As someone who’s always been fascinated by Bingo, yet never played, I was so intrigued in Bet on It. And while there is definitely Bingo Shenanigans, where Bet on It shines are the characters and their own journeys. If you love a romance story line focused on dual POV and character development, keep reading this book review.
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.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: mental illness, panic attacks, drug abuse (SC), child endangerment (in the past)
The chemistry in Bet on It is sizzling. There’s heat from emotion filled glances across Bingo boards. And as Aja and Walker continue to get to know each other, they have to wonder if they’re doomed before they even start. Walker is 100% convinced he wants to leave the town, whereas Aja moved there specifically for the atmosphere. Bet on It is a testament to the power of love and someone who can make us question ourselves and our own limitations. To challenge us, support us, and laugh with us.
From the beginning, I loved Aja. How she’s real about her struggles and the ways in which she has to realize that she has to believe in people around her. In her goodness that people recognize and are drawn to. At the same time, Walker is navigating his own family and his past as he’s immersed back in his hometown. In Bet on It, both of these characters and POVs felt detailed and three dimensional. I think a good quality of a dual POV romance book is when both of these characters go on a journey together and apart.
At varying points, my heart broke for both Aja and Walker. In the ways in which Walker has to reconcile who he was in his hometown, and who he is now. How difficult it is for Aja to go out of her comfort zone and meet friends, but what a difference a support system can make. In life, and in new relationships of any kind, we can think we have too much baggage. That no one would want to be around us. But part of accepting ourselves, is realizing that we are worthy of love and connection.
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That we don’t have to run from people who might hurt us. We can believe people around us are too good to be true, and that things always end, but it’s always worth trying. Worth loving. While I felt like Walker stole the ending 1/3 in terms of character focus, Bet on It is a swoony romance book with some fantastic characters. Find Bet on It on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.