Cover Image: Bet on It

Bet on It

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Member Reviews

Bet on It by Jodie Slaughter is billed as a steamy bingo romance. What's not to love about that? :)

The chemistry between Aja and Walker is sizzling, and it makes one want to try a game of bingo.

Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for sharing this book with me. All thoughts are my own.

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I really loved this book and recommended if you like Talia Hibbert and Tessa Bailey. It had plenty of spice and sweet moments with some deeper topics which I'd a great combination for me.

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The bingo romance is SPICY. AS. HELL!!! I don't know how this is a debut novel, but I can't wait to read everything Jodie Slaughter releases. I've been recommending this book to friends all year!

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I loved the concept of this book, Aja and her journey, and the mental health rep in this book. It was really hard to get past some of the more cringey moments in this book. My rating is lower because this is a romance, but the romance was not at all one of the best parts of the book and not in a good way. At some point in the book, I found it hard to keep picking it up because the pacing was so slow. It also bothered me that a book whose main plot is so based in bingo had things in the book that were not accurate to the actual game of bingo. However, if you want to read some mental health rep, be transported a small town, and love the power of friendships, this book is a good book to read to satisfy those cravings.
ARC kindly provided by the publisher (St. Martin's Press) via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Aja is restarting her life in the small town of Greenbelt. She pushes herself out into the world, anxiety be damned, by attending weekly bingo with the senior citizens of the town. In addition to a kind, affirming view of mental health struggles (it's hard, therapy helps, empathy helps, but it's still really hard sometimes), the book addresses the struggle of making friends as an adult and the joyful friend crush when you find someone you hope to befriend who feels out of your league. Our love interest is Walker, a basic, cishet white boy with blond hair and a love for baseball. But the author doesn't stop with boring surface level, giving Walker layers and humanity. He struggles with PTSD from a childhood that asked too much of him. He has a loving and complicated relationship with the grandmother who raised him with acceptance but had little understanding of his trauma responses. And he doesn't want to be back in Greenbelt, the town that gossiped about him rather than supporting him while his dad lost his battle with addiction again and again.

Our romance is based on proximity, though it's not forced. Walker meets Aja at bingo when he arrives in Greenbelt to help his grandmother cope with recovery from an injury. There's a spark of attraction between them, a shared understanding built on Walker's empathetic reaction to Aja's panic attack in a Piggly Wiggly, and a desire for companionship in a town where neither feels connected. The developing relationship is up against the clock since Walker only intends to spend two months in Greenbelt. The town has too many unhappy memories for him to stick around, and Aja just moved here to escape the city. A future doesn't seem possible, so they try to limit their expectations with rules and parameters without giving up on time together-- playing bingo, going to a drive-in movie, or just hanging out at home.

One of my favorite moments is a class act epilogue that gives us the perfect scene to understand where our lovebirds' future is headed. It's not a generic proposal but a sweet slice-of-life. If you want a small town romance with modern sensibilities, a story that celebrates mental health progress while understanding the pitfalls, or two characters fighting their growing feelings because of life circumstances, this sweet, steamy romance might be up your alley. Thanks to SMP Romance for my copy to read and review!

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Super cute story. A bit slow to get started but I appreciated the authors realistic portrayal of anxiety. As someone’s who’s never lived in the south, this book hits it on the nose when I think of southern charm and romance. A very cute romantic novel that’s easy to read.

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As a lover of all things romance, 'Bet on It' is a delicious new take on the genre. The heat is just the right amount. Beyond that, this is a surprisingly earnest look at two people who are complete as individuals, and their journey to come together in the most compelling way.

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This book is so relatable to people with anxiety! I love how strong the main character is. This book could be triggering for people, but overall they will enjoy it if they continue with it.

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This was a cute romance that had good anxiety rep. The author used the dual POV to its best advantage. That said, it was a rather generic romance

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Aja and Walker meet at Bingo as Walker is in town helping his grandmother recuperate from two broken arms. When Walker and Aja meet at Bingo they find out they recognize each other from an incident at the grocery store a couple of days prior. Aja suffers from crippling anxiety that can come on at any time. Part of the reason Aja moved to small town South Carolina was to try to get away from the hustle and bustle and live a calmer life which she’s hoping will help with her anxiety. Walker also suffers from mental health issues and PTSD from childhood trauma, which is why being home has taken a major toll on him. Walker and Aja continue to grow closer at their bingo games and bond over their shared mental health issues, but the stress that comes with thinking about the day when Walker has to leave is a lot for Aja to handle. Walker is completely into Aja and while he knows their time is limited he cannot resist her or being around her. When part of Walkers past comes back to haunt him, he has to make a big choice about what he really wants. Walker must decide if he can have the girl and leave his hurtful past behind for a bright future.

I am not usually a romance fan but this book was so cute. I really enjoyed this one. I would definitely read other books by this author. The plot worked well and it wasn’t a cliche silly romance. This book had great characters, and was very well written. Thank you NetGalley and St Martins Press Romance @smpromance for this ARC. #betonitnovel #smpromance #jodieslaughter

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"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

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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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