Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Book Review - Casino Shuffle by J. Fields Jr.

Casino ShuffleIf you want all the behind the scenes gossip from a casino who better to go to than the head butler, with his virtually unlimited access to the VIPs and high rollers. Antonio Cruz holds exactly that position at the Native Sun Casino. He has quite a weekend coming up, what with high profile celeb duo Shanndon and regular high roller Max staying at the casino. He is a precise and cultured man who takes pride in making sure the service he and his staff provide is just so. However it takes more than a sex-crazed Eminem wannabe, a determined paparazzo and some serious confusion over his staff to put him off his stride.

This book was humorous in places, with a vein of romance running through it and moments of action. If it was on TV it would be a sit-com, so I suppose if I had to pigeon hole it into a particular genre it would have to be a comedy. I found this a really enjoyable read. I didn't want to put it down and raced through it following the unfolding drama and waiting to see if there was anything that would make the unflappable Antonio flap. That the book starts with brief style notes on his wardrobe choices for the weekend gives you an idea of the type of man he is. There is a will they/won't they element with two of the major characters that I was also keen to see the resolution to.

I thought Antonio was brilliant, with a dry humour and can do approach to everything thrown at him. I also warmed to pro-poker player Max, whose childhood moving around casinos and learning from showgirls has left him something of an outsider. Even secretive starlet Shannon is appealing, turning out to be very different to the expected diva. A lot of the characters play on stereotypes to an extent: the stuffy butler, the geeks in the basement monitoring the CCTV, the fame hungry popstar, but the author has managed to avoid turning them into total cliches.

There were a few minor typos and if you are thinking of picking this book up I'd suggest bypassing the description on Amazon and Goodreads, which gives away too much of the plot for my liking. This was a fun, easy read with a couple of little twists in the tail and I would definitely be happy to see further installments featuring Antonio and his staff.

Format: Kindle, review copy
My Rating: 4*


Webbiegrrl Writer said...

I'm not sure why, Tracy, but I kept hearing a "but..." in this review. I think the book was probably intended to be a RomCom / caper and just fell short on the romance Contract with Reader part if it wasn't obvious to you.


TC said...

I think reading it there were so many elements I found it hard to figure out which was dominant but the romance element was a complete sub-plot in and of itself and didn't disappoint.