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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.

17 Comments »


  • Dee
    June 28
    2:36 pm

    ROFL, Karen, I think you just made my month! (Hands over the ice cream willingly)(Wait, one more bite.)(Okay, it’s yours.)

    I’m going to go sit down and faint in an appropriately giddy pile of author mush. 🙂

    ReplyReply


  • Dramedy Girl
    June 28
    2:46 pm

    I want to read this book! Only thing is I hate electronic formats. I’m an “in the tub” or a “right before bed” kind of reader. What a bummer as it sounds excellent.

    ReplyReply


  • Jane
    June 28
    3:02 pm

    You clearly articulated the two things that worked so well for me in this book:

    a) Cass’s brave ability to to make the effort to gain her own happiness. This is what kick ass strong heroines mean to me.

    b) Burke’s guilt and dismay over his realization that Cass was a woman. So much fun. Not to mention that he was a great friend.

    I can’t wait till September, can you?

    ReplyReply


  • Merry
    June 28
    3:06 pm

    I don’t normally buy online books, but I think I’ve already bought this one… honestly, I was slightly disappointed thinking that I might have to wait for it to be delivered. But now I don’t! Hurrah!

    I also love friends becoming more stories, so I’m delighted that you liked the book.

    ReplyReply


  • Dee
    June 28
    3:21 pm

    Shelly–if it helps, Betting Hearts will be out in your local Borders sometime late September. 🙂 Or available for print purchase from Samhain. Whichever you prefer. 🙂 (Besides, lol, there’s a tub scene. 🙂 )

    Smooches,
    Dee

    ReplyReply


  • Bonnie Dee
    June 28
    5:45 pm

    Ooh, two of my favorite things, best friends who discover they’re in love and makeover stories. Sounds like a real winner.

    ReplyReply


  • Chrissie
    June 28
    5:53 pm

    Instant gratification! This book sounds fantastic Karen, I think I’ll break my ebook virginity and get this!

    ReplyReply


  • Lyn Cash
    June 28
    8:30 pm

    This book is a keeper whether you are sitting in front of your computer procrastinating or just using it to get you by until the print version – lol. Excellent review, Karen. Dee…WTG, girlfriend!!!

    ReplyReply


  • Shannon Stacey
    June 28
    10:15 pm

    I totally agree! I loved this book. Betting Hearts and Seducing Simon were the two books that broke through the romance reading slump I was in, and I’m even going to spend the money to get the print copies when they come out.

    Yay, Dee!

    ReplyReply


  • Jaye
    June 29
    12:19 am

    As someone who’s been fortunate enough to do the crit partner thing a time or two with Miss Deedle over the years, I can conclusively say that she has and does continue to write wonderful stories filled with memorable characters. She’s got a few more ‘keepers’ coming your way. Bet on it. (pun intended. gg)

    ReplyReply


  • Dee
    June 29
    4:22 am

    As you can imagine, lol, I’ve been lurking all day. 🙂 Just wanted to thank Karen again for reading–and liking!–and everyone else for their lovely comments. 🙂 I’m floating today! 🙂

    Smooches,
    Dee

    ReplyReply


  • Dawn
    June 29
    8:55 am

    Loved your review, K. Sounds like a great read, I’ll have to buy it.

    Damn!

    ReplyReply


  • Dawn
    June 29
    9:00 am

    Just read the excerpt on Dee’s website. Very funny – now I’m definitely going to have to get it.

    ReplyReply


  • Ann Wesley Hardin
    June 29
    7:27 pm

    As a member of Dee’s crit group, and as someone who’s known her for years and been lucky enough to be on the receiving end of some of her uber intelligent crits, I can vouch for this woman’s supreme talent, kindness and generosity. Buy her. You won’t be sorry!

    Go Dee!

    ReplyReply


  • Ann Wesley Hardin
    June 29
    7:28 pm

    Oh, and she’s pretty as hell, too. Bitch!

    ReplyReply


  • Dee
    June 29
    10:31 pm

    ROFL Ann! I think your eyes were a wee bit blurry at the last Nationals from the Margarita Marathon. LOL! But thanks for the comment! LOL!

    Just wait til I tell hubby… Not everyday I get called a bitch. 🙂 (Well, all right, maybe every other day…)

    Smooches!
    Dee

    ReplyReply


  • Ann Wesley Hardin
    June 30
    4:24 am

    Coyness does not become you, Dee. I had no part in the Margarita Marathon. Never even heard of it.

    *hic*

    What’s a Margarita??

    *blink*

    ReplyReply

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