Beginner’s Bet by Fiona Riley

What was the book about?
Ellison Gamble is the owner and boss bitch (I say affectionately) in charge of Gamble and Associates realty. She’s brilliant, she’s kind, she’s funny – and in her early forties, she’s unable to do the thing she wants most in the world, which is to have a baby. Amidst learning this news that spins her world around, she meets Katie who nabs her attention.

Katie Crawford is in her late-twenties and she’s struggling to help her mother, who needs to live in a full time physical rehab facility, and how to afford it. When she meets Ellison, though, it feels like there’s an answer to all of her problems when Ellison offers to sell her mothers house which will help fund her mothers care.

But along the way these beautiful women realise that their next adventure might be each other…

Featured Tropes
Age Gap, FF, Friends To Lovers, Class Disparity, Coming out, Oh!The chemistry, Happy Ever After

Book Strengths
Let me just start with this. There has never been a book by Fiona Riley I don’t absolutely love. She has this ability to draw me in and make me want to be a part of the story. This book? Is officially my favourite. 

Honestly I have been in a reading funk in the past few months… Life stuff. Insert eye roll here! But this book brought my passion for reading back and honestly I was starting to worry I had lost it for good. If it was going to be anyone I just knew it was Fiona!

This book can be read as a standalone book or as part of the amazing High Stakes Romance series.

As usual the dialogue is fluid, fast and full of fun. In fact the banter between Riley characters is probably number one in the reasons I adore her books so much. Also the sass… God I love sassy women!

Ellison Gamble is one hundred per cent my favourite Riley character (Sorry Sam and Lucy!). She’s a beautiful, genuinely kind human and honestly it’s a damn shame she only exists in Fiona’s head because I wanna go out for cocktails with her and talk about all the things. 

I loved Katie for her in so many ways but mostly I loved her for being perfect for Ellison who truly deserved someone just as wonderful as herself. My favourite dynamic was Ellison being Katies knight in shining armour in so many ways but Katie not realising that she saved Ellison too.

I really loved the premise and at one point I was sure Fiona was going to take us down one route and we ended up going somewhere completely different. I love when authors do that to me because it doesn’t happen often honestly.

Lastly the epilogue not only gave me the feels in a big freaking way but also it secured the happily ever after Kate and Ellison deserved. #perfect

Character Chemistry
Fiona Riley is called the queen of steam for a reason and she well and truly lives up to her name with Katie And Ellison.

The chemistry was on fire and dripping in desire. The sexual tension between Ellison and Katie is intense and I really enjoyed the build up especially because we are led to believe that Katie is straight. When they do hit the sheets there’s fireworks and it’s oh it’s so deliciously sexy. #allhail #thequeenofsteam

Heat Rating

Audio Book Review
I listened to this book after I read it for the first time. Melissa Sternenberg and Fiona Riley are well matched. I especially loved Melissa’s take on Ellison voice, it was so on point. 

Wrap up
This book is outstanding and most definitely one of my favourite books of 2021. I think Fiona hit all my favourite tropes in the one book. I can’t wait to see what’s next from who is fast becoming my favourite author.


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