Review of Bet On It

Book:  Bet On It by Jodie Slaughter

Source: I received a copy from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Release Date: July 12th, 2022

Pages: 320

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I requested this book on NetGalley for the same reason I request many romances, because it sounded cute. And I’m pleased to report that it was! However, this book wasn’t afraid to tackle mental illness at the very same time, and I really appreciated that. This ended up being a really sweet, slice of life, steamy contemporary romance that I really enjoyed!

This book follows Aja, who struggles with anxiety and is new to the small town of Greenbelt, as she makes friends, and falls in love with her bingo friend’s grandson, Walker. As Walker is only in town to help his grandmother as she recovers from a bad fall that broke her two arms, Aja and Walker try denying their attraction and try to just remain friends. But when that seems impossible, a bingo pact is made to help the two release their lust every once in a while. However, since Walker is determined to leave Greenbelt as soon as possible, and Aja loves the small town she’s setting roots in, can the two have any lasting relationship?

I started this book when I was sick in bed and wasn’t in the mood to read anything. But even with the sniffles, there was something so gripping and endearing about this book that had me hooked! One of the things that I really loved about this book was how down to earth it is. The characters feel very flawed and very real. Neither one has a fancy career that they’re worried about or some other lofty goal they’re trying to reach. You’re just following two characters struggling with their mental health, trying to find a home and friend group that suits their needs.

Because this book takes place in a small town, the cast of characters is pretty small as well, but I loved them all. I adored both main characters, Aja and Walker, who are both struggling but doing their very best. I also loved how important the friendships, new and old, were to the story. The characters knew who they could call when they had exciting news to share, or had concerns that they needed to talk through. But what’s great is that this book didn’t shy away from discussing the importance of talking with a professional when you’re struggling as well! Both of the characters are in therapy, and while only one character is actively talking to a mental health professional throughout the story, the mere inclusion and recognition of the importance of therapy made me so happy!

I also really appreciated how these characters actually talked to one another. Aja is dealing with anxiety, Walker is dealing with PTSD related to being neglected as a child, both of them have panic attacks. And they’re up front about it. They discuss what they’re comfortable with and what they aren’t. They figure out how best to manage their relationship when things get weird. These two aren’t afraid to deal with any situations that arise and to talk them through, no matter how difficult it may be and I was so happy to see that. Because of the excellent communication, the resolution was one of the strongest that I’ve read, and I was quite satisfied with the ending!

4 Stars

I gave this book 4 stars in the end! If you’re looking for something steamy, with a twist on friends to lovers, that has great communication and great characters, all set in a small town, I couldn’t recommend this more!

Do you enjoy small town stories? Do you enjoy playing bingo? Does this sound like a book you’d enjoy?


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