Friday 8 February 2013

Book ~ "Shuffle Up and Deal" (2010) Susan DiPlacido

From Goodreads ~ Meet Izzy Santillo. She's a charming-but-lonely thirty-four year old woman who loves poker and harbors a secret crush on the reigning king of Hold 'em. 

Meet Nick Nolan, the reigning king of Hold 'em. On the tables, he's fast and loose and almost always wins. But when it comes to women, playboy Nick holds his cards too close and always loses. 

When Izzy and Nick meet in embarrassing fashion at a Las Vegas poker tournament, Izzy's secret dreams turn into a public nightmare. But despite her humiliation, she may have finally sparked Nick's interest in something other than cards. Before long, Nick takes a gamble on Izzy and raises the stakes when he offers to help her sharpen her game. But Izzy's convinced that Nick is bluffing and will fold his hand after he's had her on the flop. 

But a string of outrageous proposition bets and steamy trips on the poker tour, from Los Angeles to Miami, make these two fierce competitors realize that it may be time to put all their chips on the table. Will Izzy and Nick pair up? Or will they lose it all if they go all-in for each other? Sit down, ante up, and hang on, as Nick and Izzy get ready to Shuffle Up and Deal.

Izzy works at her dad's travel magazine as a writer and loves poker.  She's had an on-again-off-again relationship with Andy for years that is going nowhere .  She has a brother named Rocco who has a young daughter named Danni.  Her widowed dad is married to Jennifer, who Izzy and Rocco think is just after his money.  Jennifer is always trying to "improve" Izzy and Danni and she has no filters.

Nick is a champion poker player.  Though he likes the ladies, he keeps himself distant from them and just enjoys their company.  Izzy has had a crush on him for a while from afar.

Izzy and Nick meet at a poker tournament and Nick sees potential in Izzy as a player and offers to mentor her.  They are also drawn to each other and end up in a relationship with its share of turmoil.  Along the way, we get to meet their friends and other players.

This is the first novel by this author that I've read.  I liked the writing style and the interaction between the characters (though I couldn't believe Izzy got sucked in by Phil's bets not once but twice!).  Izzy is close to her family (other than Jennifer) and that shows. The point of view changes from Izzy and Nick and I found that I liked it better when it was in Nick's voice.

I don't play poker nor do I know how to play.  There are a lot of poker terms and I didn't understand sometimes what was happening.

As a head's up, this is a very mature book ... there is a lot of mature language and in-your-face sexual and exhibitionist activity.


Mary Preston said...

This sounds fabulous thank you.

vicjbr said...

I loved it !!! I do play poker and thought that the terminology was great, there was alot though! thanks for stopping by Deal Sharing Aunt!

Yvonne said...

I enjoyed this one too. I'm not a poker player, so some of the terms were confusing but overall I enjoyed this book.