Audiobook, Black Author, Books, Contemporary, Fiction, Neurodiversity, Novel, Romance

Bet on It is an interracial romance between two neurodiverse characters by Jodie Slaughter

Bet on It by Jodie Slaughter
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My rating: 5 of 5 stars (4.5 rounded up to a 5)

Bet on It is an interracial romance between two neurodiverse characters by Jodie Slaughter. The ebook version is 320 pages. I listened to the audiobook, which clocks in at a little over ten hours and is narrated by Angel Pean. We follow our two main characters with third-person points-of-view.

Aja Owens is a fat black woman who is dealing with generalized anxiety disorder. She recently moved to a small town in South Carolina to get away from the hustle and bustle of Washington, D.C. She loves toing to her weekly bingo session, where she meets up with her single friend: her bingo buddy. One day, when she’s in the frozen foods section of the Piggly Wiggly, she has a panic attack and a handsome stranger talks her through it.

Walker Abbott ran out of Greenbelt, South Carolina as soon as he could after high school. But he’s back in town to help out his grandmother after she had a fall which resulted in both of her arms being in casts. When Aja’s bingo buddy introduces her semi-estranged grandson, “Wally,” it ends up being that same handsome stranger from the grocery.

The two of them decide to make a sex pact, where they are allowed to enjoy each other if one of them wins a game. This should help them deal with their heavy chemistry, right? But they can’t run from their feelings for too long…

The book starts out with a brief list of content warnings, and refers you to the author’s website that has an even more detailed list. I really appreciated that and think more books should list these at the beginning, instead of at the end in an Author’s note.

I’m really pleased that I finally picked up a book by this author. Her prose is very lyrical and I loved it. This isn’t just a light rom-com, though, it deals with some heavy topics. As a person who is neurodiverse, I think she did a great job writing nuanced characters dealing with complex trauma responses. There’s also some great scenes where Aja is talking to her therapist which reminded me of sessions of my own. This book is pro-therapy and learning and growing and healing as a human being. I also really liked the development of Aja’s newfound friendships in this book.

This book gets pretty steamy! There are several scenes of semi-public sex, so head’s up if that’s not your thing. Talia Hibbert has a blurb for this book, and that makes a lot of sense to me as I think fans of hers would like this book. I loved the fat representation here as well, as there is no doubt that Walker enjoys her body and definitely not in any kind of fetishized way.

The one ding that this book has from me is the fact that the author didn’t take the few seconds to Google about how bingo cards work. When reading off a completed bingo, the numbers don’t match the letters and that pulled me out of the story. I did read an advanced copy, so I suppose it’s possible that this got fixed for the finished project, but still. This is why it’s not a solid 5 stars from me.

Tropes in this book include: small town, strangers-to-friends-to-lovers

CW: PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, descriptions of panic attacks, references to previous drug addiction and child neglect

Special thanks to Macmillan Audio, St. Martin’s Griffin, and NetGalley for providing a audio galley of this book for me to review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

Bet on It releases tomorrow on Tuesday, July 12, 2022.

View all my reviews

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