She can finally have the one thing she wants. All she has to do is play the happy wife...and not fall in love with her husband.
It's been three years since Annie Baracas left her husband, Vegas casino owner Nathan Reed, and he still hasn't signed the divorce papers. So when Nate finally offers to set her free, Annie will agree to any terms. Even if that means temporarily resuming her role as his wife to help him catch a thief. But what starts as a public display quickly turns very private. And Annie can't help wondering what it might be like to stay in Nate's bed...for as long as they both shall live.
Good book. Annie has returned to Vegas to participate in a poker tournament in Nathan's hotel. She knows that she'll have to see him again sometime. When she does, he offers to finally sign the divorce papers if she'll help him catch some cheaters that will be at the tournament. All she has to do is play the part of loving wife and watch the players she competes against. She also has to resist falling for him all over again.
Annie knew she was tempting fate by entering that tournament, but playing poker is what she does. She's been trying to get Nathan to sign the papers ever since she left him, but he hasn't cooperated. Now she discovers that he'll do anything to get back at her for leaving him. She doesn't want to be his spy, but she really doesn't have a choice if she wants him to sign those papers. One thing she worries about is the fact that the attraction between them is still white hot. She doesn't want to fall for him again, it hurt too much to leave him the last time. At that time she was at the beginning of her career and felt that he didn't respect her enough to accept her the way she was. When the feelings of being trapped got to be too much, she ran. It doesn't take long for her to realize that what she feels is more than just attraction, that her love for him had never gone away. Now she has to decide if she can overcome her fears enough to stay with him.
Nathan has been waiting for three years to get his revenge on Annie for leaving him. He has used the divorce papers to keep her tied to him until he can do so. Having the poker tournament at his casino gives him the perfect opportunity. He can blackmail her into playing his wife again at the same time he uses her to catch the people cheating at the poker tournaments. He fully intends to keep her at an emotional distance even as he tries to get her back in his bed. I loved the way his plans come back to bite him in the butt, as he discovers that his body and heart have no desire to cooperate with that plan. I loved seeing him keep an eye on her to make sure she was safe. He also realized that the problems with their marriage weren't all her fault, as he takes the time to actually get to know her outside the bedroom. I really enjoyed seeing him fall for her all over again and start thinking about a future together.
The whole poker tournament theme was very interesting. I enjoyed seeing the way that Annie played the game and how she planned her strategies. The subject of cheating was well portrayed along with the ways that casinos work to prevent it. While one of the cheaters was obvious from the beginning, there were a couple of interesting twists to the story. I loved the final showdown.
Gabe was an awesome secondary character. The animosity between him and Annie showed just how loyal a friend he was to Nathan. His cynicism regarding women in pretty blatant, so obviously he is due to meet his own match. I hope he gets his own story soon.