So, I have a sad little confession for my review. I am a clear Cat Carmine fan, yet this is my first review of one of her books, even though, I have read ALL of them. Yes. That is right. I have been remiss in my reviewing duties to this author because she is WORTHY of all of my 5 stars. So here goes…
The Break-Up Bet tells the story of Lucy. Now, if you’ve read any of Cat’s Breaking All the Rules series books (Rori, Emma, and Blake’s stories), then you’ve met Lucy, the fabulous baking blogger roommate to these sisters. While Lucy doesn’t insinuate herself greatly into Rori, Emma, and Blake’s lives (yes, they are all roommates of Lucy’s at one time or another — never at the same time), she offers them a shoulder to cry on and a baked good or two. In their stories, we know she has a boyfriend, Lou. However, he is a mystery. She spends her time at his place, but no one ever meets him. Her eyes dull a bit when she talks about him, and everyone is suspicious about him. There were times in those books when I thought he was a made-up boyfriend, but he isn’t. He is real-life flesh and blood, and he’s a douchecanoe (yes, I said that).
In this book, The Break-Up Bet, we find Lucy post-breakup with Lou. She is struggling to understand why a solid, vanilla guy would end their relationship. She carries baggage from her past (read: daddy issues), and she’s been careful to protect her heart with an “average joe.” Unfortunately, this doesn’t save it. Enter Connor, her brother’s best friend since first grade and, now, her new roommate. Like Lucy, Connor has uprooted his life from San Jose and moved to New York to escape a break-up. From the start, Lucy is nervous around Connor as she nursed a crush on him as a young girl. Everything about him is hot, but, to Lucy, he is a player, a guy to be avoided.
To help each of them move past their break-ups, Connor challenges Lucy to a bet: offer the best way to get over each other’s break-up. He will teach her his ways, and she will teach him hers. So what happens when these two start spending more time together? Well, read the book to find out. That’s all I’m giving you of the plot.
Here’s the thing. Cat Carmine can write rom-com/contemporary romance. If she writes a book, I’m reading it because the characters are funny and quirky and interesting. Her male characters are uber-masculine, a bit cocky, and they fall madly for the heroine of their story. And usually, the love of the heroine causes the hero to change, to become an even better man.
This is the case with Connor. Yes, Lucy makes assumptions about him, but, unlike the sisters’ husbands, Connor is more down-to-earth. He is still self-assured and cocky, but there is a sensitivity to him that makes you fall in love with him. You want him to realize that he can (and should) choose Lucy.
Now, Lucy has been one of my favorite characters through the series. She is a shoulder to lean on. She uses her baking to help you heal, and she does this for herself, but, throughout this story, she often irritated me because she struggled to see the true Connor. It takes most of the story to finally “see” him as he is. I would have loved for her to realize it sooner in the story, but, well, this is a Cat Carmine story, and there has to be a bit of angst.
Together, Connor and Lucy are funny. Reading them brings you comfort, and they simply fit. I would love to read an extended epilogue/bonus scene of these two, as there is some unfinished business between these two, at least in mind there is. I think Cat has introduced us to the next characters of her upcoming books (Lucy’s friends —and I’m hoping we’re going to meet Nathan Goodwin, the underwear model, in her next book). So, here’s hoping we get more Connor and Lucy in future books.
I loved this book. It is a read that will put a smile on your face, a tear in your eye, and it will warm your heart. Get. This. Book. Now.
In love and romance,