Bet on It
by Jodie Slaughter
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Pub Date 12 Jul 2022 | Archive Date 26 Jul 2022
St. Martin's Press, St. Martin's Griffin
"Jodie Slaughter is 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
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 857 members
Bet on It
➖rating: 4.5/5 ⭐️’s
➖steam: 2.5/5 🌶‘s
This was such a lovely read! It was sweet and spicy (which is everything I want it a romcom), but it also had such relevant mental health representation! Aja struggled with anxiety while Walker struggled with PTSD and I appreciated how carefully and honestly those were both portrayed throughout the story. Aja & Walker are such genuine and well-developed characters and seeing them learn to trust each other with their pain and struggles was so rewarding as a reader.
what I loved:
➖the bingo theme!!
➖a+ character growth
➖the body positivity!!
➖realistic mental health rep
➖small town setting
Overall this book just worked so well for me and I absolutely can’t wait to buy a physical copy. Thank you so much to Netgalley & St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review!
I can’t remember the last time a book resonated with me the way this one did. Yes, this was a romance, but it was also a book about overcoming obstacles and loving yourself. The main characters both struggle with their mental health and are drawn to each other because they honestly see each other’s struggles. The openness between them as they work to improve their own lives is what makes this such a believable love story. I saw so much of myself in Aja that I felt at times this book was about me, but she’s also my hero for getting out of her comfort zone and working to build relationships, friendships as well as a romantic relationship. Add a love of Bingo, which speaks to my old soul, and I had an amazing time reading this! I can’t wait to see what else Jodie Slaughter publishes! Oh, and the editor made this a 5 star for me, because it was almost grammatically perfect!
Fun, sexy, and emotional, I loved this debut! The characters felt so real, and the author's gentle and honest portrayal of anxiety was not only poignant, but life-giving!
I really enjoyed this book. I like how Walker and Aja understood each other and I also loved how they managed to find their own fun in a boring small town. The intimate scenes were hot and the story had great character development. I definitely recommend this book.
Amazing, unique, and real characters that I fell in love with while reading! I love this story and how even though Walter and Aja did not know each other for a long time, nothing felt forced or rushed with the growth of their relationship. I related so much to their experience with mental health, and was so happy to read some of the very relatable and validating experiences they both had. Also I was pleasantly surprised with the steamy scenes in the book! I found myself cheering them both on in their individual growth, but also really hopeful and excited to see their relationship grow as a couple.
When it comes to books where the characters deal with mental health problems, I sometimes am wary of reading them. I’ve encountered books where the mental health problems are more of a random thing added in to give the character depth but it seems not needed. Then there are ones done right.
Bet On It’s main characters Aja and Walker have mental health problems but it’s dealt with so beautifully. It’s integrated in their lives as individuals and separately without taking over the book. Aja and Walker become friends after Walker helps Aja through a panic attack.
Aja also plays bingo with Walker’s grandmother (Walker doesn’t live in town any longer and Aja is a newbie). The two have an instant connection but Aja tries really hard to not give in. Walker is such a gentleman with Aja and he’s so incredibly smooth. Walker has had his fair share of childhood trauma and the way it’s written in the book is so realistic. You can tell that both are dealing with their anxiety in the best way possible. I loved their dynamic and the sex scenes were incredibly hot.
If you want a funny, sexy, swoon worthy, peach cobbler infused read, this one is for you!
Ahhhh I loved this book! It was one of my most anticipated releases of the year and I was so excited to get approved for an ARC. It did not disappoint. The romance is incredibly sweet and very steamy. But what really makes this book stand out is the mental health representation. Both of the main characters are dealing with their own struggles with mental health. We see their individual struggles during their POV's and how this impacts their relationships with friends, family and each other. This felt like an accurate portrayal of what it is like to have PTSD and anxiety - I say that not only as a mental health therapist but also as someone with PTSD and anxiety. I especially related to Aja and her struggles to make friends in her new town. Why is it so hard to make friends as an adult?! This book also made me want to go play Bingo so bad! It's definitely a unique premise which was refreshing.
But seriously, this is a must read for anyone looking for a steamy romance who wants to feel seen with mental health rep.
I was really interested in reading Bet on It for a few reasons, it’s a romance and it had Bingo. Yes, I know I sound like a weirdo but including Bingo was intriguing because I haven’t seen it used before in a romance.
We start with Aja having a panic attack in the supermarket and Walker helps her through it. We soon learn that both have mental health issues they are working through. Aja has anxiety and Walker has PTSD, which led to him leaving Greenbelt, SC. They later meet again at the Bingo Hall, where Aja plays weekly and sits with Walker’s grandmother. Walker is in town to help her recover from her accident. They start as friends as they try to fight their attraction since he is only town for a short time but as it goes, they can’t. So they make a bingo based sex pact to keep things from spiraling out of control.
This is not a light romance since most of the plot revolves around their mental health and how both of them learn to manage their issues. I like how open everything was between the two of them as they talked through their thoughts and feelings, and helped each other deal with their struggles. Both grow individually, which helps them come together as a couple. And I really related to Aja, a lot of what she was going through, I have felt at one time or another.
I recommended for readers that enjoy:
🍑 Friends to Lovers
🍑 Small Town Settings
🍑 Steamy Romance
Bet on It will be out on June 12. Thanks to St Martins Press and Netgalley for the advanced readers copy of this book. All thoughts are my own.
Readers who liked this book also liked:
Agatha Christie; Naomi Alderman; Leigh Bardugo; Alyssa Cole; Lucy Foley; Elly Griffiths; Natalie Haynes; Jean Kwok; Val McDermid; Karen M. McManus; Dreda Say Mitchell; Kate Mosse; Ruth Ware