The Bet by Darlene Panzera

Title:  The Bet

Author:  Darlene Panzera

Genre:  Romance; Novella

Published:  June 2012 – Avon Books

Synopsis:  Jenny is about to lose the ranch that’s been in her family for generations. It looks like she’ll have to marry someone with money in order to save it. Most of the town is placing bets on who she’ll marry and then a stranger shows up and bets $10,000 she’ll marry him within five weeks. Who is this mysterious man? Could he be a knight in shining armor or does he have an ulterior motive?

My take:  This was a fun story – a real page turner! The Bet could easily have been a full length book. I enjoyed the fast pace and how the drama, humor and light romance combined to make an entertaining story.

Given the short form it was easy to accept the brief secondary character descriptions and quick turns in the plot. I was amazed by how much Panzera packed into her story –  that’s why I think it could be a full length novel. I would enjoy learning most of the characters’ back stories and it would be nice to see the story play out more slowly.

I can see why Debbie Macomber named The Bet the winner of the Readers’ Story Contest. I think fans of Macomber will enjoy it and I’ll definitely look for more books by Darlene Panzera.

Note:  You can find The Bet as a bonus story included with Debbie Macomber’s Family Affair (there are a few editions so look for the one with the pink sticker on the cover).

Disclosure:  I received a review copy from the publisher for the TLC Book Tour. I was not compensated for my review.

♦  ♦  ♦

About Darlene Panzera

A graduate of the Writer’s Digest Advanced Novel Writing School and The Christian Writer’s Guild apprentice program, Darlene is an active member of Romance Writers of America’s Greater Seattle and Peninsula Chapters. She’s attended numerous conferences and classes, served five years on the board of RWA’s Peninsula Chapter and in 2011 served as chapter president.

Darlene is the winner of the “Make Your Dreams Come True” contest sponsored by Avon Books which led her novella, The Bet, to be published with Debbie Macomber’sFamily Affair released June 2012. She received a second contract with Avon Books, a division of HarperCollins, for the full length manuscript of The Bet, and is currently working on her next novel.

She’s also published several short stories and  A Look of Love was a top finalist for Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards Contest.

Born and raised in New Jersey, Darlene now lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and three  children. When not writing, she enjoys camping, hiking, photography, horseback riding, crafts, music, and lazy days at the lake.

Find Darlene at her website, You can also connect with Darlene on Facebook and Twitter.

Darlene’s Tour Stops

Thursday, July 12th: All-Consuming Media – guest post

Wednesday, July 18th: Deco My Heart

Thursday, July 19th: Joyfully Retired

Monday, July 23rd: …the bookworm…

Tuesday, July 24th: Take Me Away

Wednesday, July 25th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews

Thursday, July 26th: Tiffany’s Bookshelf

Friday, July 27th: WV Stitcher

Monday, July 30th: Bookfan

Wednesday, August 1st: Silver & Grace

Tuesday, August 7th: Creative Madness Mama

Monday, August 13th: Book Reviews by Molly

16 thoughts on “The Bet by Darlene Panzera

  1. Sounds like a cute story. Sometimes it’s nice to read a shorter story and get a feel for the author.


    • 🙂 Thanks, Kathy. It must have been thrilling for Darlene Panzera to have her novella chosen as winner by Debbie Macomber!


  2. I have never read any of Debbie Macomber’s work, but I know there are tons of people out there who love her, and I keep asking myself, what am I waiting for? This does sound like a super fun story, and I would love to read it for myself sometime!


  3. Hi Kathy,

    I have also never read any of Debbie Macomber’s books, but I have heard and read nothing but good things about her work.

    I did wonder where Darlene Panzera fitted into the equation, but cottoned on when I went back and read your post thoroughly for a second time.

    I haven’t read too many short stories, although they are great for breaking up time between more weighty reads.

    We used to have a television show here in the UK, way back in the 1980’s, called ‘Tales Of The Unexpected’, which was basically a half hour adaptation of a short story. I was an avid viewer, so perhaps I should consider tucking into a few more short stories.

    Thanks for an interesting post and for sharing not one, but two great authors.



    • Hi Yvonne, If you ever want to try Debbie Macomber I would suggest the Cedar Cove series. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Tales of the Unexpected sounds like a show I would have watched! Thanks for the link.


  4. Hi Mary! Thank you for your wonderful review and for having me on your blog! It’s been an amazing journey. Yes – my story is behind Debbie’s in the book FAMILY AFFAIR. And the full length version of the story retitled BET YOU’LL MARRY ME will be released as an ebook Dec. 4th. I can’t wait!


    • Darlene, thanks for stopping by. Congratulations on your winning story – I’m so excited to hear it will be a full length novel!! Wishing you all the best!


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