Gamble in Gold: A Flirting to Win Novella - Natalie Anderson I’ve read one other novella by Natalie Anderson, and it really worked for me (Melt). Gamble in Gold, sadly, did not. Even though it featured one of my favorite tropes, it was too short and too predictable to keep me engaged in the story. Worse yet, a day after reading it, most of the plot has escaped my memory, so it’s also fairly forgettable. Mango the dog, though he played only a small role, was the most memorable character for me.

Lexie is crashing at Luke Marchetti’s flat while he’s out of town. He’s supposed to be gone for a month, so color Lexie very surprised, and also embarrassed, when he walks into his home and finds her in the kitchen. In a gold negligee. At the sight of him, Lexie is overcome with many emotions. She’s had a monster crush on him since she was a foreign exchange student staying with his family in high school, and to her dismay, she hasn’t gotten over it. Mix in the hurt from his cool dismissal of her – after sharing her first kiss – and she’s instantly on edge and angry. He’s probably still a man whore, lacking any ability to have a real, caring relationship. When she discovers that he’s hurt his leg in a training accident, though, her heart thaws, just a little. Maybe he’s not so bad?

Unknown to Lexie, Luke has been attracted to her since she was a shy guest in his parents’ home. When they’re caught kissing, his father tells him in no uncertain terms to keep his hands to himself. With Lexie off limits, Luke turns to serial dating to forget her. All he does is frustrate himself and break her heart. With so many misunderstandings between them, can he convince her to give him a second chance?

I think my favorite part of Gamble in Gold was Luke’s realization that Lexie is the one for him, and that he’s finally ready to settle down with one woman. When she coolly brushes off their night together as nothing more than a one night stand, it’s his turn to be hurt. Lexie is beating herself up for succumbing to Luke’s charm, knowing that it will only result in heartache, so she wants to cut to the chase and make him think that he means nothing to her before he can do it to her. Luke must plead his case, and he has to face some of his fears about a lasting relationship as he does so.

I was also disappointed with the length of GiG. Based on the file size, I thought it would be longer, but the included preview took up a big chunk of the end.

Grade: C/C-