Book Review

ARC Book Review: Betting on the Boy Next Door (Betting on Love #1) by Melanie Jacobson

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 308 pages
Author: Melanie Jacobson
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: March 7th, 2023
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


I’m a nurse who wants to be a rock star—a secret I don’t even tell my best friends and roommates. So when one of them—Ruby—gets it into her head to find me a man, I can’t explain why I don’t have time for her matchmaking. Ruby turns it into a bet to make sure I go along with it. I say yes, but won’t matter. My ex taught me the most important thing about men: you can’t count on them.

When Ruby picks the worst possible guy for me, I know I’ve got this in the bag. Sure, our brand-new neighbor, Josh, is hot, but he’s the privileged scion of an Austin family whose money is so old, it’s dusty. Been there, done that, and I’m not going back.

The thing is, Josh isn’t easy to shake, especially not after he discovers my secret double-life. With the help of a fake dating scheme, a cursing parrot, and our late-night balcony talks, I’m starting to think he’s a risk worth taking—even when all the evidence says I better run.

Thank you to the author for an eARC.


I enjoyed this book so much. It turned out to be what I needed when it dropped in my inbox and I stayed up way too late to finish it because I was loving every page.

Josh and Ruby has great chemistry from the get-go. I looooved the banter. I found myself smiling and swooning and when a few fake dating antics got thrown in I was INVOLVED. Little heated glances, the small touches, leaning in to whisper in someone’s ear? GIMME ALL OF IT. This had a very natural flow to the relationship with some push and pull, but ultimately realizing a HEA is in front of you.

Even when I found myself a little frustrated with how Sami was allowing past issues to completely fuel her decisions in the present I did see a lot of growth. Sami allowed herself to be open about her fears, spoke to others and even did some big gestures of her own to show Josh she’s as invested as he is. Josh definitely fell first (my fav) and I adore a guy who shows up, regardless of what that means.

And I thought the plot was fun. I’m hit/miss on music themes and I thought this was wonderfully written. I wanted to see the best for Sami and loved her level headedness about following her dreams and making those happen. It’s a great book. It’s super swoony, it’s on the lighter side and it’s perfect for spring time.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a grandparent, multiple mentions of older people passing away (Sami works as a nurse at a care facility), brief mention of going to rehab, absent father

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