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Playing the Odds Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of Playing the Odds

Wealthy, beautiful and intelligent Serena MacGregor works as a blackjack dealer in the casino of a cruise liner. She works to learn how a gambling business operates. There she meets gambler and hotel and casino owner Justin Blade. Justin goes into the cruise after being convinced by his business investor, tycoon Daniel MacGregor. He is instantly attracted to Serena the first time he sees her. When he finds out her name, he concludes that Daniel is matchmaking him with his daughter. Justin has been good friends of the MacGregor family but he never has the opportunity to meet Serena because she's always busy at school. Now that he meets her, he wants to sleep with her. But because it has been Daniel's doing, he wants to foil his matchmaking plans. So he seduces Serena without any intention of sleeping with her. Serena is confused with Justin's actions but she likes his company even without the seduction. When Justin confides that her father set him up with her, she becomes furious with her father. She finally understands Justin's hesitation. Before the cruise ends, Justin invites her to his hotel at Atlanta where she can learn more of the casino business. He also promises her a high paying position if she wants to be part of the business.
After two weeks of separation, Serena takes on Justin's offer with the reasons that she is still not finish with him yet and she wants to manage a hotel/casino business. Justin is regretting that he has let go of Serena so easily. During the two weeks since they have last seen each other, he can't stop thinking about her. When her letter arrives telling him her intention of applying for the job he has offered, he has been elated and relieved. Finally he will have another chance to continue what they have begun in the cruise. Serena comes to his hotel dealing with business first before the seduction that will eventually happen. She demands to Justin that he makes her equal partner of the hotel and the casino manager in exchange that he can buy her out in a year if the situation is not working well. After dealing with the business, they pick up where they left off and finally sleep together. Soon after their relationship has started, trouble brews in when an unknown person has targeted Justin's hotels with bomb threats. Justin fears for Serena's welfare after realizing that he is really the target of the arsonist. He suggests to Serena that she goes home to her father and returns after he has solved the threat. Serena stubbornly refuses reminding him that they are equal partners and therefore she will also stay to take care of the hotel. Then Justin's fear comes true when Serena is snatched by the unknown threat and is demanding ransom. Justin who has never loved before has felt the inexplicable horror of having Serena, the only person he has fallen in love with, taken away from him. Hanging by a thin thread of sanity, Justin cooperates with the police to find Serena before the kidnapper can harm her.   

This report prepared by Katrina Lo








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Chapter Analysis of Playing the Odds

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Action/suspense subplot?    -   Yes Action:    -   chased by/chasing kidnapper/killer If one lover chases another...    -   he chases after her Lovers are competitors    -   Yes competing in    -   business arena

Main Male Character

Profession/status:    -   small businessman Age/status:    -   20's-30's

Main Female Character

   -   20's-30's Profession/status:    -   wealthy

Setting

United States    -   Yes The US:    -   West City?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment What % of story is romance related?    -   nearly 100% Focus of story    -   equally on him and her How much dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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