Thursday, April 25, 2013

Review: The Bet by Rachel Van Dyken


"I have a proposition for you." Kacey should have run the minute those words left Seattle millionaire Jake Titus's mouth. It's been years since Kacey's seen her childhood friend Jake, but the minute Jake mentions his ill grandmother, Kacey is ready to do anything for the sweet old woman. And if that means pretending they're engaged for her sake-so be it.

But Kacey wasn't counting on Jake's older brother Travis still being there. She calls him "Satan" for a reason: she's never forgotten the way he teased and taunted her. Yet when they meet again, Travis's gorgeous smile is a direct hit to her heart . . . and Kacey's more confused than ever. As the days pass, only one thing starts to become alarmingly clear-she never should have accepted Jake's deal . .


“Kacey was his best friend, but only in his heart. In real life, she hated him, he just didn’t know why.” These opening words perfectly sum up the romantic misunderstandings in which the hero and heroine of Rachel Van Dyken’s The Bet finds themselves entangled. Whether dealing with past heartaches or the possibilities of new love, The Bet is an adorably sentimental, and often humorous new take on a good old-fashioned love triangle.    
Eight-year-old Travis Titus is enamored of his little brother’s best friend, Kacey, displaying his affection by playing practical jokes on the younger girl and making her life miserable.  Being her best friend and closer to her in age, Jake Titus also stakes a claim on Kacey, leading the brothers to bet that each would be the one to marry Kacey when they grow up.
Forced to watch from the sidelines as his charismatic younger brother and Kacey grow close throughout high school and college, Travis never falters in his feelings for Kacey. Both brothers grow into handsome young men, although Jake’s egotistical, playboy tendencies differ from Travis’s calm confidence and steadfast presence.  When a rift drives Jake and Kacey apart, only to find them reunited by an outlandish proposition from Jake, Travis is determined to seize his chance to prove he is the better man for Kacey.
Told primarily through the perspectives of Kacey and Travis, with occasional narration from Jake, The Bet is a sweet, romantic story with laugh-out-loud dialogue on every page. The witty and teasing banter between Kacey and Travis is outrageously funny and shocking, serving as an outlet for the sexual tension that crackles between the young couple. Providing an extra dose of humor is the Titus brothers’ mouthy grandma, who acts as a self-appointed matchmaker, putting her foul mouth to good use as she nudges Kacey towards following her heart.
There is surprisingly little drama in terms of the love triangle aspect of the story, which is an immense relief. It is refreshing to find a heroine whose indecisiveness deals with personal issues rather than her inability to choose from two handsome love interests. With a hero as thoughtful and kindhearted as Travis, it is impossible not to love The Bet. This was the first book I’ve read by Rachel Van Dyken, but it won’t be my last.   

Rating: 5 Stars 

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