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One Good Hand

One Good Hand cover art

Cover art by Anne Cain.

ISBN: 9781393039563
February 12th, 2021

As a professional gambler, Ace Donovan has seen it all. The gutter, the penthouse: they've both been home at one point or another. Right now he's on top, he's a winner, and sharks from all over the world are lining up to take him down.

Life is...good.

Then, Ace wins Spade in a high stakes poker game. The enigmatic man calls him "master" and refuses to be set free. He slips past carefully constructed walls, becoming more perfect, more erotic, with each passing second. Ace knows he's in over his head. Cards can give and cards can take.

And one good hand is about to change his life forever.


Author's Note: This is the second edition of "One Good Hand." The first edition was published in 2007 by Loose Id Publishing. Although I've added several tweaks to the story, it is not substantially different from the first edition, and I wouldn't recommend purchasing this title if you've bought it before. Unless you're the sort to like tweaks. Then knock yourself out. ;)



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Rainbow Awards 2012 Honorable Mention - SciFi and Fantasy Category

...this is Rowan McBride. An author I trust. I daresay that if this is the start of a new series, I'll be along for the ride anyway.

--Book Utopia Mom
Book Utopia

It's such a joy to experience the way he fuses detail and plot without ever losing focus, yet somehow holds onto and intertwines ever more subtle themes between the pages.

--Simon Howarth

... more reviews

Reviewers Choice

If you'd like to read the critic reviews, then click the link underneath the reviewer's name.

Author's Ramblings:

There are a lot of labels attached to fiction. I'm always at a loss as to which tag I should affix to mine. Is it erotica? Romance? Homoerotica? Science Fiction? Paranormal? Fantasy? The list goes on forever.

Even the length of stories takes you into a muddy area. Short. Novellete. Novella. Novel. And every publisher has different definitions of each. At 22,000 words, I don't know how the heck to classify One Good Hand. It's the shortest story I've ever written, so I tend to call it a short. Loose Id calls it a novella. Maybe the Library of Congress should issue a standardized list.

Labels aside, One Good Hand was so much fun to write. Intense, as well. It literally kept me up at night. Something about Ace, who is the quintessential card shark, got to me. Here was a gifted young man who had never known true loyalty, even from the ones he's loved. He's learned not to expect it. And suddenly he finds himself the owner of a man whose loyalty is absolute. How is Ace supposed to deal with that?

And then there's Spade, who is sexy and knowing and so mysterious. He'd turn anyone's world upside down. But he's caught off-guard too, because Ace somehow manages to be kind and generous to everyone he meets. A gambler with a moral code all his own. A man who, despite the hardships he's endured, still loves to play. Spade lives by fixed rules, and now he's surrounded by paradox.

Who can ask for more fun than that?

Alright, that's enough rambling. I'm proud of how this story turned out. I hope you check it out.

-- Rowan McBride

Buy One Good Hand here.

This page is still a work in progress. Planning on more. Not quite sure what.
So check in, because it might be brilliant. Or not. But fun, at the very least.

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