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The Betting Vow (Unconventional Brides Romance) Kindle Edition
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"Depth of Lies" by E. C. Diskin
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I Appreciated the fact that even though they married without knowing each other, they took time to get to know each other. You could feel that they cared for each other and were determined to make the marriage work. I also liked the fact that they balanced each other out, with Lelia being the wild child and Carter being stuffy. It was a fun and entertaining story and a great way to end the series.
I RECIEVED AN ADVANCE COPY FROM NET GALLEY FOR AN HONEST REVIEW
Leila Darling is a famous supermodel for whom the daily grind is losing its appeal. She’s hoping to use her fame to land herself a serious television role with Sphere, World Broadcasting’s new nightly programming and their upcoming show Shadowed Dreams that is looking for a woman of color to play the lead lawyer. The network has a new sitcom, Brentwood Drive with a role that definitely plays into Leila’s party girl reputation, but she knows she’ll be typecast for years to come if she takes it.
Carter Bain is a well-respected TV producer whose investment dollars for the new programming are dependent on star recognition. A famous face like Leila’s is exactly the draw he wants, but he and Leila have differing opinions on where she’d fit best, her reputation preceding her. Carter’s good friend Jasper, who just so happens to be Leila’s manager, suggests a way for them to decide the issue. He proposes a bet to be settled by a game of poker. If Carter wins, Leila will read for the role of the hot sidekick in Brentwood Drive and accept a contract if offered. If Leila wins, she’ll read for both roles and get to pick the one she wants. If Jasper wins, the stakes are higher. Carter and Leila must agree to a six month marriage of convenience, ostensibly an image makeover for Leila which marriage to the staid and steady Carter Bain would provide. If one of them bails before the six months are up, the other wins. If they both last, Leila gets her way (she is after all, Jasper’s bread and butter). They all agree to the terms, and Jasper wins the game. Carter and Leila agree to an in-name-only relationship in private, though in public they’ll have to appear to have fallen in love in a whirlwind courtship. But the more time they spend together, the more complicated it gets. What happens when your in-name-only spouse becomes the one you want for real?
While most people would hesitate to marry a stranger they’ve known for less than twenty-four hours, it works in this story because of the go-between, Jasper. He knows both parties well, and more importantly, they trust him. Also, the point of the Unconventional Brides series is to take some pretty quirky marriage ideas and make them into a fun and entertaining read without going too far into the realm of the unbelievable, and I think the author succeeds well here.
Leila may have a superficial reputation as a party girl who is afraid of commitment but it’s not quite reality. Yes, she enjoys a good time, but in every one of her failed relationships she’s given her all, and gotten her heart broken in the process when her partners have ended things. Her most recent breakup resulted in a particularly nasty move by her ex who wrote a song that rocketed to the charts about how she’s a man-eater who can’t commit. Most men have been more interested in her looks than in her as a person and quite honestly haven’t deserved her. She’s smarter than they give her credit for, and she’s already gotten positive reviews for a small part she played in a new sci-fi movie. She’s committed to her marriage to Carter to further her career goals and while she may be attracted to him, she’s not going to let it deter her.
Carter has secretly had a crush on Leila for years, so meeting her in person (and then marrying her!) is pretty much his dream come true. Like most men, he’d been taken in by her reputation and unfairly judged her talents accordingly, but to his credit, Carter quickly realizes that he’s misjudged her and his respect for her is evident. Where Leila is bright and bubbly, Carter is the opposite, steadfast and calm. He’s a genuinely nice guy who knows a good thing when he sees it, and when he’s been wrong, he’s not afraid to admit it. He can’t hide his attraction to Leila though, nor can she hide hers to him, so their fake marriage becomes pretty real in the bedroom in some sexy love scenes. The conflicts in the story mostly relate to Leila’s image, and trust issues for them both.
One thing that is noticeable is that both main characters have a strong and positive relationship with their families. They each have concerns over what their parents will think of their sudden marriage, a clear indication from the start that family is important to them. Leila has lost her mother but is very close to her father and has three overprotective brothers to boot. Similarly, Carter is very close to his mother and it’s as important to him that she like Leila as it is that Leila like her.
The story moves at a good pace until the end, when things are a bit rushed and some of the story points are left unresolved. However there’s no doubt that Leila and Carter are happy with their marriage and plan to stay together. I’m glad to have taken a chance on this new to me author and I definitely plan to read the previous books in the series. If you want a lighthearted look at a modern marriage, The Betting Vow is worth the read.
Darling model and aspiring actress, Leila Darling, is looking forward to furthering her career, but the press is only willing to focus on her string of exes and her party lifestyle. Carter Bain seeks her out in the hopes of finding the star of one of his new shows, but Leila wants a more high profile role than what he's offering. That is until Leila's agent initiates a bet to have the two marry in order to clean up Leila's reputation. Their whirlwind marriage takes their family and friends by surprise, but to Leila and Carter, the end justifies the means.
The Betting Vow takes every girl's dream of marrying 'the one' and turns it into a fun rom-com that keeps readers flipping the pages. The characters are realistic even in a situation one could hardly ever imagine themselves in. I really enjoyed the fast pace of the story. K. M. Jackson gets to the point while also developing multi-dimensional characters with an interesting story to tell. Leila and Carter are both hard working individuals ready for the next chapter in their lives. Readers will see the doubts and insecurities that plague the unexpecting groom and bride in their journey to forever. It's sickeningly sweet with a comedic edge!
*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review*
I really liked Leila. At first she rubbed me the wrong way a little but she quickly grew on me. I really loved Carter too. He was such a gentleman and he was perfect for Leila. I could see they were so good as a couple and hoping they would realize this too. I really liked how they dealt with the issues that came between the two of them. The conflict and resolution to this book was very realistic and satisfying. Now I need to go back and read the other two books in the series.