was like that only after he forced himself the woman determined she loved it. Ugh. But, that’s what romance was in 1985, which is why I stopped reading it.

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