Playing the Odds
Series: The MacGregors – #1
Release Date: June 1st 1992
Genre/s: Contemporary Romance, Chick-lit
Format: Paperback; 218 pages
Source: Borrowed from local library
My Rating: 3.5/5
The cards were stacked, though neither of them knew it. Serena MacGregor’s father left nothing to chance when he sent Justin Blade – part Comanche and all gambler – on a Caribbean cruise. His daughter was evading her responsibility to produce grandchildren by working as a blackjack dealer on the CELEBRATION. Odds were they’d meet.
Serena’s father had his hopes riding on what would happen when they did. Win, lose or draw, they were meant for each other, proving indisputably in this case that lucky in cards did not mean unlucky in love.
I definitely have a weakness when it comes to reading romance and this book was no exception to my inner girly girl waiting for her knight in shining armor. I loved the characters especially Serena. I’ve never read a romance set based around gambling and it definitely made me laugh.
It was a very enjoyable book, one that I will most likely read again if I had the chance. It was a good book that I didn’t put down unless I absolutely had to…and even then I was reluctant to miss anything.
Eleanor Marie Robertson was born on October 10, 1950 in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. She was the youngest of five children, also the only girl, of a marriage with Irish ancestors. Her family were avid readers, so books were always important in her life. She attended a Catholic school and credits the nuns with instilling in her a sense of discipline. During her sophomore year in high school, she transferred to a local public school, where she met Ronald Aufdem-Brinke, her future first husband.In August 17, 1968, as soon as she had graduated from high school, Eleanor married, against her parents’ wishes; the couple settled in Keedysville, Maryland. Her husband worked at his father’s sheet-metal business before joining Nora’s parents in their lighting company, while she worked briefly as a legal secretary. “I could type fast but couldn’t spell; I was the worst legal secretary ever,” she says now. After their sons, Dan and Jason, were born, she stayed home. Calling this her “Earth Mother” years, she spent much of her time doing crafts, including ceramics and sewing her children’s clothes. The couple ended up separating; they divorced in January 1985.
In February 1979, a blizzard forced her hand to try another creative outlet. She was snowed in with a three- and a six-year-old with no kindergarten respite in sight and a dwindling supply of chocolate. During the now famous blizzard, she pulled out a pencil and notebook and began to write down one of her stories. It was then that a career was born. Several manuscripts and rejections later, her first book, Irish Thoroughbred, was published by Silhouette in 1981 under the authorship of Nora Roberts, a shortened form of her birth name Eleanor Marie Robertson, because she assumed that all authors had pen names.
Eleanor wrote, under another pseudonym (Jill March), a story titled “Melodies of Love” for a magazine.
Eleanor met her second husband, Bruce Wilder, when she hired him to build bookshelves. They were married in July 1985. Bruce owns and operates a bookstore in Boonsboro, Maryland called “Turn the Page Books”. Since getting married, Eleanor and Bruce have expanded their home and traveled the world.
In 1992, she adopted another pseudonym so as to publish a futuristic-suspense novel series. She first decided to use the pseudonym D.J. MacGregor, but discovered that this pseudonym was used by another author. In 1995, her first “In Death” serial novel was published under the pseudonym J.D. Robb. The initials “J.D.” were taken from her sons, Jason and Dan, while “Robb” is a shortened form of Roberts.
Eleanor has also been known as Sara Hardesty, because when the “Born In” series was released in U.K. it carried that name instead of Nora Roberts. She has since changed publishers.
Eleanor has been plagiarized by another best-selling romance writer, Janet Dailey. The practice came to light after a reader read Nora Roberts’ Sweet Revenge and Janet Dailey’s Notorious back-to-back; the reader noticed several similarities and posted the comparable passages on the Internet. Calling the plagiarism “mind rape,” Eleanor sued Janet Daily. In 1997, Janet admitted to repeatedly plagiarizing from Nora Roberts’ work and that both Aspen Gold and Notorious lifted heavily from Roberts’ work. Both of those novels were pulled from print after Janet’s admission. She acknowledged the plagiarism and blamed it on a psychological disorder. In a settlement, Janet paid Eleanor an undisclosed sum, which Eleanor donated to the Literacy Volunteers of America.
A founding member of the Romance Writers of America (R.W.A.), Eleanor was the first inductee in the organization’s Hall of Fame. She also is a member of several writers’ groups and has won countless awards.