Review: Even Money
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley.
Sometimes it only takes a minute. A connection of eyes across a room, a quickened heartbeat, and everything changes. I was a cocktail waitress with a fondness for partying and meaningless sex. He owned half of Vegas, with the reputation to match. I should have turned away. Instead, I stepped closer. Then, the lies started. Rumors spread. Stalking commenced. And someone died. None of it stopped me from falling in love.
My rating: 3.5 stars
Even Money was a dark contemporary romance set in Las Vegas and the casino world. Bell works in a small casino that caters to a higher clientele that included some casino owners and other bigwigs. One night Dario walks in and that is it for the both of them. They instantly have a mutual attraction that is stronger than either of them have ever felt for anyone else. There's just one problem: Dario is married. This was a sticking point for Bell but she never stayed away from him. Their relationship escalated until they were both in love and someone being killed.
This book had it's moments and made me laugh or smile. I liked Bell's relationship with her bosses, Rick and Lance. The three of them seemed to have a real friendship that never blurred the lines even though they were all attractive people. I also liked Bell's stance on relationships. She went through something traumatic when she was only fifteen years old and it nearly broke her but she turned it around and seized the control she needed. She was a vibrant young woman who was working, partying, and going to school. She was living her life the way she wanted, unapologetically. I liked that a lot. It was clear that Dario had some demons and he wasn't shy about getting his hands dirty and doing whatever it took. He was tall, dark, and handsome and very powerful along with his wife, Gwen. It is learned early on that their marriage only that on paper. Dario saved Gwen and is continuing to do so by staying married to her. Gwen's story was heartbreaking just like Bell's and Dario's. The three of them had a tragic pasts. I liked how Dario took control of situations and how he always seemed to try to do the right thing.
I thought this book was good and that's why it was a three and a half for me but it could have been better. It was stereotypical in some of the characters and the situations. There was a lot of erotic scenes but I think there were a lot of other scenes that did not revolve around that. I thought the changing in points of view were a bit confusing especially with the one character and how they just showed up. I wish there was more consistency with them. It ended on a big cliffhanger with someone dying and Dario lying about who it was. It made me want to see what would happen in the sequel, Double Down and I am sure I will read it. I hope that it turns out better than Even Money and I can come to like Bell and Dario more.