Etta

Audiobook Review: Bet On It

Expected publication: July 12th 2022

Author: Jodie Slaughter

Narrator: Angel Pean

Audiobook Length: 10 hours 15 minutes

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.

Bet On It transport the reader to small town Greenbelt in South Carolina. Aja Owens has Generalized Anxiety Disorder and sometimes has panic attacks. To live a quieter, and hopefully less stressful life, she decides to relocate to Greenbelt to settle down. Now that she is there, she wants to try and become more acquainted with the town and the people. She begins attending a weekly Bingo night and begins to bond with the other attendees, even if she is the youngest of the group. When she goes to her next Bingo night, she runs into Walker Abbott who happened to be the man who witnessed her panic attack at the local grocery store. Walker also happens to be the grandson of May, the woman Aja bonded with at Bingo. Walker is in town to take care of May after her accident. His plan is to return to Charleston and away from Greenbelt the moment May is feeling better.

The two of them bond during their Bingo meeting and end up forming a bet involving Bingo, which was a very cute and unique idea.  Bingo is a huge activity and I loved how Aja and Walker used these nights to have fun while also getting to know the other. Their relationship becomes more casual as Walker is set to leave and Aja is still trying to adjust to the small-town life. As Walker has complex PTSD, the two of them connect by being able to openly discuss their mental health struggles. They also keep a lot in as they want to deal with it alone, so there is a push and pull for this, which does add to the realism as not everyone wants help all the time. While each of them has their own struggles, each goes through it differently, which is very relatable. It added some nice realism story as no two struggles are exactly alike.

Their entire Bingo bet was very enjoyable as Bingo seems easy to win, but it can be a nice mix of luck and skill. Bingo can also sometimes be thought of as a game for older people, so I love how inclusive it was in this story. The use of Bingo, though, did hinder the progress of the bet as, just like real Bingo, is not easy to win a lot, so it dragged out the bet a little. Another very inclusive element is this story is Aja’s size. Aja also is plus-sized, and I loved how the author normalized it as just a general description of her with occasional mentions from Walker, but it was not her defining trait or a plot device. The two of them had great chemistry, but I did want a little more to connect with them as a potential couple. Overall, this a sweet romance weaved together with heavier topics. It is one where I enjoyed the author’s style a lot and would easily read more from her in the future.

**I want to give a special thank you to Netgalley and Macmillan Audio, for a review copy of this entertaining novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**

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