Jade Violet's Reviews > The Bet

The Bet by J.L. Beck
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did not like it
bookshelves: 2019, rape, sexual-assault, academic, college-student, new-adult, non-consensual

IF YOU HAVE ANY PLANS ON READING THIS BOOK AND DON'T WANT TO READ ANY SPOILERS THEN DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW BECAUSE I'M ABOUT TO GO OFF ON IT!

Before I get to the book itself, let me first say one thing. I veer a lot towards Dark and Taboo books. Although several trigger warnings should firmly apply to me, I have no problem reading a book as something fictitious and making my own mind up about the story and how the author chose to tell it. I have read pretty much every trope: stepbrother/stepsister, sex slaves, human trafficking, dubious consent, non-con, incest, hell even rape and paedophila and more that I can't even think of right now.. In the last two categories listed, I can usually live with the rapes because they are already at the hands of terrible villains and my biggest payoff is knowing that Karma is going to come back ten fold on those vicious animals and that I live for. As for paedophilia - that would be relegated to one book - Sick Fux and I only read that after one reviewer made very clear the storyline and what would come after. And so I gutted my way through the several chapters that thankfully were not too explicit because I really, really wanted to see the sick motherfuckers be the prey and watch the victims paint the rooms red with their blood. Outside of that one book, yeah, I wouldn't go there. There's just no godly reason for that to become a popular trope.

Why do I say all this? Because I have never before been as offended and put off as I was this book. And there is a full plethora of reasons. So here goes my rant.

Firstly, this is the intro the authors give to their book:

We’re so happy that you picked up our newest book, The Bet. We hope you enjoy it to your fullest and we cannot wait to read your reviews on it. However, we wanted to leave a little note at the start of the book to warn readers with sensitivity to dubious content, dark sexual themes, and verbal abuse that this book may not be a good read for them. We also would like to say that while the book is entirely fiction we know that abuse, sexual, physical, and verbal is a very real thing in our world and that we do NOT condone any behavior of that nature, nor do we think that it’s okay to treat someone that way. Just like people who make gory horror movies don't want anyone to actually get killed and tortured, we do not want people to be bullied or abused in any way. Again, this is fiction and while we don’t always agree with the things our characters do, sometimes it makes sense for a story.

Great trigger warning and statement of where the authors stand, right? Well, for me? Wrong.

If you don't condone the above and let's not forget the the word 'rape' was left out of this warning or 'sexual assault' then you sure as hell failed with this book! Why may you ask? Well for one thing, this book was misogynistic as hell. For the other, both of the terms I just added were first and foremost.

Basically, we have a New Adult book taking place in college and a bunch of frat house boys that constantly play a game with each other where winner has bragging rights after selecting a girl's name out of a hat, if he can fool her, think there's something between them to lead to the endgame for winning, which is to fuck her and then tell her to her face she was a bet. Guess that's where the title comes from. But you don't just go screw with a girl and make her feel like a used piece of shit, no, you come back with evidence, so all your buddies can gain an inside look and pat you on the back for your glorious achievement. But this little diddy is really just tip of the iceberg....

Remington, our Hero (NOT) is the bully in question to a girl that he knew since kindergarten and was his best friend and childhood love who at 15, had to leave town after her parents divorced and she went with her sibling and father especially given that her mother cared more about her career than having kids or even being in town. For this grave, grave injury of leaving, Remington sees that Jules has transferred to their college and his complete hatred for her has him immediately in 'destroy her in anyway possible'. Oh, and the reason he's so angry? His mom left his family years ago, even though he has two loving siblings, a sweetheart of a dad and no turmoil at home. But Remington has his mummy issues and they all get transferred to Jules. This is such an absolutely flimsy set up for the amount of damage and reprehensible actions he takes.

And here's where it gets good folks: By 14% in, he has already, besides the verbal abuse, mocking and threats, dragged her unwillingly out of a frat party to a corner where nobody can see them, manhandled her, forced her to her knees (noting how very scared she is) and ordered her to suck his dick. She manages to pull one over on him and punch him the nuts and runs for her life. So we never really get to know how far Remington was going to go with that one. But now he's pissed. So, surprise, surprise, he shows up at the house she shares with two other roommates, and she immediately feels the adrenaline kick in and the fear and scrambles for her bedroom. But Remington manages to force his way in there, shove her face first onto a bed, rip her undergarments off, invade her body and then ask her whether she'd like to get fucked in the ass or the pussy first. Once again, it is noted as she fights to close her door on him that she is scared. Yep, this is the hero - and it's all alright because hey, she started this all by moving and he hates her. I'm not even going to get into her character or how there is some confusion in her when he forcibly makes her come. The only thing that makes me not tear that apart is the 10 year thick as thieves friendship and love they had for each other and the fact that I'll allow myself to chalk it up to her remembering him as her Remmy and being very confused as to the act itself and her emotions. Flimsy? Maybe. But I'll let that go because she's not really the problem.

So at this point in the book, I was ready to throw it down, DNF it, and leave a choice comment but I really wanted to see how the author would let this play out.

Well, I'll be damned. How does Remmy suddenly become the better guy? By realising his frat brother, Cole, has drugged her drink, taken her upstairs and is just on his way to raping her while she very druggedly tries to fight him off and says the word NO more than once. Remington beats the other guy to a bloody pulp outraged that he would take advantage of a girl in this way. And this is where I knew how frigging hypocritical this book was. You're going to have a guy that's twice sexually assaulted the heroine be outraged that someone else was going to take advantage of her and all because she was drugged? Sorry Mr. Not Hero, but how much is there of a difference of what you did to her against her will and another asshole upping the ante? And you're going to get all self-righteous all of a sudden?

Then there's the best itself. Remington is now on better terms with Jules. He inwardly professes how much he wants her but yet, he still goes to the frat house and proceeds to play an audio tape that he let's all the guys listen to asking her if she wants it in the ass or the pussy first. So yeah, not only did he bombard into her room and shove her down on a bed but he had the forethought to record the whole damn thing. Oh, and he feels sick about playing the tape and claiming he's already nailed her but that doesn't stop him from making sure he looks like 'the man' and sharing this sick shit with his friends who hoop and holla and insure he wins 'the bet'.

Still no apologies, not enough regret to broach the subject with Jules.

And then what do we have? Oh yes, the tape gets leaked, making Jules the outcast of the whole school. At this point Remington is already a couple with her and not only does he break her heart, cheapen her but he makes her the brunt of public shaming. But hey, it's not he who leaked it, it's the bad guy Cole seeking revenge so poor Remington.....

I could go on and on, but besides from everything listed above, here's why I listed the author's statement and also the pathetic last line about story: I kept waiting and waiting and waiting for Remington to address what he'd done in the beginning to Jules physically, to man up, take account, apologise, get on his knees for god's sake and address the issue with her. To acknowledge that just because full penetration doesn't always take place when you force yourself onto or into a woman's body - you have seriously crossed a NO GO line. And to the very, very end of this book that NEVER happened. And believe me, I highlighted the crap out of this because I was going quote it to the high heavens. It never happens.

To me, this is a dangerous book. College rapes all too often come up in the news and it always seems to be a group of privileged boys standing down one girl. I am quite sure that for every one girl that comes forward that there are 20 who do not. They live in silent agony and fear where the one girl that does come forward usually goes through public shame, quite often outcast and often seems to be the one one on trial. Rape is a serious epidemic - it is now the number one tool used in war. And I come from a place where I know what I speak. My cousin is the Snr Policy advisor to the world's largest NGO and has taken more than half a dozen field trips to the DRC amongst other places and I know the stories firsthand. And if you think it's just relegated to 'women' you'd be wrong. The youngest case he dealt with was a 2 MONTH OLD BABY GIRL! Like I said, rape in itself is an atrocity, but it is also an epidemic that is only growing in world politics and as a weapon of war.

But I digress. The last and final note on this book, is that this is actually a NA book all guised under
the classic school bully trope. I find this just as damaging and irresponsible of these authors. Because undoubtedly the book is going to obviously attract a new adult crowd and the shit that goes on in here is very likely happening on a campus right now. Not okay!

And to the authors: NO, the end of your statement is completely untrue!

Again, this is fiction and while we don’t always agree with the things our characters do, sometimes it makes sense for a story

There is no sense in leading people down this path, making your 'hero' seemed redeemed when he never once addresses, apologises, nor seems to recognise all the way to the 'HEA' that he himself has committed sexual assault! It's almost as if Cole, the fallout rapist is there to give them a way out and make Remington look like child's play.

You set a dangerous precedent and you did it with flimsy stakes, so congratulations to this book, it's the first time I've ever torn one apart.

**** Disclaimer - I am a survivor of more than one rape, incest, molestation and some other rather nasty stuff. As I mentioned, I veer towards the dark, let my suspension of disbelief take place and rarely judge. So this was not a trigger for me as I've read many stories to do with this. This is me saying that if you write a damn book where you broach these issues, you better be willing to make yourselves accountable for your characters actions and actually acknowledge them within the work!

Rant over and for those who do read this, sorry if it's not neatly written. I have neither the time nor the inclination to do anything but say what I think.
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Reading Progress

October 2, 2019 – Started Reading
October 2, 2019 – Shelved
October 2, 2019 – Shelved as: 2019
October 2, 2019 –
63.0% "I had a major problem with this book within the first 14% and was ready to DNF. First time a book that has ever made me want to critique it off of just the beginning but I'm sticking with this sucker til the end because I want to see just exactly how the author decides to address this matter & if anyone really holds themselves accountable. If I'm going to eviscerate this book then I'm gonna finish the damn thing"
October 3, 2019 – Shelved as: rape
October 3, 2019 – Shelved as: sexual-assault
October 3, 2019 – Shelved as: academic
October 3, 2019 – Shelved as: college-student
October 3, 2019 – Shelved as: new-adult
October 3, 2019 – Shelved as: non-consensual
October 3, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-22 of 22 (22 new)

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message 1: by Simran (new) - added it

Simran I completely agree with you Jade. I tried to read it but just did not not finish. I didn’t really like the guy especially the way he handled her. The heroine too seemed weak , I felt like she convinced herself that whatever he did to her, she enjoyed it, was trying to make up for his actions especially in the scene where he comes to her room the next day and forcefully gets her off. I couldn’t really read this further. After reading your review , I think I did the right think. I have read many bully stories but at least the hero definitely tries to make up for it with his actions and apologises.


message 2: by Leigh (new)

Leigh Excellent review Jade and I agree completely.


message 3: by Fabi (new)

Fabi I'm so sorry you read this book Jade. I know how awful it feels to read a story and be furious at what it entails. *hugs* I'm glad you spoke up about it. People need to know about these harmful books.


message 4: by Jade (new) - rated it 1 star

Jade Violet Simran wrote: "I completely agree with you Jade. I tried to read it but just did not not finish. I didn’t really like the guy especially the way he handled her. The heroine too seemed weak , I felt like she convi..."

Thanks Simran. I really was going to toss it in after the scene you mentioned but I was curious to see how the authors were going to cast him as the H and when they were going to bring up his physical behavior later. Didn't happen.


message 5: by Jade (new) - rated it 1 star

Jade Violet Fabi wrote: "I'm so sorry you read this book Jade. I know how awful it feels to read a story and be furious at what it entails. *hugs* I'm glad you spoke up about it. People need to know about these harmful books."

Thanks Fabi! I may have gone on a little too much of a rant here but in the romance categories, we deal with alpha assholes, bullies, abductors and somehow we're still drawn. And I think that's because the author is somewhat clued in to the subject matter in which they're writing about. A cop out in these situations is just a NO GO.


message 6: by Jade (new) - rated it 1 star

Jade Violet Leigh wrote: "Excellent review Jade and I agree completely."

Thanks Leigh. I think it was more of an editorial but I'll take the compliment! xoxo


message 7: by Melanie (new)

Melanie A. So well said, hon: if you write a damn book where you broach these issues, you better be willing to make yourselves accountable for your characters actions and actually acknowledge them within the work <3


message 8: by benevolent (new)

benevolent bastard I wholeheartedly agree with you Jade! I support this disclaimer and your rating for this novel! It’s insane these issues are real and we see it happening every time!


message 9: by Jade (new) - rated it 1 star

Jade Violet Melanie wrote: "So well said, hon: if you write a damn book where you broach these issues, you better be willing to make yourselves accountable for your characters actions and actually acknowledge them within the ..."

Thanks Mel <3 back at ya!


message 10: by Jade (new) - rated it 1 star

Jade Violet Books are wrote: "I wholeheartedly agree with you Jade! I support this disclaimer and your rating for this novel! It’s insane these issues are real and we see it happening every time!"

Thanks Books! You and I are completely on the same page!


Ꮗ€♫◗☿ ❤️ ilikebooksbest.com ❤️ You see that a lot in books these days, where certain behaviors are treated as OK if the Hero does them, or if not Ok, then at least forgivable. However, if it is the Heroine’s ex boyfriend, some drunk guy, or just a guy portrayed as a Jerk then it is criminal or something. Things like Stalking or continuing to force the issue after the girl says No. etc.


message 12: by Chrystal (new) - added it

Chrystal Sweetie, I'm giving you a standing ovation right now 👏


message 13: by Jade (new) - rated it 1 star

Jade Violet Ꮗ€♫◗☿ ❤️ wrote: "You see that a lot in books these days, where certain behaviors are treated as OK if the Hero does them, or if not Ok, then at least forgivable. However, if it is the Heroine’s ex boyfriend, some d..."

True Books, it's a fine line. But if you put the words out there, you have to take accountability for them and own them. That's where my main issue comes into play here.


message 14: by Jade (new) - rated it 1 star

Jade Violet Chrystal wrote: "Sweetie, I'm giving you a standing ovation right now 👏"

Chrystal <3!


message 15: by C.J Donais (new)

C.J Donais Truthfully, there are worse books that I have read. Sometimes I think they push a line. I believe this will be one that I will not read anytime soon. From reading the review it pretty much lines all the hard limits for me. Excellent review Jade.


message 16: by Nova (new) - added it

Nova Well that’s an honest review and if I wanted to read it before there isn’t a chance I’d read it now. Thank you for the frank and truthful review and I’m clapping you right now xox 🤓📚


message 17: by Ellie (new) - added it

Ellie Amazing review! Finally someone else had the guts to give this piece of shite of a book - and the writers ridiculous, after-the-fact 'trigger warning' another solid bollocking. I think my review was posted in May? And this is the only other one coming that hard against the content that's crossed my feed in 5 bloody months.
You stuck it out longer than I did. I couldn't read the whole book without risking breaking something expensive - lol!
Again, good on ya for this.


message 18: by Jade (new) - rated it 1 star

Jade Violet Ellie wrote: "Amazing review! Finally someone else had the guts to give this piece of shite of a book - and the writers ridiculous, after-the-fact 'trigger warning' another solid bollocking. I think my review wa..."

Thanks Ellie though it really wasn't guts - just the God's honest truth. I'll have to look for your review!!


message 19: by Jade (new) - rated it 1 star

Jade Violet C.J Donais wrote: "Truthfully, there are worse books that I have read. Sometimes I think they push a line. I believe this will be one that I will not read anytime soon. From reading the review it pretty much lines al..."

I just saw these comments. Thank you! I think you can find much better than this even within this trope. Just my opinion though.


message 20: by Jade (new) - rated it 1 star

Jade Violet Nova wrote: "Well that’s an honest review and if I wanted to read it before there isn’t a chance I’d read it now. Thank you for the frank and truthful review and I’m clapping you right now xox 🤓📚"

Thanks Nova! I only just saw this now. Sorry for the delay. xoxo


message 21: by TMR (new)

TMR Holy crap, Jade. I thought I was the one who spoke maybe too angrily and right on point. You are my idol. Rape should never be okay and neither should it be “a thing to move the plot along”. Never. I disagree with this author and what she condones or not. Fuck her condones. This crap should have never been published and been burned at the stakes. God. The fuck. And what you said about it happening in the real world, you’re absolutely right. This shit should never be glamorised or shown as something else. I’m so, so, so fucking glad someone actually made a point of this. Thank you amigo and I’m ditching this book for sure. Thank you hon.


message 22: by Jade (new) - rated it 1 star

Jade Violet You're a little fire cracker, Masked. When have you gone off? This is I have to see! Yeah, I was pretty clear what I thought afterwards and made no bones about it. No thanks required. Thanks for reading my tirade xoxo J


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