“High Stakes” by Chad Strong was a really great book. I had my doubts when I started it because I thought it would have a plot like so many other books I’ve read, but I was very pleasantly surprised. Curt Prescott is a professional gambler who makes a circuit every few months moving from place to place to ply his gambling expertise. He always comes home to Victoria, British Columbia. He comes home to his girl, Del. She is a former dance hall girl, doing what all dance hall girls do, but is now the saloon’s entertainer and special girl of Curt’s. He may stray while he is on his circuit, but he always comes home to Del.
When he comes back to Victoria this time, however, there is a change in the town. The virtuous ladies have vowed to get rid of the dens of iniquity, namely the bawdy houses and saloons. They have a leader in the wife of the church’s parson, Sarah Andrews. She and her friends have formed the Moral Action Committee to aid their cause.
Curt is the son of a prostitute and has spent his life on the streets and honing his gambling skills. He cannot sit back and watch the source of his livelihood destroyed. So he forms a plot wherein he will become friends to the pastor, Bud Andrews, his wife and lovely daughter Mary. He intends to woo Mary and then ruin her and her reputation so that the Andrews will have to leave town in disgrace. The plans he makes and the problems with the saloon owners, town council, and sheriff become the main story. After wooing Mary and causing her to fall in love with him, he just cannot bring himself to seduce her. There are so many twists and turns in this book that you will definitely keep turning pages as quickly as you can to find out what happens.
I received a free Kindle copy of this book for my honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.
You can find this review on my blog: