For What It's Worth

Thursday, May 3, 2018

review: wanna bet? by talia hibbert



39835958Jasmine Allen has many vices. Rahul Khan has just one: her.

For the last seven years, Rahul’s been Jasmine’s closest friend. Sure, he’s strong, sexy, and deliciously stern—but she doesn’t care about that. She certainly isn’t tempted by his wicked smile or his genuine sweetness. She can’t be. Because everything Jas touches turns to dust.


Rahul disagrees. Seven years ago, Jasmine touched him, and he’s still standing—still standing, and still hopelessly in love. When disaster drives Jasmine into his spare bedroom, Rahul prepares for a month of painful proximity to the woman he secretly wants.

But when he realises that Jasmine just might want him, too… all bets are off.

She’s wild. She’s reckless. She doesn’t know how to love, and she doesn’t intend to learn.
But she’s also his. And in this game of desire, Rahul’s playing to win. ~
Goodreads

Source: e-arc provided to the author’s newsletter subscribers in exchange for an honest review.

(This is also free on KU)

Review:

Wanna Bet? was a fun, sexy friends to lovers story that also had emotional depth and character growth.

Jasmine has abandonment issues, thanks to her mom, and only wants to have one night stands. Rahul needed to make a choice one night, 7 years ago, be the one night hook up or be Jasmine’s friend if he wanted to continue to have her in his life. As painful as it was – he chose friendship. Even though it meant him going far away to college to try and get over her.

And they really do have an amazing friendship. They can finish each others thoughts and rely on each other at all times – including when Jasmine needs a place to stay after her bedroom in her apartment floods.

There’s sexual attraction, because...of course, but they are both stunned that the other may feel the same way and take a chance at being more than friends.

So much of this could go south for me. Rahul is completely head over heels, love sick for Jasmine and she’s all hell no! This will not be more than one night…ok maybe just a casual fling, ok maybe we'll be mutually exclusive while I’m living here…but no more! Then she's able to move back home and now what???

She does not want to give in and she struggles with her fear of intimacy and not feeling worthy of a man like Rahul. This kind of thing usually drives me batty but Hibbert writes the characters in such a way that always has them moving forward. Jasmine panics but Rahul talks her down and she settles – moving one step forward. Baby steps for sure – but steps in the right direction.

And this is were I’m going to shift and talk a bit about Hibbert’s writing and characters in general, rather than this book specifically.

This is the second book I’ve read by her ( A Girl Like Her was the first) and I have mad love for the way she writes her heroines. They’re flawed and skittish and snippy but with good hearts and willing to open up to those worthy of their love despite being hurt before. They’re also overweight, have stretch marks, saggy boobs/small boobs, like sex, get their period and are REAL.

The heroes are these decent guys that are so smitten and smart. They come to their own conclusions despite the gossip and well meaning advice warning them away from the heroines. They also know their own worth and how much they’ll put up with. Being supportive doesn’t mean being a doormat or not calling the heroine out when she crosses the line.

I thought A Girl Like That was funnier (& had way more dirty talk) and Wanna Bet? was more emotional and a bit darker since it deals with child neglect & yes, I had a few quibbles with both books but this is an author writing the kind of romances I love and don’t see much anymore.

I understand you need conflict but characters trying to be better are my catnip – angsty without being annoying, flawed characters that are still relatable, heroes that are strong but kind. Plots that don't just go in circles.

I’m really looking forward to reading whatever this author has coming next.

31 comments:

  1. AHHH books with this kind of storyline are my guilty pleasures! I'm already pretty positive that I'll love this. ♥

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    1. Me too. I love people who strive to do better and are lower on the angst scale - although Jasmine is pretty angsty lol but she's trying to be better.

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  2. A heroine actually gets her period?! I have to read this one now. Also the friends to lovers trope is one I love.

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    1. The girl with the period is in A Girl Like That. This girl (well both really) have fat rolls and stretch marks. It's refreshing!

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    2. Ah, that is refreshing. I don't why authors think all we want to read about is perfection.

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  3. Sounds like an intriguing book and not my usual read.

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    1. I'm really enjoying her romances Mary!

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  4. Yes, I can see where this could have gone south quick with Jasmine fighting her feelings like that, but, you're right, if the author handles this just right then it can work. Neat that she makes her characters feel real.

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    1. These kinds of stories usually go in circles. Fight - make up - two steps forward - 3 steps back. She's stubborn for sure but she's trying and Rahul plays it cool and has his lines that he won't cross for her. So that helps me stick with it.

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  5. I like the sound of this one and I am putting it on my to read. Great review, thanks for sharing!

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  6. I've never read this author's work before, but it sounds like she writes one hell of a story. I will have to add her books to my Goodreads list.

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    1. She's new to me too. I've only read the two books (& a freebie novella that I didn't like) but I love how she writes prickly characters.

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  7. It does sound like there's a lot that could go wrong here, so that's great that it ended up working so well! And it sounds like this author writes wonderfully realistic characters!

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    1. Most angsty romances just go in circles an frustrate the hell out of me but I think her characters work for me because they at least try to move forward - even if they don't get it right at first.

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  8. Glad to hear Jasmine's hang-ups weren't overly annoying. Pushing back after getting close is usually frustrating to me, too. I like it when a writer makes the characters feel real instead of airbrushed perfection. Fab review, Karen! :)

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    1. It's not something I usually enjoy TBH but the fact that the hero calls her on it and she actually listens helps.

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  9. Oh I think I'd like the first book with the dirty talking more but friends to lovers is a favorite :)

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    1. The first one was funnier too. Lots of humor but this was nice too.

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  10. Mad love? That definitely makes me want to read books by this author. This isn't one I've heard of before (or the other one you mentioned), but they both sound wonderful. I love stories that have a friends-to-lovers romance, because I feel like those relationships have substance. They've known each other for awhile and can really build on that.

    Do You Dog-ear?

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    1. These two are such good friends! They talk constantly so it was easy to see why they became more.

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  11. oh i really love your review of this, it has piqued my interested even if its not soemthing i would usually pick up.

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    1. Thank you Lauren. I'm so picky with romances these days - it's nice to find a new author that I love.

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  12. I'm with you, but in my case, I think it has something to do with age. The older I get, the more that I'm becoming intolerant with angst and mean characters because they can't process their pain better. This series sounds like it has a well written conflict, cutting through the drama to get to the meat of things

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    1. I'm actually more tolerant these days lol but I'm a BIG fan of characters that know they are having issues and try to move forward rather than running in circles.

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  13. I love when an author puts some hard work in writing heroines. It makes me a very loyal reader :)

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    1. She does such a good job of writing heroines that are really fucked up but in a totally realistic/realtable way.

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  14. Ah I follow Talia on twitter and find her hilarious but have yet to read any of her books. Must remedy that! Glad you enjoyed it. :)

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  15. I wasn't totally convinced by the review at first. I mean, this didn't stand out from a lot of other books I've seen so I was dithering over it but when you said you like that the author writes real women I was convinced. I mean, I read romance as a fun escape but it can get boring reading about women who don't exist in the real world. I want to give this author a shot.

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    1. I know you like humor in your romance so I would give A Girl Like That a try first - although I liked both!

      It's not as if she's reinventing romance but I find her character super refreshing.

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