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THE LOVE WAGER – Lynn Painter
A Perfect 10
ISBN: 978-0-593-43728-5
March 14, 2023
Romantic Comedy

Omaha, Nebraska – Present Day

After having gone through a painful breakup with her longtime boyfriend, the last thing Hallie Piper needs is a new romance. One night while working as a bartender at a wedding, a man comes up to the bar to order a drink. She recognizes him from the jewelry store where she also works part-time and remarks to him about it. His girlfriend thinks they are coming on to each other and throws a hissy fit—and tosses a drink at Hallie. With the guy now being dumped by his girlfriend, he corrals Hallie into drinking with him. She wakes up the next morning in his bed. She doesn’t know his name, but it must have been good drunken sex. She sneaks out and doesn’t see him until she meets him a few days later. 

Turns out the guy’s name is Jack Marshall, and he is fun to be around. Hallie and Jack hit it off as friends and avoid the romance route. As they kid around and get to know each other, he gets her to agree to a dating app challenge. If one finds true love using the app, they will have to pay the other in a bet (she offers up a rare, signed baseball and his is a bunch of airline miles). Along the way, they encourage and critique each other’s date choices. Despite the chemistry between them, Jack and Hallie don’t want their friendship to turn into friends with benefits. 

There’s plenty of fun going on in THE LOVE WAGER, a romantic comedy that revolves around the romantic lives of Jack and Hallie. To a point, neither can find Mr. Right, so after they ditch their online dates, they end up at a local Mexican food joint to commiserate. Just when it looks like they are both about to hit the jackpot, things change—and Hallie needs a date to her sister’s destination wedding in Vail. Jack agrees to be her pretend boyfriend for the weekend, and that is when this tale really takes off as the chemistry between them sizzles smoking hot. It doesn’t help that their shared room turns out to only have one bed. Can they spend a night together in the same bed? It isn’t like they haven’t done it before…

THE LOVE WAGER is cute and entertaining with its sassy dialogue and intriguing characters in Hallie and Jack. They don’t see themselves together as the perfect romantic couple but feel friendship is their best bet. He teases her and she confides in him. Why ruin a good friendship with love? Yet, it is clear to readers that they are great together. When will they realize it? THE LOVE WAGER takes you inside the ins and outs of online dating. It is either hit or miss, but is it worth it? Yet, Hallie can’t get past that night of drunken sex (as she calls it) and feels they will ruin a good friendship by having sex. Will the trip to Vail be a game-changer? You’ll have to read this tale to find out the answer. 

Enjoy the fun and sexy shenanigans by grabbing a copy of THE LOVE WAGER. I certainly enjoyed it and that is the reason I gave it a Perfect 10.

Patti Fischer

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