☆☆➹⁀☆ 4 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆
What it’s about:
Sometimes it only takes a minute. A connection of eyes across a room, a quickened heartbeat, and everything changes.
I was a cocktail waitress with a fondness for partying and meaningless sex.
He owned half of Vegas, with the reputation to match.
I should have turned away. Instead, I stepped closer.
Then, the lies started.
And someone died.
None of it stopped me from falling in love.
*This is book 1 in a duet. The second book, Double Down, will release on June 18th or 25th.*
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Even Money by Alessandra Torre is book one in a duet story. Ms. Torre’s excellent writing and signature storytelling breathe life into the tried-and-true Vegas love story.
Bell Hartley is a college co-ed. She comes from a loving family. She has experienced significant trauma. She is a cocktail waitress who is sleeping with her professor until a certain bigwig Vegas club owner shows some interest in her. I loved Bell’s spunk, but I couldn’t abide by her repeated bad decisions.
Dario has a reputation. He is married, and his wife’s father has an even scarier reputation. There is a flashing neon sign over his head that says, “good girls should stay away”. He operates on the hairy edge of the law—undoubtedly teetering back and forth as it suits him. His marriage is one of convenience. There is just enough backstory about Dario and Gwen’s relationship to move the story forward (but not enough to explain how they got together in the first place).
I liked Bell as the guarded but confidant college student/cocktail waitress. Her relationship with her professor is questionable, but her solid friendship with her bosses, Rick and Lance, was great. I didn’t care for the adultery aspect (but what reader is going to say they love it…). Bell’s attraction to Dario is incomprehensible to me—sure he is good looking and wealthy, but he also has a dangerous reputation and he is married. What smart girl is going to give that a second look? So Bell proves either her shallowness or her foolishness in her acceptance of Dario in her life. Either way, it makes it hard to root for a heroine who so cavalierly continues a clandestine relationship.
Even Money is well written. The pace is great even though I didn’t care for the insta-love aspect. I enjoyed the storyline even though I didn’t feel the attraction/connection between the main characters. The story tension builds steadily; readers are privy to a second story thread that leads to calamity at the zenith. The end is more segue than cliffhanger. Even Money is good and kept me turning pages, although I anticipate that book two, Double Down, is where the action really takes off.
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