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Betting the Bad Boy
Behind the Bar #3
Behind the Bar #3
By: Stefanie London
Releasing May 8, 2017
In Betting the Bad Boy (Behind the Bar #3) by Stefanie London, Paige Thomas is struggling to find a position as an accountant after being fired from her job. But she's not wiling to admit defeat, not just yet, otherwise she'll be heading home to work at her parents café. So instead, she hijacks someone else's interview, and manages to secure herself a job working at First, a Bar & Restaurant. Except Paige has the Been There, Done That T-Shirt when it comes to getting involved with someone she works with, and she knows she must keep her distance from Noah Reid. However, things aren't that simple. Is she setting herself up for heartbreak by growing closer with Noah, or will Noah realize that he wants a future with Paige before he loses her?
Ms. London is a brilliant author and this third book of her Behind the Bar series was a delightful, fast-paced, charismatic read that I could not get enough of. The way this story started had me sympathizing with the heroine, as she's a woman down on her luck. She didn't deserve to lose her job and the news her friend gives her on top of that had me wondering whether the heroine would be better off returning home to re-assess her situation. However, I liked that she didn't give up, and actually resorted to the measures she did to get a job.
Both the main characters were captivating, and I loved the playful dialogue between them. Both are determined to win the bet they've waged of whether the heroine will give into their attraction. Will she cave to the hero's charm? However, the main characters weren't the only ones that had me smiling or laughing, which is proven by the comments Nina -- one of the secondary characters -- makes about how women should stick together.
As for the heroine, I could understand why she was so hesitant to get involved with the hero, because of what she went through at her last job and the fact that she got involved with someone she worked with. However, I liked that she took a chance on Noah, even if he does let her down at one stage. Also, Paige is strong and brave the way she doesn't give up on trying to find a job, even though her efforts seem hopeless. I also liked how determined Paige was to win the hero over when she first meets him, because she's just the person he needs both professionally and personally. Since she's not afraid to stand up to him when he's being all charming and thinks she'll cave to the bet.
While Noah, he's a delightful hero and a total charmer that I wanted more of the moment I finished this book. He has serious trust issues that stem from the fact he was raised in the foster system, but I liked that Paige managed to rattle him and make him realize that forgiveness of things that happened to him in the past is the key to finding happiness in the present and for his future. Then there's the close relationship he has with his foster sisters, and I liked how he helped Amanda; the sister that did wrong by him, but is now focused on making everything right. Yet, what I liked most of all was the challenge the hero faced from the heroine. They want different things when it comes to relationships such as the heroine wants commitment and the hero doesn't do commitment. Will Paige be able to convince Noah that happy ever after isn't a bad thing?
Overall, Ms. London has penned a fantastic read in this book where the sex scenes were hot and showed the strong chemistry these two had really well. The way this story ended had me cheering for this couple's happy ever after, as Noah is determined to use any means necessary to win Paige back, even if it means tricking her with a little help. However, it was the epilogue that wrapped this story up perfectly, because of the teasing banter between the hero and heroine about the bets; and Noah's serious words about the past and future when it comes to the surprise he has for Paige. I would highly recommend Betting the Bad Boy by Stefanie London, especially if you enjoy the opposites attract trope or books by authors Avery Flynn, Naima Simone, Sarah Ballance or Marissa Clarke.
Self-confessed perfectionist Paige Thomas isn’t used to failing. But when a critical error in romantic judgment sends all her big city career dreams crashing down, she scrambles to find a job—any job—to make ends meet.
Noah Reid may as well have “trust issues” tattooed on his forehead. Being raised in the foster system didn’t give him a positive outlook on relationships, but now he’s looking after his best friend’s bar for one month, and he can’t do it alone.
Things get steamy when Noah hires Paige, but she’s determined not to repeat her mistakes and she bets Noah that she can keep her hands to herself while they’re working together. Too bad for her, Noah is an expert at breaking the rules…
She held the blindfold while trying to ignore the flutter of excitement in her stomach. Her fingers toyed with the elasticated band meant to hold the mask in place.
“Both partners are going to get a turn at being blindfolded,” Libby said from the front of the room. “Between yourselves, pick who’s going to go first.”
Noah looked down at her, a smirk tugging at the corner of his lips. He ran a hand along his jaw, catching the reddish-gold bristles of his burgeoning beard. For a moment, Paige was totally captured with the idea of how the bristles might feel on her skin. Would they be smooth or rough? Would she shriek if he brushed them along her inner thigh?
“What do you say, new girl?” He cocked his head. “Would you rather do the blindfolding or be blindfolded?”
At that point she would have been happy to go all in— blindfolded, tied up, and held down.
Holy crap, would you listen to yourself? This is a work function, not a goddamn re-creation of Fifty Shades.
“Blindfolded,” she squeaked, thrusting the mask into his hands and spinning so quickly that she almost lost her footing.
“You know, I’ve never done this before.” His hand steadied her, the reassuring warmth of his touch seeping into her skin. Her bones felt like jelly.
“Blindfolded someone?” she asked, cringing at how shaky her voice sounded.
“Ah, no. I meant the taste test.” He chuckled as he slipped the mask over her eyes.
Heat rushed up to Paige’s cheeks. Of course he meant the taste test. What an idiot she was. Just because her brain was earning an R-rating tonight didn’t mean his was, too. She fought back a tremor as he brushed some loose hairs from her neck so he could adjust the strap on the mask.
Everything went dark, and Paige gripped the edge of the table for support.
Warm breath whispered over her ear, and she could tell he’d leaned in a little closer. The scent of coffee and faded cologne tempted her to turn her head toward the source.
“I’ve definitely blindfolded someone before, but it wasn’t for a taste test.” Her breath hitched, and she was grateful that she’d had the presence of mind to hold on to something.
He chuckled. “Yeah, that’s what she said.”
Holy. Freaking. Shit.
Stefanie London is the USA Today bestselling author of over ten contemporary romances with humour, heat and heart. Growing up, Stefanie came from a family of women who loved to read. Thus, it was no surprise Stefanie was the sort of student who would read her English books before the semester started. After sneaking several literature subjects into her ‘very practical’ Business degree, she got a job in Communications. When writing emails and newsletters didn’t fulfil her creative urges, she turned to fiction and was finally able to write the stories that kept her mind busy at night.
Originally from Australia, she now lives in Toronto with her very own hero and is currently in the process of doing her best to travel the world. She frequently indulges in her passions for good coffee, lipstick, romance novels and zombie movies.