From the author of the “clever, creative, and sweetly delicious” (Kirkus Reviews) The Coincidence of Coconut Cake comes a novel about a frustrated wife and mother who hatches a scheme to reignite her marriage—and risks everything in a gamble she hopes is a sure bet. When Milwaukee-area wife and mother MJ Boudreaux notices her husband Chris seems more interested in the casino than her, she’s more bothered that she isn’t upset than by her husband’s absence. She picks up poker as a way for them to spend more time together—and reignite their marital flame. Although the game doesn’t give her the quality time with Chris that she’d hoped, MJ finds she has a knack for it. Increasingly unhappy at home, she turns to the felt top of the poker table for comfort. Intoxicated with newfound freedom, MJ begins spending more time at the gambling tables and less with her family, finally carving out for herself a place outside her role of wife and mother. After a string of great wins, MJ finds herself in Vegas, attracting the attention of a certain magnetic poker star. But when she’s forced to choose between her family and her new exciting lifestyle, the stakes may be higher than she thought and MJ will have to play her hand carefully…or risk losing it all.
The title of this book really caught my attention. I hadn’t heard of author, Amy E. Reichert before, but this wasn’t her first book so when I saw a digital copy of the book available for review at NetGalley, I requested it.
The main character is Milwaukee wife and mother, MJ Boudreaux, who finds herself waiting alone for hours eating an entire lemon pie after her husband fails to show for their twentieth anniversary lunch. MJ knows something has to change in her marriage and in her life. Her husband, Chris seems to want to spend more time at the casino than he does at home.
MJ decides to reignite her marriage by learning to play poker. She thinks that playing poker together with allow her and Chris to spend more time together doing something fun. What turns out to be something to benefit her marriage turns into something entirely different. MJ becomes hooked. She seems to have a gift for poker and is actually quite good.
MJ’s winning streak takes to her Vegas where she has to make some choices about her future. I don’t write spoilers, so I’ll just say you need to get the book and read it to find out how MJ moves forward and the havoc poker plays on her marriage.
While I’m not a big gambler – okay, I really don’t play cards at all – I liked the characters a lot. I especially liked MJ’s mother’s advice. I will also say that the lemon pie sounded great, but the digital copy didn’t have the recipe. Wonder if the paperback will include the recipe? I think readers will connect with MJ’s marriage and her desire to reconnect with her husband and restore it.
Amy Reichert earned her MA in Literature from Marquette University, and honed her writing and editing skills as a technical writer (which is exactly as exciting as it sounds). As a newly minted member of the local library board, she loves helping readers find new books to love. She’s a life-long Wisconsin resident with (allegedly) a very noticeable accent, a patient husband, and two too-smart-for-their-own-good kids. When time allows, she loves to read, collect more cookbooks than she could possibly use, and test the limits of her DVR.
I was provided with a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and unbiased opinion.