Title: The Wedding Wager
Author: Barbara DeLeo
Series: Weddings in Westchester #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Short novel
Available: May 16th
Nick Katsalos has a foolproof plan to save his parents’ floundering wedding venue. The last thing he expects is for Erin O’Malley, the captivating daughter of his parents’ biggest rival, to waltz in and charm the client who could finally get the family business back on track. Nick would be furious–if only he could stop thinking about her.
When Erin and Nick enter into a wager to determine who will win the contract she prepares for the worst…and is surprised by the glimpses of warmth she sees in the man behind the numbers. But Erin isn’t about to forfeit what could be the biggest wedding of the decade to a man as cold as Nick. Especially since securing it means she could finally prove to her father she’s just as capable of handling the family business as him.
But as the competition heats up, Erin and Nick must decide what’s more important—winning or love.
Source: ARC from Entangled: Bliss via NetGalley
I found this book surprisingly stressful, to the point where I didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d hoped because I was stressing too much about the result of the wager. The problem was, I liked both main characters, but I wanted clearly wanted one side to win from very early on, but was constantly worried throughout about how things would go. I apologise for the vagueness of this review, but it’s really hard to talk about my feelings towards this book without spoilers. Still, I shall try.
I liked Erin. She’s smart and capable and looking out for her family, much like Nick is. In fact these two have a lot in common – much of which seems to stem from them being oldest children. I liked the tension and flirty antagonism between them, and I have to admit that I missed it a lot once they finally hooked up. Somehow, despite a slow start to them getting together, their relationship moves really quickly. This surprised me, especially on Nick’s side, and the lack of family interference when things get this far also left me a bit baffled.
The wager itself starts off really well, but the competition loses momentum as the book goes along and the characters’ focus shifts. That and the day-to-day business of running a wedding venue gets pushed right out of the way and I kind of missed it towards the end, which felt slightly glossed over and hinged on something I thought was unlikely considering all that had gone before.
I would also have liked to have known more about both Erin and Nick’s lives just before this story takes place. There is no evidence that either of them lived anywhere else prior to this book, except that they say so. No friends, no talk about where they lived, what they did, or even where they worked (they do talk about what Nick did, but not where). I found the absence a little strange. I know the main focus of everything is their families and the feud, but it contributed to the rushed feeling of their relationship and the lack of any conversation between them that wasn’t about the competition – or mermaids. I liked the mermaid thing.
Overall this is okay. It’s readable and I’d probably enjoy it more during a second read now that I know what happens. However, for me, despite a strong start, the story glosses over too much and runs out of steam towards the end. On the whole it’s an easy enough read (unless you get stressed by the prospect of one business essentially attempting to run the other into the ground), with some enjoyable scenes and a nice setting. I don’t think I’d read any more in the series, though.
The Wedding Wager is out May 16th.
Visit Barbara DeLeo for more details.