Bet Me to Stay
By Candace Havens
Release Date: July 8, 2019
Publisher: Entangled: Brazen
Number of pages: 193
Source: ARC from Net Galley
Contemporary Romance M/F
Read 6/22/19 to 6/23/19
After a bet with his brother, Liam O’Connor has to date the next woman who walks into the pub. And he’s all in, because his pub is on the line. What he didn’t expect was Casey Meadows, who at first glance with her big glasses and bulky sweater looks like a woman who has many, many cats—but her wit and smile make him wonder what’s underneath her bulky armor.
Casey Meadows aka sweet romance author Cassie O’Brien is about to lose everything. As in, her writing career is going down the drain because she can’t write the sexy stuff that’s selling these days. She needs inspiration in the worst way. That’s when she walks into the wrong pub at the right time. Sexy owner Liam is just what the writing doctor ordered. Her whole body is feeling inspired—and when he makes a proposal she can’t refuse—he’s all in. Oh, hell yes. Best. Sex. Of. Her. Life. Thanks to Liam, she’s about to write a best-seller.
But having an erotic romance alter ego is nothing compared to the real secret Cassie is hiding—and that one could destroy everything.
Time for another episode of the good, the bad, and will I read this new-to-me author again? Yes, this is a new-to-me author. She seems to have quite a few books under her belt, but I haven’t yet read her until now.
I adore Cassie and Liam. They are really good together and have some chemistry. Separately, they are also interesting and fun characters. The way they meet is also interesting, and things only progress the way they do because of the events of the day for both characters. In other words, they’re both in the right place at the right time…physically and mentally.
While I like the concept of Cassie trying to spice up her own sex life in order to better write sexy scenes in her romance books, this opened up the sex scenes in this story to closer scrutiny. At least that’s the way I felt. Some of the scenes more than stand up to any test. Unfortunately, some of the scenes seemed a bit more forced and stilted. Just as Cassie was told in the beginning, it’s more than insert tab A into slot B. But a couple of scenes seemed to be doing exactly that. Like the author had a list of positions she wanted to make sure to check off through the course of this story.
It’s no secret I’m a timeline/small detail stickler. I’ll reiterate my stance on this for those that don’t know. If mistakes become too numerous, are blatantly wrong, or start distracting from the story I will call them out. Otherwise I let the mistakes slide. Now, the ARC I received of this story was obviously an early copy and hadn’t been fully edited yet. So some word tense (which I’m terrible at myself but always seem to notice when it’s someone else’s writing) and editorial issues I ignored. But there are more timeline issues and little mistakes than I’m comfortable with letting slide. If these things don’t tend to bother you, great. If they do, be forewarned! (And if you are nit-picky like me, rest assured the fact that Liam has an accent is eventually explained. It seemed to me it went too long for Liam’s situation to be fully explained because his accent and some things about his parents and grandparents were really annoying me until he finally gave his story to Cassie almost a third of the way into the story.)
Many things in this story work, and work well. But the things that weren’t working for me seemed to be mistakes a less seasoned author would make. I could see her potential and did enjoy the story for the most part. Then, last week, I received an email from one of the publicist at Entangled explaining that they had decided to go back and do another rounds of edits on this book. Unfortunately, I have not had the time to go over the updated version they provided through Net Galley. This book came out yesterday and I would normally have posted my review by that time. I put this one off another day hoping I’d get to give the updated version at least a quick peek. Rest assured, if I am able to read the re-edited version I will come back to update my review if need be. In the meantime, I believe I will give this author another chance since I did enjoy a lot of this story.
** I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in my review are my own and given freely. **