Sunday, December 24, 2017

Blame it on the Bet by L.E. Rico - Book Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Hennessy and her sisters have been raised at their family's pub in Mayhem, Minnesota. After their father's death they discover he had money problems and if they can't find money fast they're going to lose the pub. Hennessy's father was already selling it to Bryan, a real-estate developer, who's interested in the premises and wants to build a multiplex theater. Bryan thought buying the pub would be simple, but when he discovers he now has to deal with Hennessy and her sisters instead of their father the situation becomes a lot more complicated.

Bryan travels to Mayhem, a town where he's completely out of place, to find out what happened to his quick and easy purchase of the pub. When he meets Hennessy he decides to stay in Mayhem for a while. They even start a bet. Who will end up owning the pub, Hennessy and her sisters or Bryan? Hennessy and Bryan are sworn enemies, but it's quite easy for them to forget this. Will they gain something valuable or will they both lose what is most dear to them?

Blame it on the Bet is a wonderful romantic story filled with snow, delicious drinks and charm. I loved the fierce and proud Hennessy. She has a fantastic strong personality that I admired from the start. She doesn't let Bryan get away with anything and that's something he can definitely use. He has a good heart, but needs a reminder every now and then because he's built so many walls around it. I couldn't wait to find out if they'd get their happily ever after and couldn't turn the pages quickly enough to discover what fate would have in store for them.

L.E. Rico has a great sense of humor and her writing style is warm and welcoming. I immediately loved Hennessy and her sisters. They have a special connection that gives the story some fantastic charisma. I was spellbound by L.E. Rico's vivid descriptions of her main characters and loved the cheerful and temperamentful way she portrays their feelings. The result is an amazing entertaining story. Blame it on the Bet captivated me from beginning to end.


If you love small town romance and like reading about sisters you should definitely read Blame it on the Bet.

About L.E. Rico

You don't always end up where you thought you were headed. At least, that's been my experience. I was going to be principal French horn of the New York Philharmonic. That was the plan. Well... actually... that was MY plan. The New York Philharmonic had no idea of my intentions. And that's not a bad thing.

As an undergrad music major, I got a job at my campus radio station working for minimum wage (then, a whopping $3.85 an hour!). Suddenly, the plan changed. And so did I. Fast-forward twenty-something years and here I am, with an even better gig as a classical music radio host.


I do my best to demystify classical music for my audiences by taking it off a dusty old pedestal and putting it into a modern context. Over the years, I've been fortunate enough to be heard on some of the biggest public radio stations around the country. Check out the On Air page to find out where and when you can hear me.

Okay, so there I am, all comfy cozy in this really successful career when one day I started to write. And write. And write. By the time I was done, I'd completed an entire novel called REVERIE. But I wasn't done. I kept on going until I 'd written two more novels, RHAPSODY and REQUIEM.

That's when I found myself at Entangled Publishing with contracts for two brand new series.

Yikes! How am I supposed to keep up with all of this? Check out Words & Music, my blog page, and you can keep up with my ongoing efforts to balance the two worlds and figure out what the heck I want to be when I grow up.

In the meantime, I'll be plugging along with my cutie pie husband, Tom, and bratty schnauzer, Gracie— those adjectives are totally interchangeable between them, by the way—from our home on Long Island.



Guest post
By Lauren Rico

Hello and thanks so much to Suze and Anniek for allowing me to drop in for a guest post on the wonderful With Love for Books blog!!

In my latest book, Blame it on the Bet, young attorney Hennessy O’Halloran takes a leave from her big city job to return home to the small town of Mayhem, Minnesota. She and her three sisters—all named for assorted liquors, by the way—are in danger of losing the pub their father has left to them after his recent passing. But it’s not just the bank that’s nipping at their lovely heels. Handsome, slick real estate developer Bryan Truitt has left his high-rise corner office in L.A. to try and secure the purchase of said pub for his own evil agenda—a multiplex cinema.

(Insert gasp of shock and dismay here).

But, while Bryan may be a savvy entrepreneur, he’s no match for the heart and soul of the Whiskey Sisters—Hennessy, Jameson, Walker and Bailey. Especially Hennessy, who possesses not only a sharp legal mind, but also the looks and personality that send poor Bryan slipping and sliding as he tries to find a little stability on the icy sidewalks of Mayhem. I’m sure you can guess where this is headed...

But Blame it on the Bet isn’t just a fish-out-of-water love story—it’s also a story about following your heart...and your dreams. Hennessy, especially, finds herself torn. It was always her late father’s desire that his eldest daughter become an attorney. So she attended law school and dutifully built a career any parent would be proud of. Problem is that Hennessy doesn’t want to be a lawyer. She wants to stay home in Mayhem with her sisters and help them run the pub. It’s a constant source of conflict for her, even as the possibility of losing the business looms ever-closer.

This wasn’t a difficult perspective for me to wrap my head around because I can relate. Totally. Because, while I may not have a law career, I do have one in classical music broadcasting. And, while I’m very good at what I do, I have another dream—writing. So, after more years than I’d care to mention, I’ve started over. The learning curve has been steep—I’ve had to learn all kinds of things about self-publishing, traditional publishing, agents and editors. And I’ve had some major hiccups, let me tell you! But, I’ve also met some of the most amazing people along the way.

Now, little by little, as my books begin to pick up steam, I find myself wanting to spend more time writing and less time doing the work that pays that bills...which is a little inconvenient, especially for my husband! And, as with Hennessy, there are people who would be happy to see me stay where I am, doing what I’ve been doing all these years. Not because they don’t want me to be happy, but because they like the way I do what I do. And, as with Hennessy, I’m profoundly tempted to keep plugging along on the path of least resistance. I mean, it’s not that I don’t enjoy my radio work—it’s just that I’m ready for more than “enjoy.” I want the JOY. And that is what the writing brings me.

For now, I manage the balancing act that many of us encounter every day—I do what I like to support what I love...and hope that one day soon they’ll be one and the same.

I hope that the New Year brings plenty of JOY for you and yours!

Thanks for reading! All best wishes, Lauren


One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a $10 Amazon gift card.

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The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. The sense of humor and warm and welcoming style sound great!

  2. Thanks so much for the review and giveaway as well. Great post!

  3. The story sounds like one I will enjoy. Merry Christmas!

  4. Thanks for the introduction to this book.

  5. Thank you so much for the great post :)

  6. You are a new author to me but this sounds like a book I'd really enjoy reading. I will put it on my wish list. As soon as my budget recovers from Christmas I'll be adding it to my kindle.

  7. Sounds like a great read for the holidays :)

  8. This sounds like a good book. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Thanks for the review & giveaway!

  10. Being raised in a pub s something I'd recommend to anyone.

  11. Blame It On The Bet sounds like it's full of charm, family and small town goodness.

  12. Sounds like something I'd enjoy reading! Happy New Year!

  13. This sounds like a fascinating story! :-)

  14. good luck with your sales!

  15. Thanks for all these great comments guys and for entering to win the GC! Good luck :^)
    -Lauren Rico

  16. This sounds a like a good old life-affirming book, just what you need in January!

  17. I love the small town romance feel! I'd love to read this... sounds great!

  18. This book sounds really enjoyable

  19. follow i put twitter by accident

  20. Happy New Year, Lauren! Thanks for a giveaway! Lubka

  21. Oh this sounds so good and I LOVE that is about Minnesota! Thats where I live :) Lauren Rico is a new author for me and I cannot wait to read this!

    1. It's inspired by the 8 years I lived in St. Paul. I fell in love with the wonderful people there and all the fun, funny, quirky things about the Midwest. I'm working on the second one right now with a great scene at the MN State Fair (think cheese curds and Princess Kay of the Milky Way :^)
      Enjoy! All best, Lauren