Do you ever see one of those cartoon-y contemporary covers and think you're in for a fluffy rom-com, but it turns out a bit heavier than you expected? That was what happened to me with Bet On It by Jodie Slaughter.
|Pub Date: 7-12-21|
Adult - Contemporary
Aja Owens has struggled with anxiety for as long as she can remember. She left her family behind in DC, hoping the quiet pace of Greenbelt, South Carolina, would help soothe some of her stress, but then a panic attack hits her right in the frozen food section of the Piggly Wiggly. When a stranger stops to help, Aja hightails it out of the store in embarrassment, safe in the notion that they'll never cross paths again. Unfortunately for Aja, the kind (and handsome) stranger turns out to be the estranged grandson of her bingo pal, who has come to town for a few weeks.
If Walker Abbott had his way, he would never step foot in Greenbelt again. But when his grandma breaks both of her arms, he begrudgingly comes back to care for her. Walker has nothing but bad memories of this town, but the one new shining spot is Aja. From the moment they met, Walker has been intrigued by Aja, and neither can deny the attraction between them. Both know that Walker isn't here to stay, so to try and contain whatever is between them, they strike up a bingo-based sex pact. However, when emotions start running high, will the pair be able to make a clean break?
For someone who has never really played bingo, I love it. I have this weird fascination with it, so when I saw this was a rom-com based around it, I was sold. I loved the whole southern small-town setting and the way Slaughter depicted it made you feel as if you were right there, sweating along with Aja and Walker. I thought the pair had decent chemistry, and I liked the progression of their relationship. As I mentioned, I wasn't necessarily expecting how heavy some of the topics mentioned in here were, so I would suggest checking trigger warnings before picking this up. That said, I did think Slaughter incorporated those elements of mental health and trauma in a very realistic way that I thought was well done. The only issues I had were the dialogue got pretty cringy at moments, and the ending felt a bit lackluster. Other than that, I enjoyed this.
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