FICTION

Gabriel's Atonement

Shiloh Run. (Land Rush Dreams, Bk. 1). Jan. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9781628369519. pap. $13.99; ebk. ISBN 9781634091541. CF
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Professional gambler Gabe Coulter easily wins all of Tom Talbot's pay in a poker game. When Tom demands his money back, Gabe shoots him in self-defense. Gabe's feelings of remorse drive him to help Tom's widow, Lara, and their young son. As Gabe learns about the poverty in which she lives and her family's desperation to claim a section of land in the Oklahoma land rush, he begins to understand the true cost of gambling. He also finds himself falling in love with Lara. Lara, however, is determined to never again marry a man who gambles. She also has her hands full caring for her son, grandfather, and strong-willed younger sister.
VERDICT McDonough's (Song of the Prairie) series opener has a few problems with chronology near the beginning, and there are also some repetitive passages about Lara and her sister's dreams of a better life. These are minor distractions in a story that should appeal to readers of Janette Oke and Lori Copeland as well as McDonough's fans. The land rush also adds an exciting background to this historical romance.

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