The setting is the Chicago Worlds Fair and the tenement area of Chicago. It gives a realistic glimpse of the living conditions and poverty for the Nineteenth Ward of old Chicago. The characters are well developed and the reader can easily picture the conditions and expressions on the faces of the scene. Texas Ranger Hunter Scott and Dr. Billy Jack Tate give the reader quite a few chuckles and thoughts to ponder. The book has many poignant experiences to keep the reader interested. I hate to say the book is about denying self because it sounds so boring, but that is what it boils down to and the rewards and joys that come from that kind of love. Deeanne Gist has produced another outstanding novel that I would recommend to everyone. I appreciate her portrayal of real life people where she doesn't gloss over the good, bad and ugly of life.
History, Street Children, 1893 Chicago Gangs & Rom
May 11, 2014
Deeanne Gist in her new book "Fair Play" Book Two in the Chicago World's Fair series published by Howard Books takes us into the life of Billy Jack Tate and Hunter Scott.
From the back cover: From the bestselling author of "It Happened at the Fair" comes a historical love story about a lady doctor and a Texas Ranger who meet at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.
Saddled with a man's name, the captivating Billy Jack Tate makes no apologies for taking on a man's profession. As a doctor at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, she is one step closer to having her very own medical practice-until Hunter Scott asks her to give it all up to become his wife.
Hunter is one of the elite. A Texas Ranger and World's Fair guard specifically chosen for his height, physique, character, and skill. Hailed as the toughest man west of any place east, he has no patience for big cities and women who think they belong anywhere but home_
Despite their difference of opinion on the role of women, Hunter and Billy find a growing attraction between them-until Hunter discovers an abandoned baby in the corner of a White City exhibit. He and Billy team up to make sure this foundling isn't left in the slums of Chicago with only the flea-riddled, garbage-infested streets for a playground. As they fight for the underprivileged children in the Nineteenth Ward, an entire Playground Movement is birthed. But when the Fair comes to an end, one of them will have to give up their dream.
Will Billy exchange her doctor's shingle for the domesticated role of a southern wife, or will Hunter abandon the wide open spaces of home for a life in the "gray city," a woman who insists on being the wage earner, and a group of ragamuffins who need more than a playground for breathing space?
History comes alive at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. Lady doctors are hard to come by and even more difficult to accept. Really, who wants to go to a lady doctor except maybe other ladies. It is into this environment that Billy Jack makes her appearance. See, despite the name, Billy Jack is really a woman and a doctor to boot. Hunter is a Texas Ranger assigned to security who finds an abandoned baby. Now he has to work together with Billy to help the baby as Social Services as we now know it didn't exist. They also discover that Chicago is a bit of a pig-pen and is a breeding ground for poverty, street children and gangs. In an effort to fight against this situation they begin to develop the idea for a playground, an idea that will grow from Chicago to spread across the nation. Ms. Gist blends romance and historical fiction to bring the past alive through her extensive period research. You will find yourself not only caught up with the exciting backdrop of the darker side of Chicago, but the blossoming romance between Billy Jack and Hunter. Great characters and a great romance. I really liked "Fair Play" and look forward to more stories from Deeanne Gist.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Howard Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
If you are looking for an historical romance that will transport you to an interesting time period while making you laugh out loud and cause your heart to flutter then you've found it in Fair Play.
Deeanne Gist has brought us back to the 1893 Chicago's World's Fair and introduced us to Dr. Billy Jack Tate. Despite the masculine name, Billy is very much a woman. Her first meeting with Hunter, the handsome Texas Ranger is quite revealing in all the wrong ways! But never fear Billy quickly evens the playing field when she has to treat Hunter for a very uncomfortable and embarrassing ailment. The two have an instant attraction but of course nothing can come of it because their goals in life are counter productive.
Little did the two know how much an orphaned baby would change their worlds. The plan was to leave him in the capable hands of the women of Hull House. But on the day they made their way to the West Side of Chicago their combined destinies were changed.
Not only is this a charmingly witty love story, it is also a fictionalized peek into the darker side of Chicago during the infamous World's Fair. The juxtaposition of the opulence of the Fair and the slums of the West Side make for an intriguing story-line. One of the many things that I liked about the book was the inclusion of the photos at the beginning of each chapter. They helped set the stage for what was happening during that portion of the story.
Some of the other additions to the book are a discussion guide for reading groups and information from Deeanne on her research and reasoning behind the story. After reading the book it was very interesting to get a glimpse into the making of the story and the rhyme and reason behind why the author chose to stick to the facts on some points and stretch the truth on others. I really enjoyed the lengthy story and look forward to reading and discussing it with my reading group. I think it would make a great addition to your book club or your personal reading list.
I was provided a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
Billy is a lady, and not just a lady, but a lady doctor scheduled to speak at the World's Fair.
Hunter is a Texas Ranger working as a guard. But while he's working he starts having abdominal pains, so his buddy takes him into the clinic where he meets Billy. Let's just say that he was not expecting a woman doctor.
When Hunter finds an abandoned baby at the fair, he brings the baby to Billy, and together they take him to Hull House. Along the way the trip opens their eyes to the vast differences between real life and the fantastical world inside the fair.
Both Billy and Hunter are strong compassionate character. They interact naturally with each other, and their relationship grows as they work together to build a safe place for children to play.
But there are twists and turns in the plot, and all does not turn out as one would expect. This book does deal with more mature themes, so I would not recommend this book for young teens, however the tough things in this book allow the characters to show their true mettle.
Billy is a determined young woman, who put herself through medical school, she is used to charging into every situation and challenging every opponent. She is not used to asking for help, and is used to defending her independence.
Overall, this is a great story that takes a closer look at the World's Fair, including many historical moments and characters woven into an engaging plot. With sprinkles of humor and deja vu moments throughout. A great new book from Deeanne Gist!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."
I thought that Fair Play by Deeanne Gist was a fun and entertaining read. I loved the interaction between Billy and Hunter. Those two were hilarious together at times. I also loved getting the historical glimpse of Chicago in 1893 and of the World's Fair at that time. It was sad to read how the poor lived during that time. But I did enjoy reading the author's vision of the World's Fair. I really felt like I was experiencing it for myself.
Fair Play is definitely being put on my keeper shelf. I think it's one of my growing favorites of the year. If you like a good historical that's fun and entertaining, then this book is for you. I highly recommend it.
I received a free copy of this book from Howard Books, for my honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.