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Win, Love, or Draw (Marriage & Mayhem Book 1) by [Barnes, Crystal L]
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Win, Love, or Draw (Marriage & Mayhem Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Length: 308 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Crystal Barnes's first novel, Win, Love, or Draw, takes the reader on an exciting journey to Cater Springs, Texas, circa 1877. This book has everything you could ask for: a pretty, strong leading woman; a handsome, gun-toting man; and take-your-breath-away shootouts! The book is also a beautiful love story with a common thread of forgiveness running through the pages. Barnes shares my love for the great state of Texas, and it comes through in her writing. I'm proud to recommend this debut novel by author and friend Crystal Barnes." --Annette O'Hare, author of Northern Light

Love lost, love regained, forgiveness, regrets, second chances. . .these are all themes in Win, Love, or Draw, a solid debut novel from Texas native Crystal Barnes. Throw in a few villains, heroes, and even a feisty gun-totin' female and you've got the perfect setup for a heart-pounding adventure balanced with beautifully timed moments of comedic relief. This delightful historical offers readers an exciting read, and more than enough romantic tension to keep em hangin' on for the ride. Highly recommended! - --Janice Thompson, author of Mismatched in Texas

About the Author

Crystal L Barnes is an award-winning author, who also happens to be a born-n-raised Texan. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), her local ACFW chapter, 19th Century Writers, and her local church. In 2012, she was a semifinalist in the ACFW Genesis contest. She has a degree in Computing Science because she loves putting things into their proper place, and she enjoys writing because she gets to share her love of old-fashioned things and the Lord. Find out more about Crystal at crystal-barnes.com or connect with her on Facebook, Google+, or Pinterest. Want to stay up to date on the latest happenings? Sign up for Crystal’s Newsletter on her website.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1932 KB
  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: November 14, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B016PCQNJI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,535 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a Pastor and an avid Western fan I often have to overlook things in the books I read. This time I didn't need to overlook anything. This is a well written, exciting Western Romance with plenty of action, adventure and romance. The fact that it is written from a Christian perspective for me was all the better. Unlike some "Christian" fiction books that come across as either preachy or with the Christianity tacked on as an afterthought; Win Love or Draw was just a western romance that happened between to characters that could have been real life Christians. They struggled and feel short at times but they kept striving to live as Christians. The action was fast, the adventures were thrilling and the romance was at times sweet and at times rocky and at times passonate. I loved this book and really loved the plot device of marriage as a waltz the author used.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a Christian/western romance and is a really good story about forgiveness and God's grace. Sam ran off five years ago and left Cathrine pregnant and alone. She had to fend for herself and their son. He returns after five years and wants to pick up where they left off. She has other ideas, like never letting him close enough to hurt her again or to hurt their son. She has problems of her own to deal with namely the General and his group of bad men. Then Sam comes home and adds to her troubles. They fight and forgive to only fight again. Finally seeking help from God and the local church they learn to dance. I loved how Ms. Barnes wove meaning and scripture into this book without being preachy. What a refreshing read! I highly recommenced this new author!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love a great romance, especially one set in the great state of Texas. Throw in the western flair and and emotional tug-of-war between the hero and heroine...and I'm in! What a fabulous story and what a great reminder of God's forgiveness and restoration. Well done.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sam returns home to his wife Catherine and the 5-year-old son he didn't know he had after spending years as a traveling lawman; they learn to trust and communicate again in the midst of plenty of troubles with plenty of outlaws.

Best bits: Sam has a deep need to be needed, and has a hard time coping with Cat’s apparent independence. He’s not sure how to react when she says she forgives him and is glad he's home, but her actions show her mistrust and fear. Cat struggles to depend on Sam, to trust him to not leave again, and to not fight him for control all the time. They are believable characters, and quite a pair. Well proofed, just a phrase or 2 that seemed a bit awkward. I rather loved the specificity of the initial date given, and how the chronology never strayed from that, even with so many things packed into those very few days. The mix of dramatic situations and the deeply personal struggles of healing their relationship was excellent. I loved how real their struggles were as they re-made their marriage. No easy fixes, not even a once-and-done turning point, but a lot of forward-and-back motion as they each dealt with their expectations and fears, and found healing a bit at a time, through scripture and the godly wisdom of those around them. The waltz advice seemed especially good. This is how faith and forgiveness and life in action can look.

Issues: Not sure how I feel about the Mo, Curly, and Larry bit, or that one bit that seemed to intentionally mention "daffy" and "duck" in the same paragraph. I also wonder a bit about the Thanksgiving celebration--the turkey and the family gatherings are definitely current traditions, but would those have been the same in those early years of it even being a holiday?
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By ElleB on February 21, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I cannot express how much this book touched my heart. It's not often that people talk about our write about broken families that are restored through prayer. I have tears in my eyes after reading this because I know God used this book as a reminder to me. It has given me hope that one day my family will be restored. Until then I will continue to pray for my love to come home. May God bless you forever more.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is the first volume in Crystal Barnes's Marriage and Mayhem series. I read book two first (I know - backwards!). I enjoyed this book immensely. The main characters are strong, yet struggle with issues of trust and forgiveness. I haven't read many westerns, and I learned quite a lot about life on a ranch in the Old West. There are several touching scenes, especially the one where Sam and Catherine learn what waltzing and marriage have in common. Highly recommended, and I can't wait for book three!
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is Crystal Barnes first novel and is very good. Looking forward to more in the series. It is good clean historical/western. Sam finally comes home after 5 years of being gone to his wife Catherine. They have a lot to work out and bad guys to fight. A great book.
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Format: Kindle Edition
So I can't say I've ever been a fan of westerns, but that said, this author might have converted me. A good story is a good story, whether it's set in Texas or on the moon, though personally, I prefer Texas. The author, Crystal Barnes made me love the hero and heroine, and I really didn't want to. The main characters fought like a married couple, even when they weren't together. How realistic is that! The tension and the romance were wound up watch-spring-tight throughout. I couldn't help loving the on-again off-again couple as they alternately tangled with one another and the General and his cadre of baddies. A theme of faith is whipstitched throughout the story in an excellent way, not in a finger-wagging pulpit-y fashion, and it turns out to be the only thread that can keep them together and reunite them as a family. Looking forward to reading more from this author.
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