by Darlene Panzera
The Bet is truly a sweet, fun-loving romance that Debbie Macomber’s readers will adore. When a stubborn female horse owner rejects his buy-out proposals, a desperate CEO plans to romance the land away from her by disguising himself as a local rancher and betting $10,000 that she will marry him within 60 days!
America’s most beloved author Debbie Macomber opened her heart and turned a page in publishing history last winter when she empowered Avon Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, to host the “Make Your Dreams Come True” writing contest, which would give one very special, prize-winning aspiring author the chance to break into publishing by having her cozy romance published alongside the classic Macomber novella, Family Affair, with a special re-issue.
Macomber selected Darlene’s novella, The Bet, from three finalists submitted to the author for review.
The Bet is a short, sweet story. Jenny is trying to raise money to save her family's ranch, and Nick bets that she'll marry him within five weeks. It's kind of a silly bet made in the heat of the moment, but Jenny needs the money, so agrees.
What I couldn't understand was why Jenny would trust Nick at all. He finagles a way onto her ranch so he can court her, and she lets him! Yes, he is tall, dark, and handsome...but hello? He bet $10,000 that she would marry him, so what is she thinking?
I could sympathize with Jenny as she just wants to save her family home, but couldn't really understand how she could even give him the time of day. I couldn't get past that for some reason. I mean, if I guy bet me $10,000 that I'd marry him, that would be an easy win!
The story isn't up to Debbie's usual standard, but Darlene does have potential and I'll probably read her next story. Gave it a 3/5 as it's a nice bonus to Debbie's book!
About Darlene Panzera
A graduate of the Writer’s Digest Advanced Novel Writing School and The Christian Writer’s Guild apprentice program, Darlene is an active member of Romance Writers of America’s Greater Seattle and Peninsula Chapters. She’s attended numerous conferences and classes, served five years on the board of RWA’s Peninsula Chapter and in 2011 served as chapter president.
Darlene is the winner of the “Make Your Dreams Come True” contest sponsored by Avon Books which led her novella, The Bet, to be published with Debbie Macomber’s Family Affair released June 2012. She received a second contract with Avon Books, a division of HarperCollins, for the full length manuscript of The Bet, and is currently working on her next novel.
She’s also published several short stories and A Look of Love was a top finalist for Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards Contest.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Darlene now lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and three children. When not writing, she enjoys camping, hiking, photography, horseback riding, crafts, music, and lazy days at the lake.
Find Darlene at her website, www.darlenepanzera.com.
Review copy provided by TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review