Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Bet, by Darlene Panzera

Jenny is in a tough spot.  Her band loan on her ranch is due, and if she does not come up with the money, she will lose the land that has been in her family for generations.  Many of the men in town have created an elaborate bet to see who can convince Jenny to marry him, in order to save her ranch, but Jenny vows to reject any and every proposal of marriage.  A wealthy CEO sweeps into town with plans to woo Jenny, then use her land for personal gain.  But something changes his mind; love.  Now he only hopes he can change hers as well.

This was an unusual read for me.  This story was published in a book with another story, the story that gets the cover of the book.  But for the purposes of this review, I am only reviewing this particular story.  I thought that, in terms of a short story, this was quite good.  The author does a great job developing Jenny's character, as well as some of the potential love interests, and I think the backstory was really well developed, given the short length of the story.  There is a lot going on in terms of plot, but never does it seem overwhelming or confusing.

In terms of constructive criticism, I think the only issue I had was the actual romance developing.  Because this was a short story, there was not a lot of time to let the romance develop.  So, it seems like it flips on like a light switch.  And sure, that does happen in real life, but I think the story would benefit from more length and time for that romance to bloom in a more natural, realistic manner.  Also, I would like to have seen some resolution regarding other characters who played key roles in the story.

The story was sweet, delivering moments of humor, romance, and at least one of righteous indignation.  That is a lot to deliver in just a few pages, so well done.  But it left me wanting more, wanting to see this developed into a full length novel in its own right.

I received a review copy courtesy of TLC Book Tours.  See the rest of the tour here.

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