As MJ Boudreaux sits anxiously waiting for her very late husband to meet her to celebrate their anniversary at a restaurant to which she has brought a lemon pie, lovingly made by someone other than herself, a pie which at one time during their long relationship had been a symbol of their love and affection for each other many years ago, she begins to realize they are no longer those two people.
Yes, work, children and life have taken its toll on them, always having to put other’s needs before their own. Especially MJ who not only works, but takes care of the house, children, husband and dog. Her husband Chris seems no worse for the wear as he appears content to work and play poker, something he enjoys so much that he is late for their lunch! So as MJ sits waiting, she decides things need to change in their marriage. They are drifting away from each other. She can feel it. They must try and have more in common, go on date nights, anything to rekindle the spark they use to have.
It’s then she realizes poker may be the glue she needs to hold this relationship together! She will learn and play so they can go together. Not a novice to the game, she worked at a bar during college, where she met Chris, and her mother owned a bar when she was a child which use to hold poker games. She did use to watch them play. At first Chris is wary of MJ’s plan, especially when they have a friendly game at home which does not go so well, but Chris agrees spending more time together, even if it is at at casino might be enjoyable.
After her first poker experience at the casino, MJ decides she needs some practice. She discovers she may actually have a knack for cards and reading opponents. She begins going separate from Chris to hone her skills, so much so that she decides to enter a poker tournament whose prize is a trip to Las Vegas and lessons from the top poker player who also is a handsome bachelor.
Chris seems supportive at first, but when MJ begins to neglect not only him, but their children in order to spend time practicing at the casino, the rejection hits him hard. And when MJ wins the tournament he decides not to go to Las Vegas with her.
An idea which was suppose to bring them together, now seems to have separated them even further. With MJ going to Las Vegas and Chris staying home with the kids, the situation goes from bad to worse. What happens in Vegas is suppose to stay in Vegas right? But not in this case! Will MJ be able to repair her marriage before it is irrevocably broken? This may not be as easy as a simple slice of lemon pie!
Reichert, author of the Coincidence of Coconut Cake has once again mastered the telling of a love story with characters who are a bit flawed and yet she is able to teach us all lessons in life and love.