Cover Image: Bet on It

Bet on It

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Member Reviews

"Jodie Slaughter is a must-buy author, and Bet on It is a perfect example of what makes her writing delicious. Aja and Walker’s story is hot, sweet, and utterly unique, with a rock-solid emotional core." - Talia Hibbert, New York Times bestselling author of Act Your Age, Eve Brown

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.

“Bet on It reads like the first rays of sun on your face after a long winter. I loved Aja and Walker's story about two genuinely good people who are playful and sweet to each other, helping one another heal, while also having incredibly hot sex. With standout portrayals of beautiful, generous friendships in addition to the love story, this is a book to be savored.” - Rosie Danan, author of The Intimacy Experiment and The Roommate


Another enemies-to-lovers book that I like! Not as steamy as I thought but I still like my reading experience with this book. Thanks for the ARC!
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I really enjoyed the chemistry between the two leads, the steam was ON FIRE, and the emotions felt very real and raw. But I think I struggled a little with the romantic arc of the story and feeling invested in the love story that grew between the two characters. 3.5 rounded up to 4 stars.
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Fantastic debut! I fell hard for these characters and the journey of finding love, but also learning to love yourself in that process.
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This book drew my attention when I read in the summary, “ emotions are just like bingo callers, they refuse to be ignored.” This totally amused me just like this book. 
Aja finally meets the man of her dreams….while having a panic attack at the piggly wiggly. She soon realizes he’s the grandson of her favorite bingo buddy. 
Walker is here to help his grandmother heal and that was the only plan until Aja enters his life. They decide on a bingo based sex pact (who knew this was a thing?) to keep their lives from getting out of control but of course plans go awry. This was a fun one.
Thank you #StMartinsPress and #NetGalley for an Advanced copy in exchange for an honest review
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Bet on It was a delightful debut novel from Jodie starting with Aja & Walker's meet cute in the frozen food aisle of Piggly Wiggly. And a bingo based sex pact? Not something I knew I wanted in my books until reading this! LOL

Both of the main characters have their own struggles - Aja with her anxiety and Walker with his PTSD/childhood trauma - but I thought Jodie handled them very well in a totally realistic manner. I adored Aja & totally relate to some of her social anxieties so seeing her put herself out there, even though it was hard, made me smile. And while cartoon covers always stress me out a bit as far as whether there will be the spice factor I personally look for, there is no shortage here. The aforementioned bingo sex pact, including hot as heck backseat hook up, bring the heat. 

If you love small town romances but are looking for something a little different, I'd definitely recommend checking out Bet on It!
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Title: Bet On It
Author: Jodie Slaughter
Genre: Romance
Rating: 3.75
Pub Date: July 12, 2022

Thanks to St. Martin's Press for offering me a digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

T H R E E • W O R D S

Refreshing • Unique • Steamy

📖 S Y N O P S I S

In the midst of a panic attack in the aisle of the Piggly Wiggly, Aja meets the man of her dreams. She meets him again at her weekly bingo, when he is introduced as the grandson of her closest bingo buddy.

There are only two things in Greenbelt, South Carolina that take up room in Walker Abbott's heart: the peach cobbler at his favourite restaurant and his ailing grandmother. When he returns to help care for her after a decade away, he has fast plans to be gone as soon as she's rehabilitated.

After the very first game, it's clear they are both going to pose a problem to each other.

💭 T H O U G H T S

I was initially drawn to Bet on It because of the cover, and after hearing the author discuss it in upcoming book preview event I attended, I was even more intrigued. It just sounded like the type of book I'd enjoy.

What I like:
• the representation. This book has mental illness representation, diverse representation, and fat representation. All of which were done incredibly well. The anxiety felt so accurate and relatable, and healthy conversations about therapy were a nice touch. The body positivity aspect was flawless.
• the meet cute. Meeting in a bingo hall. Yes, please! Aside from the mental health rep, the whole bingo aspect was my favourite part of the book.
• the grandma. It's no shocker I loved the grandmother.
• the small town vibes. Also not a shocker.

What I didn't like:
• lack of character depth. I felt like both Aja and Walker could have been developed more. Because of the lack of depth, the story kind of petered out.
• the second half. The relationship felt mostly about the sex, and I needed more of their relationship. My attention definitely waned after being so invested throughout the first half.

Overall, I enjoyed the idea of this book, the execution just could have used a little fine tuning. I'll be interested to see what Jodie Slaughter writes next based on the representation alone.

📚 R E C O M M E N D • T O
• readers who like their books steamy
• anyone looking for mental health rep in a rom-con -

⚠️ CW: mental illness, panic attacks/disorders, PTSD, sexual content, drug use, drug abuse, addiction, alcoholism, abandonment, child abuse, emotional abuse, bullying, cursing, ableism

🔖 F A V O U R I T E • Q U O T E S

"Her brain loved to overthink things. Find hidden meanings in moments without any. She was always digging through simple conversations for unspoken things that she’d already convinced herself were real, even against all logic."

"Shit’s hard. It’s important to be open and honest when you’re ready and willin’. But I don’t think we owe it to anybody to tell them shit we aren’t comfortable tellin’ them either."
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i was very appreciative of the anxiety rep that this book has seeing as there aren't many especially centering black main characters
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good anxiety/mental health rep, good chemistry, great characters.

thank you to net galley, the author and the publisher for the eARC in exchange for my review.
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This may be a rom com … and a spicy one at that! ….  but it’s refreshing to see a topic such as anxiety take a central role to this story line. With that being said, be aware of trigger warnings because this book does deal with anxiety and ptsd quite a bit.

Overall, a cute, spicy and emotional read.
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This was such a delightful read with amazing representation. A sex pact around bingo was something I didn't know I needed. the SC location setting felt so good and realistic as someone who has lived there. I adored so much of this book. Jodie's writing is one of my favorites.
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3.25 stars. There were so many things I liked about this romance. I liked the diverse characters, and how both of the main characters, Aja and Walker, were unapologetically real. The author did a great job with their mental health challenges and having them be supportive of each other, rather than trying to fix one another. The book is definitely open door steamy, so reader know thyself. I also liked the storyline of Aja and her friendships. 

There were times were I felt the steamy scenes were a bit ridiculous (particularly the setting for two of them), however, this is fiction and if that’s what the author crafted for these characters, then let’s roll with it. 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin, and Netgalley for the advance reader copy in exchange for my honest review.
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DNF @14% — When it’s been 11 days, and you’ve only made it a few chapters in, it’s time to call it.

I was really interested in the anxiety rep for this book, and the own voices in general.  And, so far, the anxiety rep looked really solid.

My problem is I just wasn’t interested in either MC, wasn’t feeling connected to them as individuals or as a couple, and so I’m going to cut my losses.  It very well might be a solid book, but I hate forcing myself to read, even if it’s just mood.
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Congratulations to the author on her novel’s publication! Instead of an overall star rating, I’m going to list pros and cons. This book was a mixed bag for me, and I don’t want to limit my review by stars.

Pros: I liked Aja and Walker. I appreciate the author’s sensitivity to their issues and how they handled their issues. I liked Gram a LOT! She was real and a hoot. I loved her friendship with Aja.

The Bingo angle was cute, but I felt like it could have played a bigger role overall.

Cons: Language and open-door sex scenes (didn’t seem much like lovemaking to me). A lot of what seemed to me gratuitous use of the f-bomb. More descriptive bedroom scenes than I am comfortable with.

Overall, it’s a steamy rom com that fits as a lighthearted yet substantive summer read.

Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for an ARC. All opinions are my own.
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DNF at 38%. I really respect the mental health representation that this author was trying to bring to the table, and I could imagine that this book could be really empowering and moving for someone who had similar experiences of the characters. However, it felt like their anxiety was the ONLY part of their personality, which made them seem one-dimensional to me. The plot was also extremely slow moving, and by a third of the way in I was desperate for SOMETHING to happen. I also felt like the insta-love was WAY too strong, and there wasn't enough time between their first meeting and their instant attraction to one another. Overall, I think this could be a valuable book for someone, but it wasn't the right fit for me.
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My favorite part of the novel was the references to the Piggly Wiggly at the beginning. Such a mainstay in small southern towns.

This novel involves anxiety, and I appreciated the author’s note at the beginning to tread lightly if needed.

I listened to the audio and I did NOT like the reading of Walker at all- as someone from the south it was WAYYY out of place and just missed the mark.

The audio reading for Asia’s part was spot on and done well! 

After a while, the banter just was not enough to keep me invested in this novel. Walker and Asia didn’t have much chemistry although they wordily tried to make it like they did. And when Asia made Walker sit outside, I was DONE. She asked for so much grace in the midst of her anxiety, yet she gave ZERO CARES for Walker and his own. BLEH, I don’t like to celebrate characters that behave that way. I really wanted to like this, as it has a body-positive character and brings mental wellness to the forefront of the conversation, but I just can’t. You can’t excuse away Asia’s choices. YUCK.
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Wasn’t sure what to expect when picking this one up but still very much enjoyed! I love any time diversity is incorporated into the romance genre (seriously it’s about time). I really loved this story though, it hit everything I’m looking for in this genre
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Gotta love a book with great mental health rep!

This was a super cute romance! I loved the dynamics between the two main characters, and how the plot surrounded bingo (because it's something I've never seen done before), but also the fact that both characters came together because of their mental health and them supporting one another was so wholesome!!
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I have to admit I was skeptical about a romcom centered around Bingo - but boy was I surprised. 

Walker and Aja are both new arrivals in Greenbelt, SC - he's moved home to take care of family and she's looking for a quieter life. After a shaky start, the two become friends and their mutual attraction eventually compels them to take that next step. 

Overall, a fun, saucy little read that I enjoyed!
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I really enjoyed this story, I think the mental health rep on it is really great. Aja is a dynamic character and I really wanted to see her get the love and care she deserves. I think that’s why this book wasn’t a five star favorite for me, because Walker knew he was leaving and pursued Aja anyway and then he just left and waited over a month to finally talk to her again. Sure they were sure together but I wanted a bit more from Walker when he was so enthusiastic and forward about trying to be with her.
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I appreciated this romance’s  small town setting and its various quirks, but was ultimately underwhelmed.
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