Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2
Dating and rules. The two are necessary together, but also very very complicated. Rules protect hearts, ensure boundaries, and guide the relationship. However, they block feelings, and they allow a heart to become too protected that it misses out on fully experiencing feelings because rules always come from your mind, not your heart.
D. Kelly’s Dating Roulette is a story about Bexley and Tristan, best friends since high school. Tristan is also best friends with the first guy to break Bexley’s heart, hence the way Tristan and Bexley meet. From that moment, these two are inseparable. They go to college together, they live together, and quite frankly, Tristan would love to work with Bexley. But with all that time spent together, these two have never dated. For one, Bexley has rules and guidelines for dating. And no one has ever come close to scoring a seventh date with Bexley. As the story begins, feelings are changing for Bexley and Tristan. Tristan begins to see Bexley in a more amorous way, while it takes Bexley a bit of time to see Tristan similarly. She is definitely attracted to him at some point. Eventually, Tristan decides to make a deal with Bexley: date him for seven dates. After the seventh date, they can be a couple if it works for each of them or they can remain friends. Since these two began as a friendship, Tristan knows exactly how to date Bexley, and very quickly, these two fall in love. Unfortunately, life complicates any good relationship, and Tristan and Bexley’s burgeoning relationship is threatened. Even more, their friendship may change too. Will these two find their happy ending? Will they find true happiness with each other as a couple or as friends?
I loved this story. So much so, that I picked the book up and didn’t put it down until I finished it a day later. As I have stated in recent blog reviews, I don’t mind a friends-to-lovers trope. I appreciate it more when it has a twist to it. I’m driven quite mad when one friend fights the attraction over the other friend, Thankfully, that isn’t the case with D. Kelly’s romance. They are both “all in” once they acknowledge their attraction to each other. I do think Tristan has been attracted to Bexley for longer than she has been attracted to him. But also, Tristan has to push past all of Bexley’s “issues” with men and relationships. They are both “well-traveled” in the relationship department, but I think we realize that Bexley has a few more miles than Tristan.
Since Bexley has rules and “hang-ups” when it comes to guys (read that as “picky”…nothing wrong with that. It’s simply a statement), Tristan’s attentiveness to her achieves Kelly’s goal: building an undeniable chemistry between the two and keeping her reader’s engaged. I can’t speak for other romance readers, but I’m a personal fan of the man who loves a woman (or man) in her (his) love language. To a certain degree, Tristan does this.
He also becomes the problem in the relationship when there is a misunderstanding about Bexley’s relationship with her co-worker, and Tristan becomes stubborn in his response to the misunderstanding. That is definitely Tristan’s character flaw. However, Bexley, as the strong female heroine, is able to use her understanding of Tristan to pull him back to her. It’s probably my favorite part of the book. Quite frankly, given Bexley’s background with men, she could have walked away from Tristan. However, D. Kelly creates a indestructible relationship through Tristan and Bexley’s indestructible friendship. This is the core of this book. This understanding that a true friendship first in a relationship can build an even stronger love commitment.
This was my first D. Kelly read, and it will definitely not be my last. Yes, this book had some angsty moments, but they never overwhelm the reader. Instead, watching Tristan and Bexley, best friends, fall in love on the page made this reader sigh and remember the power of love. If you love a “friends-to-lovers” type of read, you can’t go wrong with reading D. Kelly’s Dating Roulette. It’s time well spent.
In love and romance,