Weston LaRue lives a charmed life. His parents are incredibly wealthy and generous and, since they run the Waldorf Astoria in NYC, West and his friends live there during college and have everything they want at their disposable. West is good looking and he knows it. He is rarely told no and life is great for him. West and his friends are well known on the Astor University campus and the Dean is not one of his fans. West is not one to say no to a bet and when he bets he can seduce the Dean’s son, a first-year student, West can win the vacation of a lifetime and get retaliation on the Dean.
JT is looking forward to college and even if his mother is the Dean, he can’t wait to have his own space. JT has only been interested in girls so far and he doesn’t even understand that a popular, wealthy, upperclassman like West could be interested in him. But West has JT breaking the rules and doing things he never thought he would do. And JT notices how good looking West is and feels a flair of jealousy when West’s eyes aren’t on him. The attraction is real, but so is the bet, and even though they both have feelings for each other, the crash is inevitable.
This book starts a new series from Ella Frank and Brooke Blaine and I was really into this one. I wasn’t sure what to expect, as the bet trope isn’t a favorite of mine and I had no idea what kind of super wealthy college students I would be encountering, but I definitely liked the balance here.
West is rich and he knows he lives a privileged life. He loves all of the benefits he gets from having successful and wealthy parents, but he is getting a degree and is looking to work with his parents. He has to get through college first and survive his issues with the Dean, which is one of his motivators, as after he got into trouble at school, his parents wouldn’t let him travel for the summer. JT hasn’t lived the same privileged life that West and his friends have and, while he’s not the naïve pushover West thought he would be, JT is enamored of both West and the life he leads.
With a book that has a bet as the central plot point, there is always the time that the bet is exposed. It’s no secret that would happen here and I didn’t want to look away as the story careens toward the inevitable. But in between, JT and West have chemistry and they have moments and they genuinely fall for reach other. But then there has to be a grand gesture that will have JT falling once again.
The setup where JT was in a dorm with a curfew and security didn’t seem plausible for me and it was a little much for a college student. JT was all in exploring all of the things with West as the story moved quickly and, given the nature of the plot, the angst was kept to minimum. The ending wraps up quickly and more in the moment with a HFN.
This book brings a wealthy charmer who has met his match surrounded by a close group of friends (some better, some worse), supportive parents, lots of chemistry, and first times for JT. The series will continue with the rest of the friend group and I do hope we get to see JT and West’s relationship develop more as well. New series…I’m in!