Book Review: Fair Play by Deeanne Gist

The book that….tugged at my heartstrings.

I recieved an e-copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Saddled with a man’s name, the captivating Billy Jack Tate makes no apologies for pursuing a man’s profession. As a lady doctor at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, she is one step closer to having her very own medical practice–until she doctors an imposing man who threatens the fulfillment of her dream.

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 aspire to walk in a man’s shoes.

But the abandoned baby Hunter discovers at the Fair finds him teaming up with the good doctor to give the foundling a better future than the slums of Chicago, where the children play on flea-infested, garbage-strewn streets. AS Billy and Hunter fight for the foundling’s welfare, their hearts warm to the precious child–and to each other. Soon their concern grows to encompass the Nineteenth Ward’s burgeoning population of street children. In the interest of fair play, Billy and Hunter let nothing stand in their way as they labor to build a park for them, birthing Chicago’s first playground and a national movement that will sweep the nation.

But the Fair is coming to an end, posing impossible decisions for Billy and the man who has won her heart. Will they become a footnote in the Fair’s history books, or will what they discovered in Chicago be longer lasting than the World’s Exhibition.


This is the second book in Gist’s It Happened at the Fair series. This book was released earlier in the month. I have not read the first book yet but this book can easily be read on its own. As with most books, there were things that I liked and disliked about the book. I ended up giving it a 3 maybe 3.5 star rating. I am a big fan of this author but this one was not my favorite of Deeanne’s.

One thing I did not appreciate was the fact that Hunter supposedly likes everything about Billy’s personality yet all we ever hear him mention are her looks. The least the author could do is actually make us believe that Hunter has even noticed anything beyond how skinny she is or how shapely her bottom is. Along with that, the sexual tension between the two of them was brought up again and again and again. After a while it got a little old and I felt like it was used just to make the book that much longer.

I did really enjoy the setting of this book. I love reading about World Fairs and this book did not disappoint. I only wished she had talked a little bit more about the fair. I also loved the aspects that had to do with the poorer parts of town. Reading about the people’s living conditions was both eye-opening and touching. I also think that the author did a good job trying to add as many accurate details as possible into the story. There are even some photos included throughout the book showing different people and places the author talks about.

Overall, I thought this was a sweet story. It was not perfect but it did satisfy me as a fun and entertaining read. I would recommend this book to fans of historical fiction and romance novels.

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Thanks for stopping by!
Happy Reading


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