Betting the Bad Boy
Behind the Bar #3
By: Stefanie London
Releasing May 8, 2017
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…
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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.
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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.
Self-professed perfectionist meets bad boy, who wouldn’t want to read that love story. When the bad boy is described as the fourth Hemsworth brother and the story takes place in Melbourne, Australia. Well then I was sold. This is the first romance that I have ever read that has taken place down under and it honestly made the story so much better.
Paige Thomas’s life is not going the way she planned. In her mind, she would have the perfect accounting job at this point in her life not unemployed and living off her best friend’s couch having daily matches with her cat Damon. And she did have this perfect accounting job until her decision to go on a date with a co-worker resulted in her termination. Now she had less than a month to find a job or it was back to her small country town, solidifying the fact that she, in her mind, had failed. Who knew that one visit to First, a bar-slash-restaurant for a simply cup of coffee to clear her head and get her refocused after another unsuccessful job interview would change her life forever.
Noah Reid was just trying to hire a new barista at First, which he was temporarily managing while his friend Des was away, but so far the applicants were less than stellar. That is until Paige breezes into First. Paige is more distracted by how freakin’ gorgeous Noah is that it takes her a minute to realize that Noah has mistaken her as his next applicant. What does Paige do? Well she hijacks someone else’s interview of course. The thing is, working in a place like First is not so far fetched seeing as Paige’s family owns a cafe back home which she worked in for many years. When Noah finds out that Paige is not who she say she is well things go a little south from there. Except Noah does not know Paige’s determination because she bets him that if she can make him the best coffee he has ever tasted then he has to hire her.
Paige and Noah’s first meeting was so fun much and absolutely hilarious. It was what drew me into the book in the first place. Their banter was so cute and natural during the interview but you could clearly tell that there was some underlying sexual tension happening. I think the best part was when Paige was trying to win the bet. You could clearly see the romantic comedy elements of the book coming out. Paige seemed so comfortable around Noah even though they had just met but she was still kind of shy and a little bit embarrassed especially after the incident that happened during her interview. Let’s just say Paige exposed a little bit more of her self than she wanted to Noah while dazzling him with her coffee making skills.
While I really enjoyed the beginning of Paige and Noah’s relationship and the bets they made to one another, I think my expectations in terms of where the story was going and the overall pacing did not match up with the story. I finished the book wanting more. More of Noah’s relationship with his family. More intimate moments between Paige and Noah. Just MORE. I will say though that the ending really tied things together for me even if the middle was in the end a bit underwhelming.
If you are looking for a cute romantic comedy that takes place down under, then definitely check out Betting the Bad Boy!