cover image The Betting Vow: Unconventional Brides, Book 3

The Betting Vow: Unconventional Brides, Book 3

K.M. Jackson. Dafina, $7.99 mass market (368p) ISBN 978-1-4967-0572-3

Jackson charms with the third in her Unconventional Brides series (after Insert Groom Here and To Me I Wed), a snappy contemporary that can be read as a standalone. Brazen supermodel and aspiring actress Leila Darling is ready to swear off men thanks to her slimy ex-boyfriend, who made it big at her expense with a humiliating, chart-topping song called “Darling Leila.” Straitlaced TV producer Carter Bain is aiming to land a big ad client by casting Leila in a mindless Three’s Company–style production, but Leila has her eye on a smart legal drama he’s casting. After losing a bet with Leila’s manager during an improbable poker game dare in Las Vegas, Leila and Carter make a cold business decision to marry. If they stay married for six months, Leila will have her choice of TV roles; if they can’t hack it, Leila will star in the sitcom. To their surprise, a satisfying and deep connection develops between Leila and Carter that has nothing to do with business, as is evident in Jackson’s thoughtful characterization. Leila and Carter are surprisingly sweet to each other, despite the marriage’s beginnings, and Jackson even manages to sell the poker game as a perfectly normal motivation for marriage. Agent: Rachel Brooks, L. Perkins Agency. (Sept.)