Review of BETTINA'S GAMBLE by Kay Layton Sisk (see her website)
Wings ePress, October 2005
Bone Cold--Alive drummer Ron Gregory is in trouble. Not a small trouble like an gambling addiction or going through women like they were chewing gum, but big trouble--he's spent most of his rock-star fortune paying off a gambler who took him in a crooked game, but now that gambler wants his family jewels--and is set to accuse him of attempting to rape his wife. With his New Orleans organized crime contacts, the gambler is likely to get what he wants--and all Ron can think of is running. Which is even more trouble because he needs to go ask the band's manager, Fletch, for help--and Ron hates Fletch.
When her mother confesses that Bettina Montgomery was not really the daughter of Nils Montgomery but of a much younger Fletch, English photographer Bettina decides she needs to track down her blood father--and discovers Ron hiding in Fletch's Texas getaway. Her instincts serve her well and she snaps multiple photos of Ron rolling away from his hammock--where he had been sunbathing--nude. For Ron, nude photographs would normally not be much of a problem--he is the band's bad-boy after all. But when he's in hiding, after supposedly quitting the band in a huff, the photos might as well be a map to his hiding place--and the last evidence of his intact family jewels.
Not knowing what else to do, Ron 'kidnaps' the beautiful photographer and heads for the family ranch. There he is forced to confront his past, the wounds that made him what he became, and the choices he's made. He's a better man for it, sure. Still, he can't figure out any solution to his problem--that there's an angry mob-connected gambler after him who's sworn that he'll turn Ron into something other than a man.
Author Kay Layton Sisk (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Sisk) continues her 'rock-star' series with the story of bad-boy drummer Ron. Sisk mixes humor with strong emotion to deliver a romance with impact. I especially appreciate the way that she lets her 'bad boys' really be bad and in critical need of redemption. Sisk breaks the rules--and delivers an outstanding story as a result.
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