Series: Betting on Love #3
Release Date: March 30th, 2022
CW: mentions of physical abuse, scenes of violence and use of guns, scenes with distribution of drugs
Trapped. Silenced. Devastated. Greed has a way of snuffing out even the most noble souls, and in Diablo’s world, you either bend to his will or you’re dead. Ben’s been chained to his enforcer role longer than he ever intended and panic is starting to set in. Will he ever be free again, or is he simply a pawn in another man’s sick and twisted game? More importantly, how will he earn forgiveness from the one woman who can save his soul?
With the Wolves disbanded, Hazel’s only hope for revenge lies between two beating hearts—the man who’s loved her since she was a teen and the man who slips into her subconscious at night, heating her from the inside out. She’s torn between family loyalties, enacting revenge, and relinquishing her bruised and beaten heart. Diablo won’t see another day of power if she can help it, but only one person has the kind of access she needs to infiltrate and destroy this crooked kingdom.
Screw a dance… this means war.
“This woman was made for sin, and I’m the sinner.”
First things first, WHAT A CONCLUSION! Oof. Loren took us on one hell of a journey through the Betting On Love series and I have enjoyed every minute of it. I’m still wrapping my head around this incredible world that Loren created, these characters and the stories they have been able to tell for three whole books. I’m gonna miss The Pound and these characters, but I have loved them so much that I’ll just find ways to re-read them as I go! Please be aware that you need to read these books in order otherwise you’ll miss out on details and be spoiled for everything!
I was very cautious about Ben in Betting Blind, because we saw him through Jack’s eyes and the history they share, but the first time he appeared on the page, I just knew that I was going to love him. And to see him evolve and grow and become this incredible character over the course of these three books has been a treat. As the enforcer for the Diablo, Ben’s too close to all of the darkness and corruption. And he knows that he’s part of the problem, but the only way he can keep all those he loves safe is if he does what he’s told and follows the path laid out for him. Ben’s struggles with accepting right from wrong and knowing how he’s causing havoc is great insight into him as a character. I loved that Ben was putting everyone but himself first, that he protected everyone at The Pound even though he knew he’d have to pay the price every single time.
And Hazel. Good god, I knew she was fierce and badass, but I did not know just how amazing she would be. Through being held hostage and treated badly, I love how Hazel was still so determined and passionate about righting all wrongs. I like that not even once did she give Ben an easy time and made him work for every smile or quiver. Hazel is wild in all the right ways. I enjoyed seeing her fight for what she believed in, stand her ground in front of the biker gang and take what she wanted, without waiting for someone to give her permission. Independent, fearless, sassy and wild, Hazel is an icon.
“You and me? We’re gonna light the world on fire.”
Sexual tension oozes out of this book. Hazel and Ben are constantly at each other, partly because Hazel’s so angry at Ben’s betrayal and partly because Ben doesn’t like the idea of anyone else ever touching Hazel again. They have no qualms telling each other how much they dislike the other, they fight and bicker, they poke and prod and every single minute is so fantastic. Hazel wants to get rid of Ben, but he’s find it hard to let her go. And whenever they’re together, fireworks go off. Even when they’re fully clothed. But, let’s not forget what happens when they’re not fully clothed, because my god. Loren definitely saved all of the delicious steam for these two, because there’s that bike scene and *fans self*
All of the stress from the first two books, all that tension and struggle comes to a head with this one (that’s not a spoiler!). This book hits the ground running and doesn’t let up till you’re done with it, because that’s the kind of story it is. There’s so many loose ends to tie up, storylines to complete and messes to fix and Loren does such a fantastic job of bringing it all together. We’ve spent three books hating Diablo and with Waging War, we finally have peace. But the journey there isn’t easy and there were moments when I felt like I was going to scream because, poor Hazel and Ben!
Trust me when I say you need these books in your life, because Loren takes the romantic suspense genre and puts her own spin on it. It’s beautiful, sexy, dangerous and altogether brilliant.
Thanks to Loren Beeson for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.