Betting on Love by Mary Beesley
Entertaining and fun, with some sweet and poignant moments that will tug your heartstrings!
When Tempest Swan and three fellow employees are let go from their jobs as actuaries because some new software made their positions redundant, a tiny part of her wished for revenge against the billionaire developer that had so blithely destroyed her career and job future. But when her roommate, Blair, made a bet she wouldn’t follow through on telling the man what she thought of him and his software, she accepted the challenge. But on her initial reconnaissance mission she ended up falling off her bike at the feet of the billionaire’s nerdy neighbor and she began to have second thoughts about her plan, feeling a definite attraction to this new acquaintance who helpfully tended to her injuries. But Tempest always played it safe and she literally knew nothing about this man.
Leonard “Ardy” Allred is the founder of Red Rocco, the software company that developed the actuarial program that curtailed Tempest’s career. When Tempest crashes her bike in front of this condo, he rushes to her aid, offering first aid, and eventually dinner and a ride home. When she misunderstood who he was, he held off setting her straight when she revealed her contempt for the man who destroyed her career. He was sure he’d be able to tell her the truth soon. But even as he became more and more besotted with the first woman to really claim his heart, something always got in the way of him coming clean.
Betting on Love is such a delightful story with the added fun of being set in the area where I live. I really liked the two main characters, and the supporting ones were intriguing as well. Many were interesting enough on their own (Blair, Zena, Dean) that I would welcome a book about each one of them! Even the love affair of the parents was sweet and loving.
Tempest is an intelligent girl, and considering the preparation she’s gone through to become an actuary and then successfully practicing in her field for five years, I felt terrible for her when the job market was so tough. I thought the author did a great job getting her struggles across in interesting ways and without demeaning the choices she has to make, accepting work that wasn’t what she wanted but was available. I like the character more for just getting a job and giving it her all, even though the job wasn’t her dream job.
Although we don’t see Leo at work a lot, we do get a good sense of what he’s done with his company from discussions with other characters. He is an engaging cinnamon roll of a male lead and as nerdy as Tempest. I felt they were a great match! I enjoyed the mistaken identity plotline and his dilemma in wanting to set the record straight. I like his immediate attraction to Tempest and that it was pretty serious for him right from the start. He was adorably awkward, and I wanted him to win Tempest over.
The plot beginning with an element of revenge based on a bet between Tempest and her roommate, Blair, hooked me from the start. But the subplot of the grown children coming to terms with their parents having a new life is one many readers may have experienced as either a parent or a grown child! I have, and this increased my engagement with the story for sure. Those early meetings are a killer oftentimes, but the ones in this story offered a lot of humor. But I can easily imagine being Silvia and wanting to have a perfect Thanksgiving, blending the two families for the first time. Talk about stressful! That event is a big enough deal every year anyway without the addition of trying to impress the new in-laws. And the family trip camping in California had me laughing out loud from the first mention.
However, the main thing I enjoyed about Betting on Love was how well the author kept teasing me, over and over, with getting Tempest and Leo together, them feeling their deep attraction to one another only for something to keep them apart. Be it their own ability to overthink their situation or the presence of other people throwing a monkey wrench into the works, the to and fro in their relationship journey kept me glued to the pages and completely entertained.
I recommend BETTING ON LOVE to readers who enjoy contemporary romance, especially one set in the Dallas area.
I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from the author through “Lone Star Book Blog Tours.”