A Review of All Bets Are Off by Marguerite Labbe

My rating: “http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/261735926″4 of 5 stars
Rating: 4.5 stars
In All Best Are Off Marguerite Labbe has crafted a lovely, warmhearted romance. This book has everything I love in a story – great characters, a terrific plot, marvelous dialog and a HEA that had me smiling long after I had finished the book. And I should add hot and sexy!
Professor Eli Hollister hasn’t had the best luck in relationships when he spies a hot man helping roof his friend’s bar and local hangout. The hot man on the roof? Ash Gallagher, recently discharged from the Army after being wounded in Afghanistan and now in Amwich, CT trying to finish his degree. One meeting and the physical attraction between them is combustible. Really, you can feel the heat. After the night together ends unexpectedly, both are looking forward to another meeting but neither expects it to be in the classroom, with Eli as Ash’s professor.
Due to the nature of the student/teacher relationship, they decide to forego the physical side of the relationship until the semester is over. This allows both the men and the reader get a chance to explore their characters within the structure of a small town and college. The build up of sexual tension between Ash and Eli is wonderful and frustrating. Plus there are outside burdens placed on each man that adds additional stress to their new relationship. For Eli, there is a English Chair who despises him and wants him fired. For Ash, the fact that his closes friends were left behind overseas when he left the military is making him feel guilty.
Marguerite is such a gifted author that almost immediately you are swallowed up into their lives. Their joys are yours as well as their doubts and aggravations. When Eli gets stubborn and angry with Ash, you get why while at the same time commiserating with Ash over the walls Eli has erected. I just loved these two. And my only quibble would be that at the end, I wish I could have seen more of their future together but perhaps that is another story.
Either way I know I will be picking this book up again in the future so I can settle back into the lives of Eli and Ash.

It only takes one night with Ash Gallagher to make Eli Hollister think he’s finally met the right man at the right time. Good thing he doesn’t bet on it, because Ash turns out to be a student in Eli’s class at the local college. Eli can’t deny he’s attracted, but now it’s complicated. He’s already in enough trouble with the department head, a man who would like to see Eli denied his tenure and fired.

Ash is looking forward to taking his life in a new direction. After serving one active-duty stint in the Marine Corps and another in the Reserves, he’s ready to put his military life behind him. The last new experience he’d planned for this semester was to fall in lust with his English professor, but the more Eli resists, the more Ash is determined to have him. Then he discovers Eli’s playing for keeps, and Ash is only interested in a fling… or is he? Between these two, when it comes to life and love, all bets are off.

Available from Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, and All Romance.
http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/2515670-melaniem54msn-com”>View all my reviews</a>

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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