Wanna Bet


Brody Reed is a well-known musician, until he is sucked into heavy drinking and drugs. He becomes a person he does not like anymore, and his actions hurt his family. After hitting rock bottom, he spends the next few years getting his life back in order. Harper McReynolds was married to an abusive man until she took her two daughters and left him after one too many punches. Now she is dating Randall, a boring but stable man without drama. Somehow while she is dating Randall, and Brody a model, she ends up kissing Brody at two different events! They make a bet that they can just be friends, with Brody’s favorite cowboy boots as the prize if Harper wins, and a Thanksgiving Day obligation with Brody’s family if he wins. 

There are some light-hearted, laughter-inducing moments in this story. The story maintains an even pace and the tension keeps the reader intrigued. Some heavy themes are tackled in this story, and handled with finesse and credibility. Parts of the plot are original—who would ever imagine that a pair of used cowboy boots would be a desirable prize? Other parts of the plot are somewhat overused: recovering addict/rock star falls for single mom, etc. Harper is determined to right the wrongs from her abusive ex, by staying with the stable and drama-free Randall and by keeping Brody in the friend zone. This conflicts with everything Brody hopes to have with Harper. It is not clear if these two characters will ever find common ground, which ramps up the tension. They share some honest communication about difficult topics, which increases the believability of this story!

Carey Sullivan