Bet the Farm by Staci Hart
Olivia Brent has one summer to save the dairy farm she just inherited.
But there’s one problem, and it’s not her lactose intolerance.
The brooding farmhand has inherited exactly fifty percent of Brent Farm, and he’s so convinced the city girl can’t work the land, he bets she can’t save it in a summer.
Determined to prove him wrong, Olivia accepts what might be the dumbest wager of her life.
His strategy to win seems simple: follow her around, shirtlessly distracting her between bouts of relentless taunting. And it’s effective—if his dark eyes and rare smiles aren’t enough to sidetrack her, the sweaty, rolling topography of the manbeast’s body would do the trick.
What they don’t know: they’ll have to weather more than each other.
Mysterious circumstances throw the farm into disarray, and with the dairy farm in danger, Olivia and Jake have to work together. But when they do, there’s more to fear than either of them imagined.
Because now their hearts are on the line, and the farm won’t be the only casualty if they fail
Thank you Staci Hart for sending me this book as an ARC! This is my honest review.
Okay, you guys know I am not the biggest fan of enemies to lovers. This is specifically because I don’t like how one character treating another awfully is romanticized. To be more specific, I don’t like that when one character is treating another poorly, the character being treated poorly still likes or is attracted to the mean one. Really? That being said, there needs to be one hell of a redemption arc for me to get over my annoyance, and luckily for this book, there was.
I did enjoy this overall with the exception of one facet, that I will get into later. Olivia is going back home to her family’s farm in California after her Grandpa’s after living the past decade or so with her aunt in New York. She feels guilty about being away for so long and is determined to jump right into saving her family’s farm.
Unbeknownst to her, Jake, the farm hand is also inheriting half the farm and they must work together to save it. Except Jake does NOT want to work with her and wants to continue to do everything the same, despite the massive financial trouble the farm is in. Now here is where I get annoyed. Both Jake and Olivia just lost someone super important to them and Jake is an absolute dick to Olivia for months about it. But then Jake goes on to say that he is trying to honor the Grandpa’s legacy… by being a dick to his only surviving family member? I don’t think that is every justifiable in my opinion. However, I do love Olivia’s optimism and her attitude and approach to hard situations!
Now, we do go on later to learn about the reason Jake came to the farm and how it became his home and why he is so passionate about saving it (even if he is going about it completely wrong.) I am a strong believer in that circumstances should not be excuses for your behavior, but I do recognize that it is an explanation. I love that Jake’s background is talked about and I wish more books had plots regarding immigration and deportation and how it’s used as a weapon against people who just want to have a home.
Overall, I did really enjoy the book and I do recommend it. I wish Jake had a bit more groveling, since it always was Olivia apologizing first when I didn’t think she was really in the wrong, but that is clearly just a personal preference and I’m being nitpicky haha. This book is available on February 23, through what ever you favorite book buying platform is!
Let me know what you guys thing! Are you guys a fan of enemies to lovers?
I also want to give a little shoutout to Staci Hart’s daughter. At the end of the book, Hart has a little note about a tough year it’s been with everything going on in the world and mentions her daughter struggled with mental health, then later came out as non-binary. I just want to say I am super proud of them and I hope the world becomes as accepting and loving as I hope those around them are.