Friday, September 19, 2014

The Wager by Rachel Van Dyken

**** 1/2
From Forever Romance:

Lose a best, lose your heart…

What is it about a junior-high crush that can send an otherwise intelligent woman into a tailspin? TV reporter Char Lynn wishes she knew. Jake Titus is too rich, too handsome, too arrogant: a trifecta that once lured Char into the best night-and worst morning-after of her life. Now they've been thrown together in a wedding party. It's awkward, but survivable… until Jake stops acting like a jerk, and starts acting like the man she'd always hoped he could be.

If watching your brother marry your best friend is weird, being attracted to your best friend's other best friend is downright bizarre. Unfortunately for Jake, Char hasn't forgotten how he once tossed her aside. Worse still, Jake's already-nutty grandma is even crazier about Char. Cue meet-cute shenanigans and all manner of meddling, and somehow, Jake's falling. For Char. Now all he has to do is make her believe it…


I love this series. I'm not entirely sure there are words to describe how much a love this series. I want to cuddle with this series on a winter's night and cook it dinner. In the Bet, we met Jake, Travis, Kacey and the Titus clan, most importantly Grandma Titus. Everyone should have and fear a Grandma Titus. In The Bet, Grandma has determined to unite Travis with the girl he has always loved, but never been able to catch, Kacey, also known as Jake's best-friend. In The Bet, we learn that Jake has not been a nice guy for the last, say several years. His treatment of Kacey is reckless and cruel. Now, in The Wager, Jake is struggling with Travis and Kacey's impending nuptials and since the two got together he has been in a rapid downward spiral – drinking, irresponsible actions with the family empire and hiring prostitutes.

As you can imagine, Grandma decides that she needs to fix Jake's behavior, cuts him off from his money, fires him and follows him home to ensure he gets his act together. Grandma's antics are freaking hilarious. She is a manipulative genius. I thought Lucille from Jill Shalvis' Lucky Harbor books was good, but she's got nothing on Grandma. She brilliantly orchestrates and manipulates the lives of everyone around her. She bullies, threatens and uses brute force to achieve her ends, which is wildly entertaining for us all.

Despite the fact that Jake is a jerk you almost feel bad for him, considering what Grandma puts him through. I love it when an author can take a jerk and make you fall in love with him and that's what Van Dyken does here. Jake is just so tired of himself. He's drowning in guilt over his past with Kacey and the fallout. He is ashamed, miserable and chock full of self-loathing. He deals with these feelings through drinking and meaningless sex. Char has always loved Jake, she just doesn't like him, especially after she sleeps with him and wakes up alone with a Thank You note and cab fare. Yep, Char's issues with Jake are completely understandable. Unfortunately her best friend Kacey is marrying his brother and they are the maid of honor and best man. Thanks to Grandma Titus, the two are thrown together to help with the planning for the wedding. Hijinks ensue.

Both of these characters are complete smart asses and they excel at giving each other grief. There are so many hilarious situations Grandma puts them in – mating dances, sex toy & costume parties and drug store gift baskets full of things just meant to humiliate. OMG, there are some freaking funny parts in this book that will have you laughing out loud (and possibly snorting – don't tell!)! 

The guys in this series are so adorably awkward I want to hug them while I am laughing at them.  I love Jake and Travis so much!!  I've read the adorable Prologue to The Bet at least a dozen times!!!  I puffy heart them so hard...

I cannot wait to see what Grandma has in store for Beth and Jace in The Dare!  If you haven't read The Bet or The Wager, you must do so.  It should be a law or something.


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