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Fair Play: A Novel Paperback – May 6, 2014

130 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

To say that the residents of Chicago are not beating a path to the office of a woman doctor with a man’s name would definitely be an understatement. So when Bertha Palmer asks Billy Jack Tate if she would work at the infirmary at the Women’s Building at the Chicago World’s Fair, Billy doesn’t have to think twice. Not only will she get the chance to put her medical degree to good use but she will also have an opportunity to make some important connections that could help her finally launch her own practice. The one connection Billy didn’t plan on making, however, is with Hunter Scott, an old-school Texas Ranger working as a guard at the fair. Gist seamlessly incorporates fascinating historical details about the 1893 World’s Fair and Chicago into Fair Play, which not only tugs at readers’ heartstrings but also shows how the seeds of the national playground movement were sown. Fans of both faith-based historical romance and historical fiction will be delighted with this entertaining addition to Christy Award–winning Gist’s World’s Fair trilogy. --John Charles

Review

"The glitter and excitement of the 1893 World's Fair—depicted in charming photographs interspersed with the text—is the colorful backdrop for Gist's novel, which pits a determined woman doctor and a Texas Ranger in a battle of wills that's brighter than any fairground fireworks. Gist delivers a lovely story brimming with touching emotions and carrying a message about love, commitment, and our duty to care for children that will resonate with readers." (Romantic Times (four stars))

"Gist seamlessly incorporates fascinating historical details about the 1893 World’s Fair and Chicago into Fair Play, which not only tugs at readers’ heartstrings but also shows how the seeds of the national playground movement were sown. Fans of both faith-based historical romance and historical fiction will be delighted with this entertaining addition to Christy Award–winning Gist’s World’s Fair trilogy." (Booklist)

"Fair Play charms the heart and warms the soul. Deeanne Gist is an absolute treasure!" (Teresa Medeiros, New York Times bestselling author)

“[I] laughed so hard at their first full scene together I cried my mascara off." (Deanna Raybourn, New York Times bestselling author of City of Jasmine)

"Gist's work is comical, sassy, and sweet." (Publishers Weekly)

"Gist's historical romances have increasingly gained popularity, combining witty dialog, well-balanced plots, and fully developed characters who seem almost real." (Library Journal)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Howard Books (May 6, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451692412
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451692419
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #330,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Deeanne Gist has rocketed up the bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere with her very original, very fun historical & contemporary love stories. Add to this four RITA nominations, two consecutive Christy Awards, rave reviews, and a growing loyal fan base, and you've got one recipe for success.

She has a very active online community on her website at www.IWantHerBook.com and at www.facebook.com/DeesFriends.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Jodi@Faithful Books on May 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I've read many of Deeanne Gist's novels and they've found their way into my heart and onto my favorite's shelf. I enjoyed It Happened at the Fair and the novella Tempest in the White City, so I was excited to read more of Dr. Billy Jake Tate and Hunter Scott who made their first appearance in It Happened at the Fair. I was also excited to read more of the World's Colombian Exposition. While part of the story does take place at the fair, the majority of the plot is set in a poor region on Chicago's west side.

Overall, I thought that the story was cute. I liked that Billy, Hunter, Cullen and Della crossed paths again in this novel. I was waiting for that to happen, so I'm glad that Deeanne included them. It was shocking to read of the deplorable living conditions in the west side of Chicago during that time. I was horrified to read that they jailed children and who would have ever thought that at one time there were not play spaces for children. Playgrounds are so commonplace in our neighbourhoods today, I've taken them for granted. I'm glad my kids had a safe place to play.

Deeanne Gist has announced that she is crossing over from the inspirational to the general market. I think she must have had this decision in mind while writing Fair Play, because while there were seven scant mentions of prayer, there wasn't a sharing of faith between Hunter and Billy. Billy decides to memorize the chapter of James, but only because it is short. Deeanne Gist's movement to the mainstream market is disappointing to me because she is a talented writer and could be using her talent to write more of God's love and gift of salvation in her novels.

While the book was enjoyable enough, I don't know that I would read it again.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By L. Gray on June 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed Deeanne Gist other books, but was disappointed in how secular her writing has become. I don't enjoy reading books where there are innuendos and the characters doesn't quite cross the line, but definitely is not conducting themselves in a godly manner. I get enough of that in the secular world and watching TV and don't want to read about it in a book. I read that Deeanne Gist is crossing over from the christian market into the secular, and am greatly disappointed to hear that because I will no longer be reading her books. Granted this book is well written and has a great story line, but it's the little things that borders on secular romance novels that kept me from fully enjoying it. I suppose some would say that it's a gray area and just human nature, but I prefer when I read christian romance novels for them to not have those sexual innuendos in them. I think this same story could have been written without those things and still would have been just as good - if not better. If not for those things, I would have given the book 5 stars.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sally McC on May 6, 2014
Format: Paperback
Once again, Deeanne Gist has turned to the World’s Columbian Exposition – aka The Chicago World’s Fair – as inspiration for her newest novel. Fair Play uses the event as the place of employment for the main characters, but much of the action happens in one of the seedier parts of Chicago. Despite being in the same city, the Fair and the 19th Ward were worlds apart and Gist describes both excellently. Her words are enhanced by the photographs to be found at the start of each chapter. There are also many social issues covered in this novel from homelessness to the treatment of children suspected of crime. Real turn of the century reformers, such as Jane Addams, interact with delightful fictional characters.

In recent times, Gist has begun writing “edgy inspirational” fiction. The concept, from what I can gather from her website, is to place Christians into the real world and see how they handle real life situations. In other words, Fair Play does not fit into the “bonnet fiction with a come to Jesus moment” category. This is not a sweet and innocent romance novel. Many of the men in the 19th Ward use sex either as a weapon or a commodity that can be bought. There are also strong hints of sexual attraction between Billy and Hunter, and plenty of kissing and talk of the temptation to go further. Hunter does court her and starts thinking about marriage early on in their relationship, but these scenes might not appeal to everyone.

I enjoyed the majority of the book, but had a hard time getting past an early scene in which Hunter must seek medical treatment from a female doctor. I suppose Hunter’s condition was supposed to provide humor, but I’m somewhat of a humor snob. This scene appealed to me as much as an episode of Beavis & Butt-head.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By RedBaby on July 29, 2014
Format: Paperback
This was a sad deviation from Gist's usual work. I usually savor her books. I quit reading this one when I was 35 percent into it. The characters weren't very endearing. The research felt lazy compared to that found in other World's Fair fiction. And, what's with all of the provocative scenes? I feel like Gist most have had some sort of terrible personal or religious crisis to have produced Fair Play. I have never been so disappointed in one of my regular authors. I feel like she sold out her audience. I just may pass on the next one.
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