Series: The Single Ladies of Lakeside #2
Release Date: August 8th, 2022
CW: mentions of infidelity (not mains), mentions of divorce
Single mom Melanie Hayes should absolutely, completely, and totally not be attracted to her next door neighbor. Nick Campagna can be her friend, her secret crush, or just the arrogant —and unavoidably handsome—jerk next door, but nothing more. Because, even though it was a million years ago, he’s also her sister’s ex. And now, with Lakeside’s Battle of the Businesses in full swing, Nick’s also Melanie’s competition.
Their families have always been competitive, so it’s no surprise to anyone that Nick and Melanie are playing for more than just bragging rights. With a coveted piece of land on the line, Nick isn’t backing down. Maybe he can’t help noticing that the tomboy he knew as a kid has turned into a stunning redhead. Maybe he is attracted to Melanie. Ridiculously so. But as real as this feels, Nick knows this is one game he definitely can’t win.
They’ve known each other long enough that it’s definitely not love at first sight. But attraction can happen in an instant. And this is one wager where winning is nowhere near as fun as playing the game…
I spent a good amount of time flip-flopping on my rating for this book, because it had all of the things that I liked, but there were certain parts that felt a little strange. But on the whole, Not Betting on Forever was a quick and fun read, it’s my first by Natasha Moore, but definitely got me curious about the others. It’s also the second in a series, but I don’t think you need to read the first book to fully grasp this one.
Not Betting on Forever has…
✨ forbidden (she’s the sister of his ex-wife)
✨ characters in their 40s
✨ neighbours to lovers
✨ childhood crush to lovers
✨ small town shenanigans
✨ a really fun wager
✨ a friendly town competition
✨ just one time to get it out of our systems
I mean, look at that list! This book was basically my catnip and I can’t even tell you how fast I clicked ‘request’ when I saw it on NetGalley. I know lots of people are iffy about this kind of forbidden romance, but I quite enjoy it. Especially when there’s no cheating or anything untoward happening. Besides, Nick and Melanie have tons of history and were friends before everything else in their lives happened, so I feel like it totally works. I’m also a sucker for small town shenanigans, and this book came with the added bonus of having something called Battle of the Businesses (BoB) where everyone in town that has a business participates in a month-long competition that has so many fun activities and games.
Nick and Melanie’s relationship was definitely interesting. There was a lot of pushing away on Melanie’s part, simply because she didn’t want to be on the receiving end of her sister’s wrath and also because she knows that it’s not a good idea to get involved with Nick. But for Nick, he can’t stay away from Melanie. Yes, they live right next door to each other (in the homes where they grew up, even), but it’s so much more than that. Between their shared history (not just her sister) and the memories they have, it’s impossible for them to ignore the building attraction. I liked that Nick didn’t hide his attraction to Melanie either, especially when he just laid it all out there and told her how he felt.
Not Betting on Forever is fun, absolutely no doubt about it. And while I loved all of the BoB stuff, there were parts where I felt like things were dragging. I wanted to see more of their relationship and dive deeper into their feelings when they were together. There was a lot of sorting things out on their own and vaguely talking about it together, but I personally just wanted more. I do like how much of their businesses were brought into the story and how passionate both of them are about being part of such a tight community.
Thanks to Entangled & NetGalley for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.