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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Bet by Wendy Campbell

The Bet by Wendy Campbell
Publisher: Breathless Press
Genre: Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short (11k words)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

A simple game of darts turns into a high-speed, romantic adventure for Samantha Brandt. As the bet’s loser, Sam is required to go on a blind date. An experience she’d much rather do without. But one glimpse at the Anonymous Dates, Inc video of Max Webb has Sam questioning all her reservations.

What begins as a liberating, sensual experience turns into a hair-raising brush with the law, one that puts Sam’s life at risk. Through the web of deceptions, can Sam determine friend from foe and grasp an opportunity for love?

Author Wendy Campbell’s short venture into suspense gives us the speedy and somewhat breath-taking The Bet. Samantha, set up oh-so against her wishes, is normally just a tad shy, enough so she’s never even worn the silky little black dress she tosses in her suitcase. A bet is a bet though, so she’s going to let her sister set up, and not with a friend or even the friend of a friend…but through a dating service!

Sam’s sister Rebecca is a hoot. Sisters! A lot of us can really sympathize with simply being bulldozed into something and a lot of the sister interaction is incredibly funny. Then of course there is Max, and we are intrigued at once because he’s not just handsome and outdoorsy, but in a flash suit and driving…well, never mind. The question is, just who is the fraud here?

Things move along at a pretty quickly but more questions pop up. Things go awry at an almost farcical rate, and truthfully, there’s more comedy here than suspense, but it all comes with a lot of questions about exactly what is really going on. Campbell builds tension skillfully. From moment to moment, this story becomes less and less predictable. Plausibility may have departed, but originality more than makes up for it.

The Bet is a short, fun and unexpectedly entertaining diversion.