Author: Jane Davitt
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Rating: 4 stars
Received from Publisher
Blurb: When Gary and Abe came out to each other in their final year of high school, a longstanding friendship turned into a new love. Keeping their feelings a secret was easy until a coach caught them together in the locker room, and their fragile relationship shattered around them. Panicked, angry, and rejected by his mother, Gary fled town, breaking Abe’s eighteen-year-old heart.
Eleven years later Gary returns just as unexpectedly, crashing into Abe’s truck during a blizzard. He’s as arrogant and stubborn as ever—and just as irresistible. Time has changed them both in ways they never imagined, but the heat that flares between them is enough to thaw any ice.
While Abe discovers what Gary did to survive in the city, Gary realizes that Abe has grown into a man with needs to match his own, and they fall in love all over again. But Gary’s determination to carry out one final order from the rich, older man he lived with—and obeyed—for years means that a dead man’s plans might split them apart again . . . this time for keeps.
Review: Abe and Gary (Fox to Abe, because he’s too smart for his good) had been best friends since they were in the fourth grade before they fell for each other and started a closeted relationship in their senior year. Growing up in the small town bordering Idaho and Montana didn’t make life easy for them. People had their suspicions about Gary, but Abe didn’t care if Fox was gay, but it took him a little longer to confess to Fox that not only was he gay as well, but that he was in love with his best friend. Together, they looked forward to a future where they could get out of their hometown and just be themselves and accepted. For eight wonderful months, they held onto that dream. Then they got caught by the coach indulging in shenanigans in the locker room and life took a drastic left turn. Gary’s distant mother makes it clear that she does not accept him being gay and there seems little reason to stay and face the consequences. After an offer to Abe to join him is refused, Fox runs and doesn’t look back.
Eleven years later, Gary’s path once again leads back to the place he escaped from. Life had taken him in unexpected directions in those ten years, but a toss of his lucky coin decided Fox’s route, and took him straight towards where he’d grown up instead of straight past it. Trying to outrun an oncoming snow storm sent him crashing into a second chance he’d never even contemplated he’d ever have. Literally crashed. An ice-slicked road sends Fox careening into a truck driven by none other than his first love, Abe. With the weather getting worse, and little prospect of it improving any time soon, Abe brings Fox back home. During the following week, proximity and lack of escape force Abe and Fox to confront their past and the feeling for each other that never really went away. Of course, nothing is ever that easy, with old hurts resurfacing along with the fierce attraction. So begins a bumpy ride to re-finding each other.
This story focuses almost exclusively on the two MCs as they explore their feelings and figure out what they might be to each other in the present. It’s a rollercoaster of ups and downs, but the story is still relatively low on angst. I didn’t particularly warm to Fox and I got a bit frustrated with Abe at times, but I found both characters really interesting, and that’s what worked so well for me in this story. Humour balanced out the push-pull of their relationship and made the book a fun read. The last part of the book felt a little over the top to be completely believable, but the author did a good job keeping the characters true to themselves even in unbelievable circumstances. Overall, I really enjoyed Gambling On Love. The writing is solid, the humour kept things light, their at times adversarial relationship was fun to read, and the characters and their story were intriguing.