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It only takes one night with Ash Gallagher to make Eli Hollister think he’s finally met the right man at the right time. Good thing he doesn’t bet on it, because Ash turns out to be a student in Eli’s class at the local college. Eli can’t deny he’s attracted, but now it’s complicated. He’s already in enough trouble with the department head, a man who would like to see Eli denied his tenure and fired.
Ash is looking forward to taking his life in a new direction. After serving one active-duty stint in the Marine Corps and another in the Reserves, he’s ready to put his military life behind him. The last new experience he’d planned for this semester was to fall in lust with his English professor, but the more Eli resists, the more Ash is determined to have him. Then he discovers Eli’s playing for keeps, and Ash is only interested in a fling… or is he? Between these two, when it comes to life and love, all bets are off
All Bets Are Off by Marguerite Labbe was a pleasant surprise of a good story with romance, conflict and very likeable characters. This story is about English professor Eli Hollister who has an instant attraction to a construction work he eyes on the rooftop of his cousin’s bar. Eli is open about being gay and tries to feel out with eye contact whether this hottie on the roof is open to his flirting. Working part time as a roofer during his summer break, Ash Gallagher flirts right back with Eli and wouldn’t mind having a fling with the hot English teacher. It isn’t until months later that they are able to get together at the bar and act on their attraction. However before they could have sex Ash falls asleep after a long weekend at National Guard training, and they’ll have to wait for another time. Little did each of them know that Ash is a student in Professor Eli Hollister’s class the very next day at Amwich College! It looks like they are going to have to postpone any sex until Ash is no longer his student so it makes for a very long semester ahead for the both of them.
There are multiple stories going on with secondary characters which add so much to the book. Eli has a boss who is out to get him and wants him out of the English department. He also has a family friend who feels he’s been wronged and really takes it pass the legal limit to make Eli pay for his father’s wrong deed. Ash is an Iraqi war veteran having served 2 tours and is now a reservist and a college student. He’s dealing with some war issues and has friends still in Afghanistan so there is concern for them and their families. Ash is in college to get a degree to become a federal agent and he knows that his stay in this college town is only temporary so he shouldn’t make too many ties and get involved with anyone here. But the more he flirts with Eli, and makes bets with him over baseball games and another to see who can hold out the longest, the more he realizes that he is finding it hard not to get his heart involved and want more than a fling. I found myself really like both these characters and was totally hooked by the end with them because of their behavior and mannerisms that were so lifelike. Their love scenes were hot and not over the top but very sensual for me. The book had a big confrontation at the end but with justified results for all involved so you can expect a nice happily ever after for Eli and Ash. This was my first book by this author so I will be looking for more in the future.
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