Betting on Bailey by Tara Crescent | Rating: ★★★☆☆
As if knowing someone is a prerequisite to good sex.
Betting on Bailey is another one of those on a whim purchases I've made lately. Until this novel, I'd never heard of Tara Crescent but can't understand why. Her writing is the type that pulls you in and just might set you on fire by the ending. I had a love/hate for this novel because there were a lot of parts that just didn't flow quite like I'd have hoped. I did, however, enjoy it overall and am curious to more by Crescent.
That being said--threesomes. It's one of those fantasies that just sort of sticks in your mind. Betting on Bailey is not my first experience with the topic when it comes to literature. But it is one of the better ones. You've got three intriguing characters who have off the charts chemistry; pulling you in from the moment they meet and keeping you in place firmly. Did I find their relationship to be entirely plausible? Not quite. Did I still enjoy it? Yes.
One of the things that bothered me about Betting on Bailey was how it flowed overall. It felt a bit strange, the way everything developed and grew from one thing to another. That's the only reason I'm giving it a three-star instead of four or even a five. I found some of the interactions to be a bit strange or lack that extra kick that would set it apart. Beyond that, I'm not going to lie to you: a great deal of it felt unbelievable and unrealistic.
But it does exactly what you want it to... it serves up a steamy fantasy that many people will feel hot and bothered over.
I also found somethings to be a bit frustrating or problematic yet none of these things define it. Flaws were on display, true, but it didn't make or break the story and that's all that can be said. Enough talk of negatives--let's get into the thick of it and focus on the good and sexy. Which, as it happens, there are a lot more good things in Betting on Bailey than bad.
R-E-V-E-N-G-E. Karma's a bitch. I loved the revenge plot. Perhaps this is because I'm an entirely spiteful young woman. Bailey had this edge to her that I loved (and sometimes loathed) and it's always a good time to stick it to your ex or anyone who thinks you are less than what you are. Especially if those people think that you are defined by how you, or your body, look. Overall, the underlying theme is coming to terms with who you are and loving yourself while setting yourself free sexually.
Bailey is very realistic and something that everyone can relate to. I loved her and getting to know her. She has a self-loathing streak that may never entirely go away. Who doesn't? I think what strikes me most about her development is that it almost always depended on someone else, in specifics, the man she was seeing and breaks up with at the start. And in the end, when she could have just been magically fixed (ugh, that trope) by a man it was more of a self proclaimed progress that came equally from herself and somewhere else.
It was very freeing. Not to mention her inner dialogue is smart and snarky. I liked her a lot.
Two, count 'em two, smoking love interests. What can I say about them? Sebastian and Daniel are both the archetype of alpha males but they are not just a sexy glimpse of how the other half live. Much like Bailey, they heat and heart. They both have hearts of gold and are very caring towards each other and her. Of the two, I found Daniel to be the most entertaining and pleasing. Mostly because, like all good characters, he had some flaws extending to the audience and didn't always handle things well--but he is redeemed in many ways.
I was a little surprised by how well they all fit together. Sebastian and Daniel have shared women before--I think this was stated anyways--and they certainly know what they are doing. But what makes the novel sexy and thrilling is how responsive the three of them are to each other. They are caring, they are full of lust and somehow just come together in a way that is pure. That sounds rather weird, doesn't it? I can't help but to think of them as any way else.
Sex-scenes that are equal fantasy and reality. It's just the right amount of intriguing and decadent. The ultimate fantasy--Bailey's POV are probably my favourites of the entire thing. I won't spoil everything but they are all very attentive and compatible to each other. From their first meeting, to their first almost-time all the way to the last romp we witness (and the promise of the future) the three are just magnetic.
Somehow, it just works.
Other things to look forward to: a lot of bets. Not the tacky kinds, really. It is just something that adds a little motion to the plot and separates the sex. I liked the theme of karma and how it just may get our enemies in the long-run. I also liked how forgiving Bailey was towards a woman who did her wrong when she didn't have to be. A lot of authors wouldn't add the support she shows the other girl near the end of the novel but this isn't one of those stories.
Another thing you'll like--friendship and respect. Bailey has quite a few friends and the relationship takes the back burner without really taking the back burner. And Daniel and Sebastian's friendship is nice, too. Overall, I thought Betting on Bailey was fun and sexy--intense to a high degree. I enjoyed it.