Double Review: Even Money and Double Down by Alessandra Torre

Reviewed by Debz

Debz read both All In Duet books back to back as one long story and reviews both here, starting with Even Money.

At night, Bell Hartley works at The House, a premier and exclusive gambling den in the Vegas Strip for the rich and powerful who don’t want to be seen spending money at their competitors’ tables. A waitress extraordinaire, she does it all for her bosses, Rich and Lance, who she considers family. Bell is also a college student by day and a rape survivor.

Dario Capece is the richest, most powerful owner in Las Vegas. The Italian is a hotel mogul and mob boss on the side and he rules Las Vegas with an iron fist. Married in Las Vegas royalty, Dario and his wife Gwen are a formidable force. There should be nothing in common between Married Dario and Waitress Bell right? WRONG.

Dario meets Bell on a fact finding mission to The House. He wants to purchase it, you see, but what catches his eyes are not how well run The House is but how beautiful the head waitress it. This leads us to a series of very weird and bordering on stalking exchanges between the main protagonists. From background checks to tasking his employee persuade Bell to become an escort. It was all just weird and uncomfortable for me at first.

Especially, because the glaring elephant in the room is so glaring. Dario is seemingly happily married. Apparently, though, he is in an open marriage and can do whatever he wants.

Honestly, this book was kinda hit or miss for me. It started really weirdly and I wanted Bell to just ignore her new stalker. Obviously she didn’t do that; the book would have been a 100 pages then. But it grew from being slightly Christian Grey-ish (read hella controlling) to becoming very beautiful. Even my jaded mind could not discountenance the fact Bell and Dario were good together.

As the relationship progressed, Dario decided to end his marriage. He was no longer willing to compromise his love life for the protection of his wife and this is where everything went south. You see, his father in law was a psychopath.  Like a full grown nut job, and not like a cute science professor nut job, but like a serial killer.

He was the reason Dario and Gwen, who by the way had her own lover, had to get married to make sure Hawk no longer controlled and browbeat her. Spoiler alert, Hawk is also a serial kidnapper. He collects women from their homes or jobs and just keeps them trying to train them into becoming the perfect something. When he finds out that his precious daughter’s husband wants a divorce to marry a waitress, he goes off the rails and attempts to kill her. As a master manipulator, he doesn’t smear his hands, but sends his prodigy, and abused, conditioned and frankly crazy woman to do his bidding.

In Book 2 of the Duet, Double Down, we face the outcome of the events in book one. It’s hard to even describe without spoiling. The killer doesn’t actually murder Bell but another woman in Dario’s suite, and now Dario must help the police find and connect the murder to his father in-law. He also has to protect Bell from any further possible harm and get his happy ever after.

It was a very interesting read, I’ll say. It wasn’t all just sappy romance and contrived drama, but actual suspense and murder and killings. You can tell I’m very satisfied with these books. If you want to read a big, long story that keeps you entertained throughout, these books are for you.

Rating: B+

Click to purchase: Amazon – Even Money

Click to purchase: Amazon – Double Down

 

Even Money & Double Down
by Alessandra Torre
Release Date: June 2018

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