Jack of Clubs
Barbara Metzger
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Buy *Jack of Clubs: Book Two of the House of Cards Trilogy* by Barbara Metzger

Jack of Clubs

Barbara Metzger
Signet
Paperback
352 pages
March 2006
rated 4 of 5 possible stars
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Here is yet another enjoyable Barbara Metzger book that her fans will love. Jack of Clubs is the second book in a trilogy featuring the Endicott family. Captain Jack Endicott is the focus of this book, while his brother, Alexander "Ace" Endicott, was featured in the first. Jack is in search of their long lost stepsister, Charlotte (Lottie), who disappeared years ago under unfortunate circumstances. He uses his newfound business - a gambling house - to interview women who are hoping to work for him, thinking his sister, now a young woman, may come to his establishment in search of employment. While older brother Ace is the new Earl of Carde, Jack isn't worried about his own reputation too much, although gambling is a business that is less than proper for a man of his station. As long as Ace keeps up appearances, Jack figures it's alright for him to hire women to serve at his gambling house, as long as he makes money that allows him to search for Lottie.

In the meantime, a young girl is told her new guardian is Captain Jack because of a friendship he had with her grandfather, Captain Hildebrand. She has no parents and was being raised by her grandfather, until he passed away. After the boarding house she resides in is burnt down, Allie Silver, one of the instructors at the school, is told to deliver eight-year-old Harriet to her new home. When Jack meets the two ladies, however, he is in shock, especially after he sees how unruly and precocious Harriet is. But the more he gets to know little Harriet, the more she pushes her way into his heart. And the same can be said of the almost prudish Allie, who is past the age of being presented to society (she's an elderly 25) and while she is not a beauty who wears very unflattering clothes, there is something about her that has caught Jack's eye.

Allie is aghast when she learns that Jack lives above a gambling house that he owns and runs, knowing this is no place for a lady such as herself and Harriet. But now that Harriet has gotten to know him, she doesn't want to leave "Papa Jack," and she doesn't want Allie to leave either. However, Allie refuses to live in a gambling house, knowing that it would ruin her reputation. She does her best to find alternative employment, but she's not having any luck for some strange reason. In the meantime, she does her best to deal with Jack and his tawdry business despite the rumors that are certainly circulating about her, but it is a very trying experience for her. Itís a wonder she survives the gossip!

Jack of Clubs is yet another amusing Regency by Barbara Metzger that had me chuckling throughout the story. Young Harriet is a riot, always unintentionally causing trouble wherever she goes. A very lovable rascal who would rather be climbing trees than dressing up for tea, Harriet charms everyone including Jack, who always thought he wasn't a family man and never would have looked twice at a woman like Allie, who is pretty much untouched and headed toward spinsterhood. Metzger always does a wonderful job at creating characters that stick out in a readerís mind and makes ordinary romances into something more.

Jack of Clubs is yet another amusing Regency by Barbara Metzger that had me chuckling throughout the story. Young Harriet is a riot, always unintentionally causing trouble wherever she goes. A very lovable rascal who would rather be climbing trees than dressing up for tea, Harriet charms everyone including Jack, who always thought he wasn't a family man and never would have looked twice at a woman like Allie, who is pretty much untouched and headed toward spinsterhood. Metzger always does a wonderful job at creating characters that stick out in a readerís mind and makes ordinary romances into something more. And while Jack of Clubs is part of a trilogy, it definitely works as a stand-alone novel, so for those who havenít read Ace of Hearts, reading the two books out of order will not cause any confusion in the storylines. I am looking forward to reading the final novel in this series, the one that will focus on missing sister Lottie, as well as picking up the first novel to read about Jackís brother, Ace.



Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Marie Hashima Lofton, 2006

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