Thank you to St Martin's Press, Jodie Slaughter, and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review. This was a sweet, spicy, swoony story and a solid small town romance.
Thank you to @stmartinspress for the #gifted copy.
This was such a fun book.. Small town romance about two people who meet at Bingo. It was a bit of a slow burn. Friends to lovers with anxiety and PTSD. This was my first Jodie Slaughter and will not be my last!
Sometimes you come across a book that is much more than meets the eye.
Bet on It looks like a breezy and easy rom com with some fluffy feelings, but this novel focuses on mental health and trauma. I think that is what makes this novel stand out. There's funny moments and raw emotions, just like real life. I love when books create a realistic, yet fantasy world that evokes romance and connection. This novel is for fans of a slow-burn with heart, substance, and humor. While I did not connect to the characters, I will recommend this book to anyone looking for a book that they can hold onto.
Read if you enjoy:
- Friends to Lovers
- Friends with Benefits
- Small Town Romance
- Mental Health Representation (Anxiety and PTSD)
- Dual POV
- Plus Size Representation
Things I Liked:
- The mental representation! It was done very realistically.
- Bingo nights!
- Small town everyone in your business scenarios lol
- Be happy in your own body mindset
Things I did not enjoy:
- Characters seemed awkward throughout
- I did not really buy into the romance of this book
Thank you Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Despite the fact that Bet on It is about two people struggling with anxiety and trauma, it felt cozy! They were gentle with one another and the chemistry was undeniable. I especially loved Aja's relationship with Walker's "Gram." It was sweet and funny. Their relationship develops quickly, but I like that Slaughter makes sure to draw attention to the importance of community and friendship in our mental health journeys. A solid interracial romance!
When I say this book was everything I needed, I mean it. Walker is one hot MC and Aja is spicy; both in the streets and in the sheets. I found myself giggling at times and going slack jawed at others when things got going. I am immensely in need of more POC plus size characters because I never had it growing up. All there was were skinny blonde girls who were so pure the romance was vanilla. I love that it’s becoming more accepted, but in the right ways this time around and not any other way.
A sweet and spicy book about overcoming your obstacles with extremely relatable characters. Aja suffers from anxiety and Walker struggles with PTSD. Definitely a book I would recommend.
Thank you to St Martin's Press, Jodie Slaughter, and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Aja and Walker meet in a small town in South Carolina at a bingo game and become friends and then more. It is a romance with some very steamy parts, but also serious when dealing with mental health. Thank you NetGalley for this ARC.
There’s something about this book that just made me so happy. Both characters are complicated, and their interactions with each other are definitely based partly on their own past. It was so much fun to see them falling for each other. The banter was excellent in this book and it’s definitely a Romance I would highly recommend.
Let’s talk meet-cutes, shall we? Romances can live or die by the meet-cute, the way two main characters meet. Some can be as small as bumping into one another while getting a cup of coffee and reaching for the same drink, or as grandiose as meeting a celebrity crush and finding out they think you’re pretty okay, too. Regardless of the situation, the first meeting is always important and will set the tone for the rest of the book.
“All things considered, the frozen dinner section of the Piggly Wiggly was one of the better public places to have a panic attack.”
“Bet On It” by Jodie Slaughter’s opening line is the perfect way to draw me in after living through a pandemic. Our main character Aja is mid panic attack smack dab in the freezer section of the grocery store. For those who manage mental health issues, you know there’s no way to know when something might tip the scales. Sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason to why it happens the way it does. In Aja’s case, it was dropping a box of Hot Pockets. ::shrugs::
Luckily for Aja, another customer at the store notices her and offers her the quiet support she needs to pull her through her panic attack, at least enough to be able to grab the rest of her groceries and leave the store.
Aja manages her stress by putting herself in situations that ground her. What is her activity of choice?
I’m an old person at heart. Give me a butterscotch candy and take me to bingo and we’ve got a hot date.
Bingo is legit. The intensity of those moments while you’re one or two numbers away is like nothing I’ve ever felt before. You’re sitting at the edge of your seat, holding your breath, positively shaking with anticipation that they’re going to call YOUR number and you’ll get to jump out of your seat and scream those five beautiful letters: B-I-N-G-O!!!
What a rush… but I digress. Back to the book!
Slaughter layers mental health issues into her story so easily. It’s part of the plot, but… it’s also not? Aja and Walker normalize their mental health management practices through their every day routines, and it’s refreshing to know that mental health awareness is making it’s way mainstream. The more we tall about it, the less stigma it’ll carry.
“But what do I do?”
“You do whatever you think you need to in order to feel everything fully and come out on the other side.”
“And if that involved a couple gallons of ice cream and a lot of Adele?”
“Then that’s perfectly OK.”
One other thing that I really loved about “Bet On It” was the fact that Aja and Walker are interracial, and while it’s mentioned once or twice for context, it’s not a “plot point” or something to work through. It just is. I like to think that I read about diverse characters because I tend to read a lot of LGBTQ+ romance, but it was eye-opening to me to realize how little interracial couples I read about. I will definitely bee working toward expanding my definition of diversity in the future.
Would I recommend this book? Heck yes. I devoured this in 24 hours, and started looking for the next Jodie Slaughter book I could pick up.
Bingo + Mental Health Rep + Southern Charm = “Bet On It” bliss.
In the Hive we share book recs *non-stop*. Even better is when we’re reading the same books at the same time. Book friends are the best friends. Carla and I both read “Bet On It” as a buddy read. She’ll be posting her reaction to “Bet On It” on Tiktok so make sure you’re following @carla_is_reading and @thelitbuzz to catch all the buzz. If you like the buddy read angle, check out this post from me and Kristin for “Dream On” by Angie Hockman – a nice take on a conversational review.
This story starts with a meet cute at the Piggly Wiggly as Aja is having a panic attack and Walker comes to her rescue. It turns out Walker is Aja's bingo partner's grandson so they reconnect after that first meeting. This was a sweet and spicy rom com that dealt with serious topics like anxiety that was a quick read. I didn't particularly connect with the characters too much and it felt sort of insta-love which might be one reason I didn't feel the tension and chemistry as much. But this was a quick read so a good summer read if you are looking for a quick spicy romance.
Thank you to the publisher for an advanced copy. Opinions are my own.
It was just okay for me. Steamy bits for sure but I didn't love the characters or how they interacted.
I tried so hard to read this but I just could not connect with either of the characters.
I ended up DNFing it at 30%.
Thank you for the opportunity to read this arc.
Bet On It was a fun read, definitely entertaining with some deeper emotional content. I just did not love it and I don't know why. It didn't click with me and I forgot the characters as soon as the cover closed. Fun read but not world changing.
The first time Aja Owens encounters the man of her dreams, she’s having a panic attack in the frozen foods section of the Piggly Wiggly. The second time, he’s being introduced to her as her favorite bingo buddy’s semi-estranged grandson. From there, all it takes is one game for her to realize that he’s definitely going to be a problem. And if there’s anything she already has a surplus of, it’s problems.
In Walker Abbott’s mind, there are only two worthwhile things in Greenbelt, South Carolina. The peach cobbler at his old favorite diner and his ailing grandmother. Dragging himself back after more than a decade away, he’s counting down the days until Gram heals and he can get back to his real life. Far away from the trauma inside of those city limits. Just when he thinks his plan is solid, enter Aja to shake everything up.
A hastily made bingo-based sex pact is supposed to keep this…thing between them from getting out of hand. Especially when submitting to their feelings means disrupting their carefully balanced lives. But emotions are just like bingo callers—they refuse to be ignored.
Jodie Slaughter's Bet on It is a heart-stoppingly fun, emotional romance that will have readers falling in love until long after the last page is turned.
This book was just sadly not for me! I was hoping for something different but it turned out to be something I was not expecting, which is okay and I'm sure someone else would love it!
This romance was so fun. I loved the premise and the characters were easy to connect with and root for. But my favorite part was how Jodie Slaughter handles fat rep in such a neutral, safe way. It made the book a joy to read.
Okay. I love Bingo, I. From the south and I'm also prone to grocery store anxiety attacks. I felt SEEEN. AND THE STEAM🔥🔥🔥. The overall story was good, well paced and kept me interested. Overall a good time.
Steaminess 6 out of 5, the author surely knows how to write sexy times. Overall storytelling, maybe a 3. I liked the focus on the relationship, but everything else was so rushed and lacked depth that it gave the impression of a cheap cardboard film set. I think this author can produce great works, she just needs to polish her craft more.
This book was heavy on the mental health focus, anxiety and PTSD, and was really well done. Charming small town and all the cobbler you could enjoy. And the bingo!
What didn’t work for me was the couple as a couple. There was a heavy focus on their sexual attraction and not the actually relationship developing. I had a hard time investing in their romance.