Bet on Me is the newest release from Saxon James, an M/M author who is completely new to me. I’d label the story as a sweet, gay romance with a hint of suspense. And all in all, it was a great read.
But I must admit, I chose this read because of the hunk of a man on the cover. I mean, look at those pecs and shoulders! Sure, the level of drool-worthiness of the cover model might be a somewhat subpar way of choosing my reading. But luckily it worked out this time since Bet on Me was pretty awesome.
The story’s main characters are Taryn, a professional fotball player, and Elliot who’s working as a bookie. When they meet for the first time, the attraction is instant. But Taryn is deep in the closet and Elliot who’s out and proud only does one-night stands. However, their chemistry can’t be denied and they try for something casual. Despite the fact that Elliot’s illegal job might ruin Taryn’s career. And then, when the two are starting to get serious, Elliot discovers something that not only affects Taryn’s Team but also puts Elliot in severe danger.
I really liked this story. I don’t know what it is about hot, gay athletes meeting the love of their life which eventually leads to them coming out that I find so captivating. But in my book, that trope never gets old.
Taryn and Elliot are very different characters, but it works. Taryn is the sweetest guy looking for someone to share his life with while Elliot tries to keep their relationship strictly physical so as not to get hurt. It’s beautifully described how these very different men grow to love each other.
There’s two very distinct parts in this story. The first half of the book is a slow-paced description of a tentative relationship growing more serious. In the second part, the story picks up pace when Elliot’s illegal bookmaking gets him in serious trouble. The turn the story took when that happened had me literally gasping in shock, so that was great writing by James. However, the final resolution of it all was perhaps a little too simple. An easy out that left me a bit unsatisfied as a reader. Also, Elliot’s healing capabilities felt a bit magical which I’m sure wasn’t the intent.
There aren’t that many side-characters in Bet on Me, but the ones who are there I would have loved to read more about. Elliot’s bestie Rainer will get his own book, Good Times and Tan Lines, but I’d much rather read about Taryn’s friend Zane. Hopefully he’ll be up next after that.
The smut-factor of Bet on Me is pretty average for an M/M read. There are some hot nudy scenes, but nothing to get too worked up about. The story is more of a romance in that aspect. But don’t let that discourage you 😉 this is still a great story for all man-lovers.