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So, I finished reading Betting Hearts last night.

Without further ado, here’s the blurb

My Verdict

I. Loved. This. Book.

I don’t ask for a lot in romance. Seriously, I don’t. I don’t give a fuck about dangling participles, definite articles or prepositions. I’ll leave those worries to editors. As long as the book is written in plain common-sense English, I’m happy. I want good characterization, an interesting plotline, and a writing ‘voice’ that doesn’t compel me to hang myself from the nearest lampost.

This book met all my requirements, and so much more besides.

Betting Hearts was an extremely well written book. I loved the dialogue between the hero and heroine. I loved that Tenorio had put a different spin, on a much re-hashed plot device, and she also had some cracking characters.

It’s been absolutely ages since I laughed so much I nearly wet myself, (not literally of course because I do actually have excellent control of my bladder) but Betting Hearts had me laughing from the first paragraph, to the last.

Tenorio’s voice appealed to me because she kept it simple. She didn’t try to wear her brains in her book, as so many authors try to do, and she had the ability to let me (the reader) come to my own conclusions, rather than insulting my intelligence, and explaining everything from the thread to the needle. She was able to draw me in from the very beginning, and kept me reading until 3am in the morning. It’s been a while since I loved a book that much, I can tell you.

I loved the two central characters in this book.

Cassandra Bishop was a woman who I could be friends with if she’d been a real person. She was laugh out loud funny, and regardless of her bad choices when it came to the BEF, she was actually a woman in control of her own life.

Although she was a tomboy at heart, I could relate to her. She wasn’t a Mary Sue-Goody-Two-Shoes type heroine, far from it in fact. She could be very manipulative, especially when it came to pushing Burke’s buttons. She also had a wicked temper, but she was very funny, and hugely endearing.
I loved the fact that when she realised that Burke was the man for her, she didn’t waste any time pontificating, and instead, just went for it. My kind of heroine.

Burke Halifax was also my ideal hero. Rough around the edges, but loyal as hell. I’m partial to male leads who make me envious of their heroines. He was manly, without being an asshole. His obvious feelings for Cassie was one of the most attractive things about him. I loved his reaction to discovering that his best friend had breasts, and the guilt he harboured over his new, lewd, and lascivious thoughts about her.

Cassie’s friendship meant a lot to Burke, and this is something that Tenorio managed to convey brilliantly within the opening pages of this story. It’s not often I go all girly over a book, but I did find myself tilting my head to the side, placing both hands on my cheeks, and sighing in appreciation at Tenorio’s ability to mentally and emotionally, take me along Cassie and Burke’s tentative voyage into previously uncharted territory.

The secondary characters in this book included, Cassie’s brother, Hayne, who was sweet, if a little dumb, Bastard Ex Fiance’s new fiancee, Sally, and Cassie’s father. They all had their part to play, without taking anything away from the central characters. I do hate it when authors present you with so many secondary personalities that you forget who the main squeeze’s are.

What I loved most about Betting Hearts was how romantic it actually was. I know that this should be a given in a fictional romance story, but I’ve read a fair few books in the past, which although were romance books, were actually not very romantic. I know that you guys will know exactly what I mean.

My one and only complaint about Betting Hearts, was the feeling that the ending had been slightly rushed, in an attempt to meet the deadline and the word count, but fuck it, I’m not even gonna go there, because I was still able to totally look beyond that, and enjoy the story.

I’ve always loved the friends to lovers theme, when written well, and Dee Tenorio certainly did herself justice with this book

Well Dee, I had no idea who you were, before I read your book, but if you keep writing stories as good as Betting Hearts, then I’m gonna keep buying. Unless of course you do an Elizabeth Bevarly. Then all bets are off. *g*

*Karen selflessly steals Hawaiian Surprise ice-cream back from Dee, in an attempt to save her from expanding hips*

PS, the cover sucks Big Fucking Hairy Rhinoceros Balls.

You can visit Dee Tenorio here, and buy Betting Hearts here.

I was truly only expecting a couple of books, so to receive this many was a real treat! I still think you’re as nutty as a fruitcake, but I really appreciate you keeping your word, and sending me the goodies!

Anybody else want to send me freebies, you’re quite welcomed to do so. My goodwill is easily won, and bribery and corruption doesn’t bother me one bit. *g*