Thursday, July 25, 2013

Bet in the Dark by Rachel Higginson

Bet in the Dark

Bet in the Dark by Rachel Higginson 3.5 STARS

Synopsis: All Ellie Harris wanted was a life of her own.
In a shortsighted decision, she follows her high school boyfriend to college, only to get cheated on and then dumped. And to add insult to injury her overprotective family is suddenly clinging to her again, fighting to control every part of her life.
Bad luck follows her hasty decision and when her roommate steals her identity and leaves town, Ellie is left to clean up a gigantic mess.
Fin Hunter insists Ellie owes him seven thousand dollars from an online poker game and he is determined to get it from her. Determined to keep her family out of her life, Ellie agrees to work for Fin in his illegal online poker operation. He’s given her six weeks to pay off the debt.
Soon sparks are flying between them and the only thing keeping her from falling for him is the debt she still owes and the money she doesn’t have.
At the end either Ellie will have to pay the mistaken debt or bet in the dark that her feelings for Fin will be worth more than the money.

.Overall--When I started this book I was enthralled, captured, and couldnt stop reading. Rachel Higginson is an amazing author, no doubt. Her ability to write her characters with so much personality and depth is inspiring. After reading the Star Crossed Series I was obsessed with her books. I honestly REALLY enjoyed this book. Aside from grammatical/spelling errors, the story was actually really good. HOWEVER--to me what makes a story great is the ending, thats what usually pushes me to a four (maybe a five) but in this case, I was really let down by the ending. In fact the last 5-10 percent actually made me upset with the book. I was let down. Disappointed. BUT if you are looking for a young adult like college aged romance, then this book is for you! 
Chris Pine as Fin Hunter

Cover: Captured my attention!
Rating: PG13
Overall: Pretty Good
Characters: Fin, Beckett, Ellie, Britte, Grayson, Lennox
Page Turner: No
Series Cont.? No
Recommend: If you are looking for a captivating sexy romance 
Book Boyfriend:  Fin
Genre: Young Adult/New Adult
Sex Scenes: No
Setting: Wisconsin College

Plot- The plot here is really interesting. I was captivated immediately and completely intrigued by the premise. The first scene is quite amazing and sets the book up nicely. The interaction between the characters, their personality, everything about this book screamed amazing. UNTIL the end. 

jessica stroup - Google Search
Jessica Stroup as Britte
There was immense tension and build up through out the book, of the characters, the bet, the payback, the brothers, her family, everything. And it was so ANTI-CLIMATIC. I was so disappointed that there was little drama in the end. If any quite honestly. Considering the length of the book, and the age of the characters I was more than disappointed. Without giving too much away, Ill just say that considering all the fraught that Ellie went through there was absolutely nothing to come from it by the end and I guess that mimicks real life a little (we build things up, only to realize its not as high of a jump as we thought) but I read to escape reality, so I was looking for a HEA that had a little bit more drama. BUT if you like that sort of thing...then this is for you. There isnt much drama, or heat at the end, but it is a HEA. 

Characters -- I really liked the dynamic characters, which as usual the author did a fantasic job of including everyone, giving them a personality, and creating an entire family/world of people that are realistic and have their own personalities. Ms. Higginson always has lots of characters in her book, and she does not disappoint in ensuring her readers understand who everyone is, what their personality is, and their relationships with the other characters. 

This is my Ellie Maiara Walsh 
In this current book, I am interested in finding out whether there will be another book, this one between Britte and Beckett. Im not a fan of how Britte described Beckett and their odd relationship but I internally hope they go somewhere and that the author gives their relationship some justice :-) 

I loved Britte, her quirky responses to Ellie are fun, and interesting. Honestly the back and forth between the characters is realistic and quite entertaining. I found myself laughing out loud. She was a good, strong supporting character. 

Ellie, wow, she is fiesty. Frankly though, while I really liked Ellie's personality, I was somewhat confused. She is supposed to be naive, innocent, and inexperienced, a goody two shoes, with a lack of a back bone. However, suddenly she becomes quite brazen, and hands out quips and sarcasm to the hottest guy on campus. Her 180 was a bit surprising, and odd, but perhaps thats always her persona she just hid it well prior to Fin. (considering her best friend is Britte, I could see that! but her dress code, and virginity, could say otherwise...) I was also a little taken aback by the ex boyfriend she was with for three years and their lack of physical relationship at her age. I dont know, it felt like she was supposed to be more mature than some of her traits implied. 

Hayden Christensen as Grayson.
Hayden Christianson as Lennox
Nonetheless, I liked her. I think whats great about her, is that she grows, which is most important in a character. BUT what I didnt like, as stated above, is as much as I fall for her, I was hoping for MORE. The sexual tension created, the paranoia with the family, the roommate, while they are mature reactions, I wanted a little more, especially the two former, I felt the author ended up skimming over two of the biggest discussions within the book! In that respect I felt cheated. 

Fin Hunter- I dont quite understand Fin, (in the beginning) but I sure do love him. He seems like a sweet guy, and quite the family man! His money concerns are a bit weird...but hey this is the theme of the book! (things dont always add up!) What I do like about Fin is that we see more than one side to him. And we see him fall for Ellie even when she cant see it herself. The author built great tension, conversation, loyalty and love throughout the book with this character and with Ellie. I liked that they grew into one another as well, attraction is so easy to have, but its another thing to have a more involved attraction that include emotions outside of lust, and personality. 

nick zano - Google Search
Nick Zano as Grayson
The brothers- Grayson/Beckett/Lennox- I like that these characters are in the book (not a fan of the sports they play but no biggie) I liked their role though. As Ellies brothers they play into her paranoia and desire to be more independent  I liked Lennox and Grayson the best, as they appear to be the better older protective brothers. While Beckett confuses me, a lot. I cant quite figure out how he fits in with Britte, and I dont understand his behavior. I dont understand why Ellie doesnt say something to him or become more involved in the issues than she acts. I like her family overall though, it does appear as though they are close knit. I dont like the constant discussion of money, it was a bit odd. It wasnt necessary that the topic be brought up so much (in reference to how much money the family has not the money Ellie "owes" Fin) Overall though I find these characters to assist in making all the others more relevant and understood. 

Ellie's third and final brother... Beckett!!

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