"I have a proposition for you." Kacey should have run the minute those words left Seattle millionaire Jake Titus's mouth. It's been years since Kacey's seen her childhood friend Jake, but the minute Jake mentions his ill grandmother, Kacey is ready to do anything for the sweet old woman. And if that means pretending they're engaged for her sake-so be it.
But Kacey wasn't counting on Jake's older brother Travis still being there. She calls him "Satan" for a reason: she's never forgotten the way he teased and taunted her. Yet when they meet again, Travis's gorgeous smile is a direct hit to her heart . . . and Kacey's more confused than ever. As the days pass, only one thing starts to become alarmingly clear-she never should have accepted Jake's deal . . .
The Bet (#1) The Wager (#2)
Kacey's past is very closely tied with the Titus family. Unfortunately, though she used to be close with them, time and a bad experience with younger brother Jake has forced them apart. Now, Jake has come to her begging her for her help. She's all set to reject his plan, but when she mentions that Grandma Nadine is sick, there's nothing that Kacey wouldn't do for her.
"She says she wants to see you, and I need my parents off my back about this whole press fiasco with the stripper. If I bring you home with a ring on your finger, all will be forgiven."
Against her better judgement, she agrees to accompany Jake back to the family home and pretend to be his fiance in order to smooth things over with his family as well as with his company in order to improve his image. What she doesn't expect is for Jake's brother, and her childhood tormentor, Travis, to be there.
For years, practically her entire life, Travis has been there pulling her hair, putting bugs in her bed, and generally causing mischief and ruining her life. What she doesn't know, however, is that Travis has been in love with her for the majority of her life and what started as a harmless plot for attention turned into a cycle of events that disallowed her to see him in a romantic light.
What follows is a delightful mix of devious antics on the behalf of Grandma Nadine and a sweet conclusion to an unrequited love.
I tore through this tooth-achingly sweet, hilarious read by Rachel Van Dyken. The prologue has to be one of the cutest ones that I've ever read. It all started when young Jake and Travis make a bet to win Kacey.
"I'm gonna marry her."
"Are not!"...."I'm older. She's going to marry me."
Poor Travis wants nothing more than to have Kacey at his side, but being young and having no knowledge about women, he goes about it the wrong way. He knows that a prince must slay dragons...
"But how was he supposed to be a prince when there were no dragons to slay?"
So he, brilliantly, thinks that if he manipulates the situation and tries to 'save' Kacey that that will win her affections for ever. But it doesn't work out that way and it ends up doing the opposite for him. For the following years he has to watch as his brother becomes Kacey's best friend, then even worse as Jake throws away Kacey's friendship due to his own selfishness.
Their reunion and the antics that occur afterwards had me clutching my sides from laughter. I was pleasantly surprised to find that one of my favorite 'emotional' authors (see: Ruin) could pull off a romantic comedy so well. I absolutely adored Grandma Nadine, she's one of the most vividly constructed secondary characters I've ever seen. I could totally see this series as a movie.
The Bet was cute, sweet, and lighthearted. The perfect romantic comedy that will incite much laughter, sighs, and swoons. The Titus men can be jerks, but when they finally accept their feelings and start to turn on the charm, no panties in a 100 mile radius are safe.
“That," he said as he kissed her nose, "is a shame.You should be told you're beautiful every day. Because every day it's true, and every time I see you, you grow in your beauty. Just because people don't say the words, doesn't mean its any less true, Kace.”
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