Review: Blame it on the Bet (A Whiskey Sisters Novel, #1) by L.E. Rico

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
Welcome to Mayhem, Minnesota, where the cats wear sweaters, the local priest dispenses dating advice, and you can find your fortune in the bottom of a pie tin.

When her family’s pub is threatened with foreclosure, Hennessy O’Halloran, along with her three sisters, is determined to raise enough money to keep it out of the hands of the L.A. real-estate developer trying to raze it and replace it with a—god forbid!—multiplex theater.

Bryan Truitt always gets what he wants. And what he wants is the sweet corner property on Mayhem’s Main Street where O’Halloran’s Pub sits. But his “quick business” turns into more than he bargains for when he meets the feisty Hennessy. Next thing he knows, he’s betting her he can outlast Mayhem’s punishing winter in time to make the pub his—or he’ll gift it to her for free.

Hennessy knows better than to flirt with the enemy. But suddenly Bryan’s not sure which he wants more…the property or the woman who owns it.

Confession time: I was originally drawn to L.E. Rico's Blame it on the Bet because of the cover. It gives that Christmasy, snowy feel without actually witnessing - and more importantly, feeling - the coldness first hand. 

The result? Blame it on the Bet was fantastic. Mixing together four dauntless sisters, a memorable small town setting, and most importantly a romance that made my heart SWOON, Blame it on the Beat made my bookish heart so incredibly happy. 

Mayhem, Minnesota has quickly shot up to the top of my list of favorite fictional small towns ever! I even go so far as to say that it's reminiscent of another one of my favorites - Stars Hollow, CT.  So trust me when I say that there's so much to love about this quaint, close-knit community. 

L.E. Rico did a wonderful job of describing and establishing Mayhem. I often felt as if I was right there with Hennessy and Bryan, experiencing the fortune inspiring pie slices, the oddly named cats in sweaters, and the cozy and charming O’Halloran’s Pub. My favorite part of the setting, however, was the wide variety of characters it introduced. For instance, Father Romance was equal parts wise and devious. His "secretive" plots to unite Hennessy and Bryan were not only adorable but also just so well played. I also loved Janet Lahti, the incredibly smart business woman & fortune teller behind The Little Slice of Heaven Pie Shop. Her fortunes were not only spot-on but essential to key parts of the plot. I always enjoyed when Janet and her pies appeared on the page; however, I am super disappointed that she can't predict a fortune for me based on my pie selection.  

Now let's get to the two stars of the book: Hennessy & Bryan! Both were not only incredibly relatable but also incredibly lovable. I admired Hennessy's love for and dedication to her family, especially when it meant keeping the place that was so incredibly precious and important to her family's history. I always enjoyed seeing her interactions with her three sisters: Jameson, Walker, and Bailey. For four sisters, the girls couldn't be any more different, and that's part of the reason I came to love each of them. They were so distinctively each their own person, and I applaud L.E. for making that occur - sometimes with a book with that many siblings they start to blend together but thankfully that didn't even come close to occurring here. 

Additionally, Hennessy was also fierce & savvy, making her one girl whose bad side you definitely didn't want to get on! More importantly it's part of what made her interactions with Bryan so incredibly enjoyable, because every time he would attempt to one-up her, she would shoot right back him and just as hard - if not harder. Bryan was the typical hero on the path to redemption and true love, and I enjoyed every single minute of him straying further and further away from his playboy millionaire ways and closer and closer to being a small town boy loving a small town girl. Besides his interactions with Hennessy, I also loved his interactions with everyone else in Mayhem. Each one moved in one step closer to being at home; however, his interactions with Jameson's baby were some of the most hilarious moments of the book!  

Last but not least: the romance! I don't want to say too much about it because seriously you all need to experience it on your own; however, I will say it was perfect and adorable. Perfect build up and perfect final product! 

In all, Blame it on the Bet is a great start to a new series! I can't wait to see which Whiskey sister gets a book next. Personally, I'm hoping it's Jameson. 

Grade: A+

Blame it on the Bet is now out!

Source: eARC provided by publicist - thanks Riki at Entangled!

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  1. Aww, that cover gives me warm fuzzies too! I'm glad to hear that the story delivers as well with the content. The characters sound lovely. I'll need to check out this book and this author closer to Christmas, which is when I get in the mood of reading these books! :)
    Lovely review, Lauren!

    Nick @ Nick & Nereyda's Infinite Booklist

    1. Thanks, Nick! I feel like it would be the perfect pre-christmas/holiday book since it brings that perfect wintery setting about.

  2. Lauren, thank you so much for the lovely review—you make ME want to read it! xo Lauren Rico

    1. Aww, no thank you for your sweet words, Lauren! :)

  3. I love the cover too! So wintry and holidayish :) This definitely sounds like an entertaining read. I'll have to get my hands on a copy. Great review. Glad you enjoyed the story!

    1. Thanks, Shane! Glad you agree about the cover. :)

  4. Ohhhh I also really love that cover. I have a habit of hoarding all snowy/wintery covers to read right before the holidays. lol It helps get me in the mood, I think. So glad to hear that you enjoyed this one. I will have to add this one to my list

    1. haha no, I completely agree with you! That's part of the reason why I've been on the hunt for holiday books lately. Hope you love it when/if you read it! :)

  5. I pick all my books based on the cover, and this one is definitely a winner. I am seeing so many Christmas books right now. I don't know if I am ready for them yet. I love contemporary romance series that take place in a small town, and Mayhem sounds like a fabulous place. Great review!


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