Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Release Day Review: Fair Play

Fair PlayAuthor: Deeanne Gist
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Howard Books
Series: It Happened At The Fair # 2

From the bestselling author of It Happened at the Fair comes a historical love story about a lady doctor and a Texas Ranger who meet at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

Saddled with a man’s name, the captivating Billy Jack Tate makes no apologies for taking on a man’s profession. As a doctor at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, she is one step closer to having her very own medical practice—until Hunter Scott asks her to give it all up to become his wife.

Hunter is one of the elite. A Texas Ranger and World’s Fair guard specifically chosen for his height, physique, character, and skill. Hailed as the toughest man west of any place east, he has no patience for big cities and women who think they belong anywhere but home…

Despite their difference of opinion on the role of women, Hunter and Billy find a growing attraction between them—until Hunter discovers an abandoned baby in the corner of a White City exhibit. He and Billy team up to make sure this foundling isn’t left in the slums of Chicago with only the flea-riddled, garbage-infested streets for a playground. As they fight for the underprivileged children in the Nineteenth Ward, an entire Playground Movement is birthed. But when the Fair comes to an end, one of them will have to give up their dream.

Will Billy exchange her doctor’s shingle for the domesticated role of a southern wife, or will Hunter abandon the wide open spaces of home for a life in the “gray city,” a woman who insists on being the wage earner, and a group of ragamuffins who need more than a playground for breathing space?

She sighed. One thing was certain, if she ever felt for a man what she felt for this city, she’d do the proposing herself.

She would start her new job with a new gown, a new hat, new gloves, new stockings, and the most wicked undergarments she’d ever owned.

She was glad he was a fighter. With the challenges he was sure to have ahead of him, he’d need to be.

And though he didn’t know what kind of bee had gotten into her bonnet, he sure as cockleburs wasn’t going to ask.

This makes the second book that I have read by Deeanne Gist, and let me just say that they are both five star reviews! She has such a way with words, emotions, and characters. She will make you fall in love from the very first page. Both stories that I have read took place at the Chicago’s World Fair. Both were highly entertaining and enjoyable. This book told the story of Dr. Billy Jack Tate, a woman with a man’s name and profession. Billy is dedicated doctor who has spent her entire life evading the dominance of living in a man’s world. She was even shunned by her own family for the career choice she mad. When she arrives to speak at a major event at the World Fair she meets Hunter Scott, a real Texas Ranger who claims that he would never marry or court a woman who owns her own wages. Oh, how things change when we fall in love!

This is a rather long book, but I wanted it to last forever. About a third of the way through the book, Hunter discovers an abandoned baby at an exposition at the fair. At this point in the book Billy and Hunter have already put aside their differences and have become close friends. Immediately Billy is taken with the young child and starts weighing her options on what to do with the orphan. They almost immediately decide to take the child to Hull House and ask the ladies that work there for their advice and hopefully see if they can take the child in. The relationship that develops between Billy and Hunter because of the baby is so heartwarming.

Once Billy sees the conditions of the part of Chicago where Hull House is located she decides that some improvements need to be made. Hunter and Billy decide that a playground should be built for the children of Hull House and they immediately begin preparations for one. Billy is such a charming character and Hunter is so protective of her, even though she has proved on more than one occasion that she is no average female. Their relationship was my favorite part of the book. They never would have expected to fall for one another, but they bonded over the orphaned baby and building a playground for less fortunate children. I loved this book and cannot wait for more from Deeanne Gist!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Howard Books in exchange for my honest review***

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