Wednesday, December 16, 2015

*** Review of Betting on Bailey By Tara Crescent ***

Betting on Bailey By Tara Crescent
Print Length: 289 pages
Publication Date: December 1, 2015

Man this was one hell of a book. I love Tara's books. And 
this was no exception. I love the passion she puts into each
 book, you can just feel it.  How she starts each chapter of 
with a quote by someone famous, they were truly fun to read 
at each chapter. And oh how I love how Bailey Finally wakes
 up and sees where her life is leading her. And When she 
meets Daniel and Sebastian how she grabs a hold of this 
opportunity. L ove how all three of them seem to find they 
are stronger together than apart. And that love can 
sometimes overcome any obstetrical life may though at you.
 Now before I ruin this for you I will leave off here.  I hope 
you enjoy this book as much as I did. If you do like this book,
 please consider leaving a review. The Authors really like it
 when you do, they value your opinions too.

A billionaire businessman. A bad-boy celebrity chef.
A curvy woman. Sometimes, good things come in threes.

Bailey Moore is not in the mood for love…

She just needs to learn to play pool in a hurry. Out of spite,
her loser ex-boyfriend has saddled her with a rent bill she
cannot afford, and Bailey’s not going to take it lying down.
She’s going to hit him where it hurts, by beating him at his
favorite game, in front of all his friends.

Now, she needs to join a pool league, find someone to coach
her and get really good in a hurry. Perhaps her hot new
teammates Daniel and Sebastian could be persuaded to help…

Sebastian Ardalan is too busy for love…

His restaurant has earned a prestigious award, and the
offers are pouring in - cookbooks, TV shows, franchise deals
and more. His focus should be on hi career, but Sebastian
can’t stop thinking about the curvy redhead who has just
joined his pool team...

Daniel Hartman cannot afford love…

He’s shared women with Sebastian before, but there’s
something special about Bailey. Before he knows it, he’s
rashly bet fifty thousand dollars that Bailey will win a crucial
pool game…

However, Daniel is negotiating a deal that’s vital to his
company. If the sexy ménage becomes public news, all hell
will break loose…

When the stakes have never been higher, can the three
of them bet on each other and take a chance on
true love?

Note: Betting on Bailey is a stand-alone ménage novel (mfm)
and part of the Playing For Love series. It is full of steamy
scenes featuring a billionaire businessman, a bad-boy chef
and a curvy redhead. Intended for mature audiences only.

Chapter 1


In Armenia, on the Day of St. Sargis, single women fast all day and eat a slice of very salty bread before they go to sleep, so that they might dream of the man they are going to marry. The man that brings them water in their dreams is the man they are meant to marry.
- from Bailey’s Journal of Interesting Facts from around the World


“Professor Moore,” Maria Rivera knocks at my office door and sticks her head in. “Do you have a moment? Sameer’s reviewing my grant application, and he suggested you look it over as well.”

I glance at the clock at the bottom of my computer screen. It’s a quarter to seven.  I’m supposed to meet my boyfriend Trevor at seven thirty to watch him play pool, and he gets extremely irritated when I’m late. There’s no point telling him that my job is demanding and leaving on time isn’t always an option. According to Trevor, if my job was important, I’d make a lot of money. I don’t, therefore my career is not to be taken seriously.

“I have,” I tell Maria, rising to my feet and gathering the small pile of rings and bracelets that I’ve taken off to type, “exactly fifteen minutes, then I have to leave.”

“Thanks so much,” she says gratefully as I follow her into Sameer Shah’s office, slipping my turquoise ring on my finger and fastening the coral bracelet around my wrist. I like the gemstones. I dress, in typical New York style, in black almost all the time. The jewelry adds some color. “It’s the section on gender roles in the Taiga that we thought you should review,” she elaborates.

Ah. That makes sense. I’m the resident expert on the Siberian Taiga, having spent a year there as part of the research for my doctoral dissertation.
“Hey Bailey,” Sameer greets me as I walk into his office, his eyes glued to the computer screen. “Pull up a chair, will you? Can you tell me what you think of this bit?”

I read over his shoulder. Maria’s done a reasonable job describing why the people who live in the remoteness of Siberia are important and why they deserve study. She’s mentioned all the important points - the arrival of the Internet is eroding cohesion in the community, language is being lost and we are, in essence, in a race against time to study and preserve this slice of the world that has so far remained untouched by modern influences.

“Who’s funding this grant?” I ask her. “The National Science Foundation?”

She shakes her head. “No, the NSF’s budget has been halved. This grant is from a private company. Hartman. Have you heard of them?”

“Nope.” I’m not really listening to Maria’s words; I’m digesting the impact of her first sentence. Damn it. I knew the National Science Foundation wasn’t going to budget very much money this year for liberal arts. Everything’s about science and technology these days. It’s a great time to be in the STEM fields, and a terrible time to be in the humanities.

Thank heavens they’ve already approved my grant to go to Argentina in the fall.

Of course, thinking of Argentina reminds me of Trevor’s reaction last week when he heard I needed to be away for five months doing research on the myth and the reality of the gauchos in Patagonia. Let’s just say he wasn’t supportive.

Since I seem to be becoming an expert on ignoring the many reasons Trevor is wrong for me, I push those thoughts to the background and focus on Maria’s problems instead. “Okay,” I pull up a chair and reach for a pad of paper, pushing the bangles back from my right wrist so I’ll be able to write. “This is a great start, but you also need to add…”

I have multiple mechanisms in place to prevent me from being late. Alarms going off on my phone in fifteen minute intervals. Flashing screens on my laptop warning me to stop working. My computer is even programmed to shut down automatically at seven thirty.

But I’ve left my cell phone in my office, and engrossed as we are in strengthening Maria’s grant application, none of us hear the alarm when it goes off at seven. There’s another alarm that’s supposed to chime at seven fifteen, but if I can’t tell you if it went off - I don’t hear it either. When I finally look up at Sameer’s screen to check the time, I’m horrified to note that it’s seven thirty five. “Fuck,” I swear. “Fuck. And fuck again. Sorry, Maria. Pretend you didn’t hear me.” I don’t bother apologizing to Sameer. He has the office next to me. He’s heard me curse before.

She laughs. “Sure thing, Professor Moore,” she says easily. “Thank you so much for your help. This is fantastic.”

“Sorry to keep you here late on a Friday night,” Sameer adds apologetically. “You doing something fun?”

“Not really. I’m going to watch my boyfriend Trevor play pool. You guys met him at the faculty mixer two months ago, right?”

“Ah.” Sameer’s voice is flat, and he exchanges glances with Maria. “Yes, Trevor. You should go.”

I furrow my brow. Trevor had too much to drink at the mixer, and he’d insulted a bunch of my co-workers by going on an extended rant about the pointlessness of liberal arts. Finally, mortified by his rudeness, I’d had to drag him away. It had not been a good evening, and judging from Sameer’s reaction, Trevor has left an impression.

I ignore the big honking signs the universe is giving me about my relationship. Making my excuses, I head back to my own office and dig around the stacks of papers till I find my phone. Crossing my fingers, I dial Trevor’s number. As luck would have it, I get his voicemail. “Hey, I’m running late,” I tell the machine. “Sorry! I’m leaving right now, and I’ll see you soon.” The bar Trevor’s team is playing at is in SoHo, a ten minute walk away. With any luck, I’ll only be fifteen minutes late, and he won’t be too pissy.

* * *

Three hours later, I’m wondering why I even bothered to come out tonight. Trevor’s been in a snit all evening long. I’ve been reduced to sitting in the corner with a beer, trying to pretend that he isn’t looking down the shirt of the size-two blonde as she bends over the pool table to make her shot.

The brunette standing next to me has been openly flirting with Trevor, though she knows we are together. I’m not the jealous kind, but even so, I’m getting a little irritated. Come on, I think. Have some class.

Of course, Trevor isn’t exactly discouraging her flirting. That’s the kind of special guy that he is.

“What do you think this is?” Even her voice is whiny. There’s a few of Trevor’s teammates within hearing distance, but she’s looking straight at me. Shit, she’s talking to me. I have to make conversation?

She’s holding her finger out to me. For a second, I think she's making a rude gesture, then I realize she's saying something about a wound. “Something bit me when I went camping a month ago,” she pouts. “Look, it’s still swollen.”

It’s barely swollen. Apart from everything else, she’s a hypochondriac. Absolutely fucking lovely.

I know I'm being cranky and anti-social, yet I can't stop myself. A devil-may-care attitude grips me. Flirt with my boyfriend right in front of me? Honey, you don’t know what’s going to hit you.

“Oh my god,” I yelp, bending over her finger and pasting a serious expression on my face. “Did you go to the hospital?”

“No,” she shakes her head. “My sister,” she gestures to the blonde whose rack Trevor’s still ogling, “told me it was nothing.”

I make a tut-tut sound, allowing urgency to infuse my voice. “I’m a professor of anthropology. When I trekked in the jungles of Indonesia, a spider bit our guide. His wound looked exactly like this.”

I am a professor of anthropology, and I have trekked in the jungles of Indonesia multiple times.  But I assure you that I know absolutely nothing about infectious diseases. Brunette Barbie, who clearly doesn’t know what anthropologists do, has no idea that I’m making up the story of the guide’s finger.

“He had the same kind of swelling, I continue, my voice hushed. “Same red color. Nothing happened for a few weeks…” I swallow a sob. “Then...”

“What happened?” Her voice is shrill, her eyes are wide with fear. I’ve got her.

“The eggs were incubating. One day, they all hatched.” I clench my eyes shut, and my voice is very low. “That poor man. He had three children.”

Her face pales, and she lets out an ear-splitting shriek, which causes her sister to miss her shot at the table.

Ladies and gentlemen, my work here is done.

* * *

Once the blonde misses her shot, I watch my boyfriend strut up to the table. The cocky swagger is earned - Trevor is an exceptional pool player. The American PoolPlayer League ranks all their players by skill, and Trevor is a seven, which is the highest level.

They don’t rank douchebaginess, but if they did, Trevor would be a seven there too.

I wince at that churlish thought. I’m being unusually crabby tonight. But everything is irritating me - the way Trevor’s opponent is flirting with him, the way he’s responding, the way the bartender has served all the thin, pretty girls, while ignoring the fact that I’ve been standing at the bar for the last five minutes, waiting for a beer.

The sad truth is - I don’t really care how many women my boyfriend checks out. I don’t even mind if he’s sleeping around - that’ll give me the push I need to break up with him. Our relationship has been on life-support for a long time now, but I’m too embarrassed to pull the plug.

‘Why are you with him?’ my friend Gabby asked me once. She’s made no effort to conceal that she doesn’t like him.

I don’t know, I wanted to reply. Maybe because I’m the chubby girl and I get friend-zoned by guys. When Trevor, a good-looking and successful guy showed interest in me, I was flattered and swept off my feet. At the six month mark of our relationship, I even hoped I was in love with him. When he suggested moving in together, I’d been so thrilled that I’d held my tongue when he picked an apartment that I could not afford. I wanted the fairy tale.

Five months later, I’ve come to the unpleasant realization that fairy tales are for children. As uncomfortable as the truth can sometimes be, hiding from it won’t solve anything. Trevor doesn’t love me. The reason he’s dating me is because I can open some doors for him in Manhattan’s cultural scene. Trevor’s a social climber, and it’s prestigious to date a professor at NYU.

And I’m dating him because I’m too passive to end it, which is pitiful.

Something my dad told me when I was ten comes to mind. We’d been on a hike that had felt never-ending, and I had been tired and cold and miserable. “Can we go home yet?” I’d whined.

My father had crouched down so he was level with my face, and he’d looked into my eyes. “Look Bailey,” he’d gestured to the path, which curved round a corner. “Don’t you want to know what lies ahead? If you stay right here, how will you find out?”

And though the ten-year old me hadn’t thought very much of my dad’s reasoning, the adult version can appreciate those words. Life might not be a fairy tale, and true love might not exist. But I’ll never know if I stay with Trevor. I’ll never find out what lies ahead.

* * *

Once Trevor finishes his game, his teammates beckon me over. They’ve won handily tonight, and consequently, everyone’s in a good mood. “Bailey,” one of them, a guy called Peter says, his expression jovial, “why don’t you play a game with Trevor?”

Oh, dear god no.

I’ve tried to play a few times, but I’m dreadful. I have terrible hand-eye coordination. Trevor always looms over me, making me nervous. My overly-generous boobs graze the table, and I'm very self-conscious about them. One time, my breasts had knocked a ball out of the way. You would have thought I had tortured a puppy from the way Trevor reacted to that.

Trevor looks just as unhappy as I feel. “Bailey can’t really play,” he says. “I’ve tried teaching her, but she’s hopeless.”

At that, my temper, normally held well in check, flares, and I straighten my back. I know he’ll beat me. But I’d be damned if he’s going to talk me out of playing.

“Come on, man,” another one of his teammates says. He’s looking at me with pity in his eyes. “Don’t be a jerk.”

Trevor flushes. He’s generally pretty careful to treat me well in public. “Of course, honey,” he says, gritting his teeth.

I select a pool stick from the rack on the wall, knowing without even asking that Trevor isn’t going to offer me one of the cues in his case. “Do you want to break?” I ask him.

“No,” he says. There’s an unpleasant curl to his lips. “Why don’t you show us what you can do?”

I hate breaking. I can never hit the cue ball fast enough and with enough accuracy. The hallmark of a successful break is a satisfactory scattering of the balls all over the table. Me, I consider it a win if my cue ball even makes contact with the racked balls.

It feels like the entire bar is watching me. I don’t want to bend over the table - the black t-shirt I’m wearing will show too much cleavage if I do so. Trevor called my breasts cow-like once in the heat of an argument, and I’ve never forgotten those hurtful words.

I try to hold myself so I’m standing straight and I take the shot, but even before I make contact, I know I’ve failed. My cue stick careens out of control and barely grazes the white ball, which rolls a foot down the table and stops, humiliatingly, before it even hits the balls in the center.

My face is fiery. Trevor mutters a curse before he stalks forward. “You are supposed to bend over,” he says. He lines up his shot. “Like this.”

Thwack. He hits the rack of balls dead on. Three balls roll into pockets and Trevor walks around to make his next shot.

“I’ve taught you how to break.” He doesn’t look at me, and he’s careful to pitch his voice low so I’m the only one who can hear the corrosive words. The solid green ball rolls into the side pocket. “But this isn’t book learning, is it? You can’t study your way to success.” The four slides into a pocket, followed by the three. He lifts his head up and chalks his cue tip. “Face it, Bailey. You huddle in academia because you can’t cut it in the real world.”

Everyone’s looking at us. Why wouldn’t they? My boyfriend’s running the table. All I wanted to do was come out and have a nice evening. Instead, this has turned into another ‘Let’s humiliate Bailey’ exercise.

The warning bells swell to a choir. I’ve had enough. Before he can preen and take the shot at the eight ball, I set my beer down on the table. “It looks like you have things under control,” I say quietly. “I’m going home.”

Not supportive of my career? Check. Being a jerk to my friends? Double-check. Looking down the boobs of every available chick? Triple-check. Humiliating me in front of his friends? The final straw.

It’s time to pack my bags.
* * *

It takes Trevor two hours to come back home, by which time I’ve packed one suitcase with my essentials. I don’t own much stuff - at heart, I’m a traveler, and it shows in my rather meager possessions. As tempting and movie-like as it would be to march out of Trevor’s apartment clutching my Kitchen-Aid stand mixer in one hand and pulling a suitcase with the other, I can come back for the rest of my stuff on a different day.

The ending of our relationship shouldn’t have come as a surprise to Trevor, but he looks shocked when he sees me dressed to leave. “You’re joking,” he says flatly.

I frown. He doesn’t love me. If anything, he acts irritated with me most of the time, as if I’m a troublesome child that needs to be managed, not a grown woman. He’s probably just upset because I’m breaking up with him, not the other way round.

I’m a little sad that it’s over, but mostly, I’m relieved. “It’s time, Trevor,” I say softly. “Neither of us have been happy in this relationship, and we both deserve more.” I pause. “I’m going to Piper’s place tonight, and I’ll come back for the rest of my stuff in a week.” I take a deep breath. “I hope we can still be friends.”

“Friends?” His voice is icy, sending shivers down the back of my neck. “You’ll be begging me to take you back in no time. You stupid bitch. Have you seen yourself in the mirror?” He shakes his head. “Pathetic and fat.”

There’s an ugly glass vase that sits on a side table in the tiny foyer of our apartment. It belonged to Trevor’s grandmother, and is something of a family heirloom. I’ve always hated where it’s located - I’m terrified that I’ll knock it off and it’ll break.

Right now, it’s everything I can do to keep myself from throwing it at his head.

“Goodbye, Trevor.” Forget about being friends, you jerk. I never want to see you again.

* * *

There’s a scene in Kill Bill that has always stuck with me. It’s almost at the end of the second movie. Beatrice has finally found Bill in a remote Mexican village and is in the process of confronting him. Bill’s attempting to interrogate her and in the process, he talks about superheroes. Specifically, the myth of Superman.

I’m enough of a geek that I can quote the exact phrase, though the precise wording isn’t important. The gist of it is that there are superheroes and their alter egos.  Bruce Wayne puts on a costume to become Batman. Peter Parker becomes Spider Man. Superman however, is the exception to the rule, because Clark Kent doesn’t become Superman. No, Superman is always a superhero. Clark Kent is his disguise. His way of mingling with us mortals.

I first saw Kill Bill back in my graduate school days, when I still felt like Superman. Then, I was publishing papers and making an impact in my field. I was set to finish my PhD in record time, and I was being recruited by universities from around the world. I’d come off a difficult field assignment, living in Siberia for a year. I had felt invincible.

The girl who had been Superman would have never put up with Trevor’s insults and cruelty, but for the last year, I’ve been stuck in Clark Kent mode. I’ve forgotten how to be amazing.

It’s time for that to end.

~*~*~ Tara Crescent ~*~*~

Hello, I’m Tara Crescent. I’ve always fantasized about being a 
mysterious spy, leading a secret double-life, and now, I find that 
that’s come true!

Sort of.

By day, I’m a mild-mannered corporate drone in Toronto, but by 
night, I’m limited only by my imagination; I sit, and I type, and 
I am a daring writer of BDSM, erotica and romance.

In my spare time, I write of course. I also read, garden, travel, cook,
 and almost never clean. I just started watching Walking Dead on 
Netflix (zombie erotica, anyone?), and I’m impatiently awaiting 
the next episode of Doctor Who. (I would kill for a TARDIS.)

I’ve scribbled bits and pieces all my life, chiefly inspired by what
 I’m reading, which tends to be mainly science-fiction and fantasy,
 with a healthy sprinkling of romance and erotica thrown in.

I’m a huge believer in happily-ever-after, but tempered by real life, 
where happily ever-after is possible, but takes work.  My favorite
 kind of romance stories are ones that are somewhat believable; 
I like strong men and women who know what they want out of life,
 and are driven to get it.

I love reader email; I can be
reached at

Happy reading and writing!

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