Fair Play

A Novel

Fair Play

From the bestselling author of It Happened at the Fair comes a historical love story about a lady doctor and a Texas Ranger who meet at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

Saddled with a man’s name, the captivating Billy Jack Tate makes no apologies for taking on a man’s profession. As a doctor at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, she is one step closer to having her very own medical practice—until Hunter Scott asks her to give it all up to become his wife.

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 think they belong anywhere but home…

Despite their difference of opinion on the role of women, Hunter and Billy find a growing attraction between them—until Hunter discovers an abandoned baby in the corner of a White City exhibit. He and Billy team up to make sure this foundling isn’t left in the slums of Chicago with only the flea-riddled, garbage-infested streets for a playground. As they fight for the underprivileged children in the Nineteenth Ward, an entire Playground Movement is birthed. But when the Fair comes to an end, one of them will have to give up their dream.

Will Billy exchange her doctor’s shingle for the domesticated role of a southern wife, or will Hunter abandon the wide open spaces of home for a life in the “gray city,” a woman who insists on being the wage earner, and a group of ragamuffins who need more than a playground for breathing space?

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Fair Play includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Deeanne Gist. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


The only “mannish” thing about Dr. Billy Jack Tate is her name. A female doctor in the 1890s, Billy graduated at the top of her class and won’t let anything—or anyone—stand in her way. When Billy lands a job as a doctor at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, she is already a successful surgeon and finds herself one step closer to her own medical practice. But after her chance (and revealing) meeting with the rugged and very traditional Texas Ranger Hunter Scott, a reluctant romance blossoms, and Billy is forced to consider a future without medicine—or without Hunter.

When Hunter discovers an abandoned infant in the White City exhibit, his and Billy’s search to find its parents leads them down a path of discovery, hope, and loss as they help erect a playground for underprivileged children on the West Side of Chicago. As Billy and Hunter pursue their common goal, their passion and respect for each other grow, and the two must decide whether love is more important th see more

More Books from this Author

Tiffany Girl
It Happened at the Fair
Tempest in the White City: A Prelude to Fair Play

About the Author

Deeanne Gist
Photograph by Korey Howell Photography

Deeanne Gist

Deeanne Gist has rocketed up bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere with her very fun, very original historical novels. She has won the National Readers’ Choice Award, Booksellers’ Best Award, USA Best Books Award, and stellar reviews. With a background in education and journalism, Deeanne has written for People, Parents, and Parenting magazines. Visit her online at IWantHerBook.com and at Facebook.com/DeesFriends.