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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.8 out of 5
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  • Funny & Angsty

    Enemies to Lovers Small Town Brooding Farm Hand Second Chance Romance What's not to love about this book? Reading about Olivia's attempts to become a farm girl were hilarious and totally worthy of a Hallmark movie. Jake was frustrating in his attempts to keep things on the farm the way they've always been. He was moody, mean, and contradictory in his feelings towards Olivia. The two butted heads more than they needed to in the beginning, but when a bet comes out that she will leave at the end of the summer if she can't pull the farm around, the story picks up and gets so much better. It's a fun, sweet, and emotional story with just a hint of angst.

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  • A Welcome Distraction

    Another exceptional read by Staci Hart! I can always count on her to put me out of my head and with the craziness of the world around me, this book was a welcome escape. Jake and Olivia's chemistry and banter was on point, and this book had my emotions all over the place! The swoons, the laughs, the tears, everything made this story and these characters *chef's kiss*. I love reading characters that have a history with each other, good or bad. And Jake and Olivia definitely have their own feelings and past to sort through. I also love how brave and headstrong Olivia was. She was definitely out of her element when she was put in the situation of co-owing a farm, but she never wavered and kept her head held high and put forth 1000%. Jake was stuck in his ways, but with good reason. He was guarding more than just the farm, and once the dust settled, things could move forward. I always love reading Staci's books. It's like being wrapped up in a warm hug.

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  • a book full of emotions and feelings

    Olivia "Livi" Brent works in the marketing industry in New York. She lost her parents early and was brought to the farm to live under her Uncle Frank's (a.k.a. Pops) guardianship at his farm until she moved to the East Coast for her degree. When word came of Pop's sudden passing, Livi immediately decided to resign and fly back to her tiny hometown in California and take over Brent's Dairy Farm. Little did she know that Pop made sure that he is still looking out for her and the farm when Pop's will was read. Jake Milovic is the brooding farm handler who unexpectedly inherited half of the farm with Livi. Loss and guilt make up Jake's life since he was a child. He was an orphan who found his way to Brent's farm and was given a chance by Livi's grandfather, Pop's. He later gets endowed as part-owner of the farm, wherein he hopes all his time and effort will help the farm get back to its feet and honor Pop's legacy. Told from both Olivia and Jake's POV, readers will relate to both main characters well. The author spills every emotion beautifully on each carefully gut-wrenching word and chapter. Both share the same grief and background but handled situations very differently. Their only common denominator is being "rescued" by Pop. They sympathize with each other's plight, but with egos and arrogance running high, expect sparks and passion at every turn. Now, if it's love or hate, that's another thing. I love Livi's optimism and determination in saving the farm. Her background is perfect for a business that needs a fresh start. She exuded a sunny and positive attitude that spills out to readers. I am glad that she did move away to get the skill she needs to one day take over the farm. Yes, there were sacrifices for this, but Pops knew. I firmly believed that Pops knew that things would work out even better than he had hoped for the farm and the family one day. She was determined, persistent, and creative as Livi does her best to get to the bottom of things and stop-the-bleeding. The only one that could not see it is Jake. Jake thought little of Livi's value to help the farm. He challenged her and contradicted her in every turn that I thought were great ideas and made the farm "current." Jake wanted so much to help the farm, but something was "holding him back" from progressing and facing change. I believe that Jake has anger management issues borne from a deeper underlying problem. The author tackles this when Jake starts examining his actions that seem to target Livi solely. The long-running family feud of the Brents vs. another family farm adds another dimension to the story. Manipulations and deception are present with generations pitted against each other. No one trusts the other. So, besides Livi and Jake having to worry about the struggling farm, there are "outside people" who are waiting to see the farm's demise. When things started to go wrong at the farm, could Livi trust her instincts to trust a friend who betrayed the farm in the past when everyone else tells her otherwise? And how will Livi react when she discovers Jake's secret that puts the farm further at risk? Overall, Bet The Farm is a great standalone from the author. I have read her books in the past, and Bet The Farm is a very different take from her usual plot scenes. The author still has the romance and humor elements down perfectly! It's a great take on the total opposite of what she writes - city, urban setting and she did well on this book's research. The author did a thorough job researching and incorporating farm life like milking a cow, clipping animal hooves, organizing farm logistics, and production. As a reader with zero background on this, it is greatly appreciated and makes the story relatable. The author pulls out ALL the internal raw emotions each time her books come with a warning label! Warning: Book will bring out raw emotions, make readers cry UGLY, and root for broken, brooding characters. Be conscious of unexpected chuckles, snickers at random times in the book, so read with discretion. The character development is stellar since Jake and Livi grew to appreciate each other's situation and made sacrifices for the farm. They were motivated by each other to be the best versions of themselves for a vital cause. There were a lot of discoveries and conflicts as the story unravels. As such, this is NOT your simple save-the-farm story. The author brought me into a rollercoaster of emotions - one with many underlying messages/truths, humbled learnings, and unexpected love. This book will surely bring out a bag of emotions and feelings in the process. Bet The Farm is undoubtedly a gem of a book from an author who pulls out every known human emotion with her storytelling skills!

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  • When war leads to love

    Will their misconceptions of one another bring them together or tear them apart... This book lead me to such a high and down race of emotions. I was upset, angry, smiling, content, sad, happy. None of the characters is perfect but at time, I would have cheered one and bashed the head of the other and vis versa. Olivia is the girl who sees everything through the prism of her pink glasses. She does not see the wrong in others, and while it is a joy to be around her, it also blind her to others’ needs or wants. Jake is marked by his past, the scars he still supports while invisible left him closed to others, hard to trust because he tasted first hand the price of betrayal and still bears the wounds of it. Why he looks like an angry bear at the beginning, looking for a fight and never relenting even when he is proved wrong. He pushes away Olivia, but she comes back with the force of a charging bull. This was a part so full of angst, not what I much like but they had to come to term with their life’s changes and letting go of the animosity between them was one way to clean the slate. All their pent-up feelings resurge and while they say hurtful words, they also come to know the other, to appreciate the exuberance and eagerness of one and the surliness and strength of the other. Together they are complementary, when separated, they are doomed to fail because of the excessiveness of their personalities. And once they are able to work hand in hand, oh my! They were so sweet together, each being the shoulder to rest one’s head on of the other. And of course it could not stay this way, everything had to spiraling down once more before rising again. At the end my poor heart was close to a seizure with all this waltz of the turmoils agitating their mind and heart. In all, you are in for one hell of a rollercoaster ride with a kaleidoscope of emotions awaiting you at every turn of a page, so jump in your pink rain boots be warned the road will be muddy and bumpy, yet so very rewarding once you reach the word End. 5 stars

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  • all swoonworthy, sweet and lovely.

    standalone-2021 I didn't know I needed something like Bet The Farm by Staci Hart in my life before I started reading it. This was like breathing freely in fresh air, feeling warmth of sun after snowy days or just feeling the rain on my face after scorching hot days. Overwhelming goodness of this adorable enemies to lovers, small town rom com is exactly what I needed to escape. I can always trust Staci Hart to make me feel giddy with emotions. And in Bet The Farm, it was all swoonworthy, sweet and lovely. I reviewed an early copy voluntarily

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