Nom de Plume Rating: ★★★★★
Reading Time: 5 minutes
*FTC Disclaimer: I received a copy of Blame it on the Bet from Lauren Rico in exchange for an honest review. I have in no way been influenced by the author and/or publisher’s generosity. You can’t fake these stars, baby!
Welcome to Mayhem, Minnesota, where the cats wear sweaters, the local priest dispenses dating advice, and you can find your fortune in the bottom of a pie tin.
When her family’s pub is threatened with foreclosure, Hennessy O’Halloran, along with her three sisters, is determined to raise enough money to keep it out of the hands of the L.A. real-estate developer trying to raze it and replace it with a—god forbid!—multiplex theater.
Bryan Truitt always gets what he wants. And what he wants is the sweet corner property on Mayhem’s Main Street where O’Halloran’s Pub sits. But his “quick business” turns into more than he bargains for when he meets the feisty Hennessy. Next thing he knows, he’s betting her he can outlast Mayhem’s punishing winter in time to make the pub his—or he’ll gift it to her for free.
Hennessy knows better than to flirt with the enemy. But suddenly Bryan’s not sure which he wants more…the property or the woman who owns it.
First Line: “The paper is thick and creamy, the typeface a perfectly neat and neutral Times New Roman. I’ve examined documents like this hundreds of times, but I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around what I’m looking at as I flip through page after page of legalese. I mean, I am, after all, a lawyer.”
Small town romances are my personal elixir! This book left me ravenous for more! Lauren, maybe the next one you could add, I dunno, another 600k words to the end? Yespleasethankyou.
Look at this cover. I mean, look at it. Can it be Christmas already? And let me just say that nothing gets me more excited than a workaholic alpha male who just. won’t. stop. Gimme gimme, am I right? *eyebrow waggle*
We are first introduced to Hennessy. She has just found out that her father borrowed against the eqitity of the pub they own, and now (after his death) Hennessy and her three sisters are in serious debt. Hennessy sees her school tuition, her sister’s tuition, money that went into the nursey; damn her father and his pride!
To make things worse, a tall drink of water decides to storm into her life. Can you drown on a glass of water? Yes, my friends. Yes.
One word: Bryan Truitt.
Can you feel that bad juju just emanating off of his name? While reading this book, I felt like I was Hennessy, watching my family pub being stripped away from me by this deliciously sexy, smart, real estate JERK! I mean, he wants to replace the pub with…a theatre? What kind of lousy idea is that?
Obviously a good enough one to completely toss Hennessy into an abyss of despair! Yikes. And she falls in love with this man?
Oh but Bryan is not what he seems.
“Do you love her, Bryan?” I actually gasp at the question. It’s an involuntary response, but an honest one. I can’t say it, so I just nod…
“What…what if she doesn’t want me?” I ask in a voice barely above a whisper.
Staahp. Oh, my heart!
We follow Hennessy on this journey of self-discovery. We simultaneously follow Bryan on his transformation from the Ice King to a sweet vulnerable man ready to love. Hennessy doesn’t really appreciate her family until the death of her father brings her home. Then she is forced to bind with her sisters to save the one thing their family has left – the pub. Is this what home feels like? Abso-freaking-lutely! If only the sisters could be successful.
What are they going to do when the pub gets bought? Because it does get bought. And what is the family going to do when Hennessy leaves the small town to pursue her actual career? Because she does leave.
My hair is tired. I’m not even exaggerating. I’m so exhausted that there isn’t a single bit of organic material attached to me that isn’t wilting.
L.E. Rico is brilliant. Gaawd my hair is tired, too, just reading that!
Blame it on the Bet sent me on a wild emotional ride. There are hints of humor but what attracted me the most was the conflict. Family, obligation, work. I could not put this book down. I tried, believe me. I got very hungry after a while, but no, if those people on Naked and Afraid can go 30 days without food, I can last a day without sustenance to read this book.
Besides, starvation was the least of my worries when I was drowning in the level 5 hurricane projecting off my face.
I survived. Barely. 😭