Lose a bet, lose your heart...
What is it about a junior-high crush that can send an otherwise intelligent woman into a tailspin? TV reporter Char Lynn wishes she knew. Jake Titus is too rich, too handsome, too arrogant: a trifecta that once lured Char into the best night-and worst morning-after-of her life. Now they've been thrown together in a wedding party. It's awkward, but survivable . . . until Jake stops acting like a jerk, and starts acting like the man she'd always hoped he could be.
If watching your brother marry your best friend is weird, being attracted to your best friend's other best friend is downright bizarre. Unfortunately for Jake, Char hasn't forgotten how he once tossed her aside. Worse still, Jake's already-nutty grandma is even crazier about Char. Cue meet-cute shenanigans and all manner of meddling, and somehow, Jake's falling. For Char. Now all he has to do is make her believe it . .
Game on, all bets are on the table and the wager is high!! Grandma and Kacey have a bet. Who will win? Will Grandma be singing at Kacey and Travis’ wedding? It sure does look like she will be belting out a few tunes at the wedding. Grandma better get her microphone out and start practicing. The odds sure are looking in her favor.
Jake Titus is arrogant, we all know that, however there is a softer side of Jake that he doesn’t reveal often, but when he does, he is a total sweetheart. Jake is Seattle’s confirmed bachelor and is loving every minute of it. But is he really? Everyone looks at Jake as a man whore, an ass, a funny guy. Is there more to Jake than that? Does Jake want what Travis and Kacey have? Is there someone out there for him? Has she been in front of him the entire time?
Char is Kacey’s best friend. She grew up with Kacey, Jake and Travis. Char always felt like the third wheel with Kacey and Jake. Through the years, Char has always had a crush on Jake, but the summer leading up to high school, Jake crushed Char’s heart. Jake didn’t know this, but Char and Jake’s friendship dissolved that summer. Char distanced herself from Jake and didn’t speak to him.
Many years later, Jake and Char happen to run into each other and things seem to get hot and heavy real fast. After a night of passionate sex, Char wakes up to a note on the pillow next to her. A Thank You not, nonetheless. Char was livid, and she hasn’t seen Jake since. That is until they are on the same flight returning from Kacey and Travis’ engagement party. Immediately, all of the hate that Char has for Jake is front and center.
“The man needed to be neutered. He was like walking sex and everyone around him knew it. Even if he wasn’t a real celebrity, he still attracted women like rats to cheese.” ~ CharGrandma has something up her sleeve. She plans on breaking Jake, ruining him. Grandma believes that Jake needs to be reminded of how he was raised and what is expected of him. Grandma plans on turning Jake’s life upside down and in the process she plans on making Jake realize that his “future wife” has been by his side for years, he just didn’t notice her. Grandma sets her plans in motion, and Char is thrown in to her plans. Grandma has a list of duties that need to be completed for Kacey and Travis’ wedding. Who better to do it, than Jake since he is currently unemployed. Grandma has Char help Jake out with the list. The two of them cannot stand to be in the same room with each other. The snarky comments back and forth between the two will have you cracking up. Has grandma lost her mind to have the two of them work together to accomplish the tasks at hand? Does Grandma know something that we don’t know? Will Jake and Char end up killing each other before the wedding? Can Char put her feelings aside to help Kacey out?
As we know Kacey’s parents passed away in a car accident while Kacey was in college. Kacey’s mother had left behind some letters for Kacey and her father, Bill left a letter as well. Bill loved Travis and Jake as if they were his own sons. Bill was a very wise man. In his letter he says,
“Never forget that if it’s not worth fighting for, it’s not worth having.” ~ Bill (Kacey’s father)
Grandma is a conniving little old lady. She brings other players into this game to make it more interesting. Grandma plays a huge role in trying to get these two together. She has several tricks up her sleeve and she will stop at nothing to win this bet.
When Jake finally realizes that he was fallen for Char, is it too late? Does Char feel the same way about Jake after all these years? Can Char see past the womanizer façade that Jake displays for the world to see. Is there more to Jake than the playboy image? Can Jake prove to Char that he is worth the risk?Throughout The Wager, I was laughing out loud. The bantering between Jake and Char is hysterical. The chemistry between the two is amazing. As they both try and fight the feelings that they have for each other, I was routing for them the entire time. I have never laughed so hard reading books, as I have when I read The Bet and The Wager. Rachel you are AMAZING, and your books were like a breath of fresh air.
This review was prepared by Heather.I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Char woke to yelling. After her odd conversation with Jake where she was at least eighty percent sure he was drunk, she’d faked a headache and gone to bed, skipping dessert and family game night.
With a groan she picked up her cell and looked at the time. One a.m.? Were they still up?
Not thinking, she swung her feet over the side of the bed and hit something soft. It groaned, then cursed as it pulled her feet out from underneath her, causing her to land with a thud against it.
“Jake?” She breathed.
“No, it’s some other half-starved, half-drunk, crazy seagull-talking lunatic. Yes, it’s me, Jake. Who else would be sleeping on your floor?”
“You can get off me now.” He grunted.
“Why are you talking to seagulls?”
“That’s all you took from that last statement? Not even gonna ask about the whole starving or drunk thing, just straight to the seagulls?”
Char moved away from his warm body and sighed audibly. “It’s simple subtraction.”
“Which thing is not like the other? Food and alcohol go hand in hand. Seagull taking? Not so much.”
“Either you’re brilliant or drunk. I can’t decide which.” The tone of his voice was gravelly. “Why the hell did you step on me? Better yet, why are you out of bed?”
“I heard a noise.”
“It’s called breathing, Char. Some people need to do it in order to live.”
“Shut up, you ass.” She pushed him down and walked toward the door. “It was more than that. It was like a scratching or something.”
“So, we have a squirrel problem.” He sounded bored.
“You hate squirrels.”
“Let them get me! You hear that, squirrels? I’m ready for you!” Jake lifted his hands into the air and sighed.
“How much beer did you have?”
With a curse he struggled to his feet. “Clearly not enough. Otherwise I would still be passed out right now, instead of having this ridiculous conversation with you.”
He moved into the moonlight.
Char’s mouth went completely dry.
The man was a god.
How had she forgotten that?
Thick-corded muscles lined his abs and plunged into his pajama pants. Every part of him was smooth and tan. Just… way too beautiful to be real. She stepped forward. Was it possible for a man to be Photoshopped? In real life? In person?
Curious, she pressed a hand to his chest. He was so damn warm, and hard. Dang, but his body was hard.
“Char?” His voice was hoarse. “Are you sure you’re not sleep-walking?”
Jerking her hand back, she laughed nervously. “I thought I saw a, um, scratch, just there.” She pointed to the perfectly smooth skin on his chest.
“A scratch?” Jake’s eyebrows rose. “Really? Well, if you’re so concerned I’m sure I can take off my pants and you can check everywhere else. Wouldn’t want me not waking up in the morning. I’ve heard scratches can turn septic.” He winked.
“Ass.” Char pushed against him and reached for the door, opening it a crack.
“Char,” Jake groaned. “I’m exhausted. Like I said, it’s probably nothing—”
With a curse, Char hit him directly in his hard stomach and told him to shut up, then pointed to the hallway.
Sure enough, Kacey was making her way down the hall toward Travis’s room. His door was open. He was mouthing directions to her and pointing to the floor. Did he expect her to army crawl? And then he made a motion with his hands and cupped his ear.
“Hmm,” Char whispered. “Squeaky floor?”
“Yup.” Jake chuckled; his breath was warm on her neck.
“You know where the spots are?”
“Oh yeah.” He moved past her out into the hall and looked smugly from Travis to Kacey.
Kacey’s eyes narrowed. She made a cutting signal with her hand across her throat then flipped him off.
Like a lunatic, Travis was making obscene gestures toward Jake. It looked like he was threatening him, but Char couldn’t tell. It was like watching a mime get angry. His hands were everywhere in the air, but it was too comical to mean anything.
And Grandma, bless her heart, was sitting in a recliner in the middle of the hallway. Mouth ajar, snoring louder than sin. Her leopard print pajamas practically glowed in the moonlight, and her face was covered with one of those creepy sleep masks with the eyes painted on as if to say, she’s always watching.
Jake took a tentative step toward Grandma.
Kacey waved her hands frantically.
Char covered her mouth to hide her laugh.
Kacey glared in her direction.
A loud creak sounded down the hall. Jake took another step. The second creak was even louder.
Travis began banging his head softly against the wall.
Kacey looked like she’d started praying.
And then, all of a sudden, Grandma moved. Without pulling the mask up, she pulled a gun from underneath the cushion and pointed it directly at Travis.
“You sneaking out, son?”
Char’s mouth dropped open as Jake hurried back to their room and stood near safety.
“I, uh…” Travis closed his eyes. “Do it. Just kill me. I’m miserable enough as it is. Sorry Kacey, I can’t do it. I can’t make it; if that makes me weak, so be it.”
“Kacey!” Grandma scolded, pulling back her mask so she could see. “And to think! I was blaming poor Travis for this fiasco, but look at you! Halfway down the hall! You little hussy.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.
She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband and their snoring Boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers!
ONE CLICK "THE BET" AND "THE WAGER"
BY RACHEL VAN DYKEN