Title: Gamble in Gold
Author: Natalie Anderson
Series: Flirting to Win
Genre: contemporary romance
Published: 2013 (originally part of anthology Flirting to Win, published 2012)
Format read: ebook
Gamble in Gold is the third novella in a series set in London during the recent summer Olympics there. It’s a cute, quick read–though it’s one I definitely wish had been longer. Both the characters and the plot could have used more…though that is one of the dangers of a novella. Still, it was an enjoyable read with fun characters…and a dog named Mango.
Lexie Peterson has always been shy and quiet. An only child, her parents decided when she was seventeen that she needed to build her self-confidence and sent her from their New Zeland home to Boston as an exchange student. She stayed for six months at the home of the Marchettis, with their sixteen-year-old daughter Dani and their eighteen-year-old son Luke. Lexie fell fast and hard for Luke, but was convinced that he felt nothing for her in return. Even though they shared one memorable kiss (on top of a Ferris wheel, no less!) he pretty much ignored her the rest of the time, and Lexie was crushed.
Seven years later, Lexie is between jobs and newly arrived in London, where her old friend Dani and her brother Luke are now living. Lexie takes Dani up on her offer to stay at Luke’s apartment and dog sit, comfortable in the knowledge that when Luke returns she’ll be long gone, in her own flat with a new job and life. Only Luke comes back early….
Luke Marchetti knew that Lexie was off limits back in high school–she was under his family’s protection, and anyway, after their kiss (which he caught hell for from his dad) she practically ignored him. So he kept busy for the months she stayed with them, working his way through the senior girls at his school as well as at the girls’ school down the road. He never forgot Lexie, though…and then there she was, in his apartment, spending quality time with Mannie (because no boy dog should have to answer to Mango, even if he is an “uber-midget hound”), and he can’t believe his luck.
Lexie is sure Luke isn’t looking to change his playboy ways, and Luke is perplexed by her standoffishness. Will either of them decide that trying to have a relationship now is worth the gamble?
I actually read this novella for the first time when the series was originally published as an anthology last year. I enjoyed all three stories quite a bit, though of the three felt that this one especially could have benefited from being written as a longer piece. I really liked both of the main characters, especially Lexie, who it is very easy to identify with for much of the novella. I love the idea of their earlier non-relationship relationship, and the fact that both were secretly pining after each other back then. I’d like to have seen more development of their actual relationship now, though, because the HEA ends up feeling pretty rushed, especially after Lexie makes a rather questionable morning-after choice.
That said, though, the ending itself is absolutely adorable. And Luke totally had me at Mannie. His relationship with that dog is nothing short of adorable, and the reason why he still has him as a pet can cover a multitude of sins in my book.
In a nutshell: Cute characters in a sweet and steamy love story that I’d love to see longer and more fully developed. C+
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
Gamble in Gold goes on sale on 8/29, but you can preorder it now–and it’s definitely worth the price!
You can find author Natalie Anderson online:
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