Gambling on Forever

Written by Becky Lower
Review by Valerie Adolph

Elise Lafontaine is a young woman to be reckoned with—the whip worn around her waist testifies to that. When, in the fall of 1865, she sees two men boarding the Delta Queen riverboat in St. Louis carrying her father’s stolen saddlebag, she immediately boards the boat behind them. Almost turned away because she is an unaccompanied woman, she is brought aboard by a gambler who insists she is his fiancée. Elise and the gambler, James Garnett, travel down river on the Delta Queen for a couple of days then swim ashore before heading to New Orleans to try to intercept the thieves. On the way, they encounter Elise’s four older and highly protective brothers, who take a very dim view of the gambler’s relationship with their sister.

This is a light, easily-read romance with a beautifully detailed historical background. The Delta Queen is vividly pictured and Elise and James are satisfyingly conflicted as they struggle to develop a relationship while fighting their way through the forest towards New Orleans and confrontation with the thieves. The writer has a light touch and offers the reader humour and plenty of surprises as well as, of course, the romance.