ARC review: Betting the Bad Boy by Stefanie London

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Paige Thomas has her whole life planned out, and finding herself unexpectedly unemployed is not part of it.  After a workplace fling goes awry, Paige finds herself scrambling for some way to make money, because going back to her parents’ house in the country is not an option.  She’s been making coffee as long as she can remember, so when she stumbles upon a coffee shop in desperate need of a barista, she knows she’s found her calling.

Noah Reid manages the aforementioned coffee shop, and he wants nothing more than some peace.  No responsibilities.  No relationships.  No attachments.  In fact, he’d rather not even manage that coffee shop – it’s just a temporary favor for a friend.  He knows that Paige is just his type, but she’s not looking to date her boss, and he’s not looking for any commitment.  When Noah calls out Paige on her obvious attraction to him, she makes him a bet. And then another bet.  And another.  Surely she can resist him and win… right?

Betting the Bad Boy is the third book in Stefanie London’s Behind the Bar series, but no prior knowledge of the characters is necessary to enjoy this book.

Like most Entangled/Lovestruck books, this book is well-written with likable characters and a cute plot.  It’s definitely steamy, but not overly so, and Noah and Paige have undeniable chemistry.

I enjoyed Noah’s relationship with his foster sisters but wanted to see more of his past to get a better understand on why exactly he’s so opposed to any sort of commitment, be it in a relationship or at work.  Paige was a good character – very strong, but still willing to compromise – but again, I wanted to know more about her and why she was so unwilling to turn to her parents for help.  Ideally, I would have also liked Paige and Noah to act like the adults they were, rather than sulking off like moody teenagers.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would absolutely go back and read the first two in the series!

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC!

Final rating: ★★★☆☆

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