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  • Place Your Betts

  • The Marilyns, Book 1
  • By: Katie Graykowski
  • Narrated by: Pam Dougherty
  • Length: 11 hrs and 51 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Place Your Betts

By: Katie Graykowski
Narrated by: Pam Dougherty
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Summary

Betts Monroe is a country music rags-to-riches story. As the daughter of the town slut, she clawed her way up from the bars of Bourbon Street to the Country Music Hall of Fame. She's America's sweetheart, darling of the media, and a multi-platinum star. But she has a secret. At the age of sixteen, she had a baby and gave him up for adoption because her boyfriend wasn't ready for fatherhood. Now she finds out that her precious baby boy has been living with his father from day one.

Gabe Swanson is a Texas cattle baron riches-to-rags story. As the only son of the town's most prominent family, it was a huge blow when his father lost the family fortune in a Ponzi scheme. Now, Gabe is land rich and cash poor. But he has his son and family is all that matters.

When Betts moves back to the small town that shunned her, all hell breaks loose. She wants her son. Can Betts and Gabe leave their past in the rear view mirror so they can be a family?

©2013 Katie Graykowski (P)2014 Katie Graykowski

What listeners say about Place Your Betts

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Romance that makes you laugh out loud

This is the first book I have listened to by this writer and I will definitely be downloading more.

Country music star h, who was dumped when she was 16, alone and pregnant, finds that the child she gave up for adoption is actually being raised by her ex, the biological father. She is wealthy and successful, but never stopped longing for the child she was forced to give up. Her ex meanwhile, had seen his family fortune destroyed, and was struggling to keep his family farm afloat, while raising his teenage son.

This is a second chance romance for a couple who were torn apart by misunderstandings and the manipulation of their families. It features many wondering side characters, including the wildly unconventional mother of the h, who frequently embarrasses her with her antics but still manages to be loving, supportive and protective. The book also has a secondary romance, that of the teenage son and his tentative first steps into the world of dating. I particularly loved the cringe worthy depiction of his first date, which includes a gloriously uncomfortable first meeting with the parents that will take most listeners back to their own memories of angst filled teenage years.

Nothing about this book was as it first appeared. The successful music star felt rootless and longed for home and stability. The single dad was hiding his financial struggles from his son, while desperately trying to keep the family business going. The unbending, cruel grandmother who forced the adoption on the young h, was haunted by the music career that she had never had, due to her own teenage pregnancy.

The romance in this book was mature and realistic. While acknowledging their physical attraction, both H and h had past issues that made them both reluctant to consider anything serious. These past misconceptions were gradually cleared up throughout the developing romance. I have to admit the book did drag a bit in the second half, it was like the writer had concluded the main romance and then realised she needed to fill a few more chapters, so the focus shifts to the romance of the son and his new girlfriend. However overall this is a good book with several “laugh out loud” moments and a very likeable couple. I did like the way in which the disparity in their wealth was dealt with. The H had his pride, naturally, and worked hard to keep his farm and family afloat, but once their relationship was acknowledged to be a permanent one, I am glad the writer did not revert to a pointless “my pride will not let me accept money from a woman” sort of scenario. The money issue was dealt with sensibly and logically and not allowed to spoil the romance.

Great book, worth reading and highly recommended.

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Truly lovely

I did this wrong in that I listened to Getting Lucky the second story in this series first, however as every story stands on it,s own with only slight character overlap it in no way spoilt this book. I cried listening to this book which only goes to show just how good an author Katie Graykowski is and what a fabulous narrator Pam Dougherty is.

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  • 1-Click Junkie
  • 26-11-15

This is a Romance at its BEST!

I bought this book when I received the next in the series to review since I don't like reading a series out of order and I'm so glad that I did!

Narration - Pam Daugherty - Just perfection! She has just the right amount of a southern lilt, so perfect for Betts, full of emotion, great humorous timing and her mama Cherie was hilarious! It is whispersync available, so I just pulled up my Kindle version to double check the spelling for Cherie and as such, had to read around a bit to find it and just as I read several sections in my own head, I have to say that her performance really enhances the enjoyment of this book. Super!

I can't say enough about this story and these characters. Maybe it's the whole high school sweet hearts, the second chance at love, the mirroring of the life events with the teens story line, I don't know, but I am just sitting here kinda bummed that it's over and really wanting to just start right in and listen to this again.

There are parts that become a little typical of a romance and you think things are going to happen a certain way, but this has a few fresh twists and turns in how things play out. I chuckled, I swooned, I fanned myself and I cried. This is a romance at its best!

Highly recommend!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Weluvdopey
  • 13-01-15

Awesome Very Enjoyable!

Where does Place Your Betts rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book ranks at the top amount audiobooks that I have listened too. I love the author and loved the narrator. Pam Dougherty was perfect for this book.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I don't think I can pick a favorite character, I love them all.

What about Pam Dougherty’s performance did you like?

I love her southern charm, it was perfect for this book.

Any additional comments?

This is a wonderful book, I love this author and I have read everyone of her books. The narrator Pam did a wonderful job. I highly recommend this book!

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jessica
  • 28-04-15

A decent romance with too much plot.

I thought the plot was pretty interesting with a twist on your traditional secret baby plot. The characters were over-the-top, something I'm coming to expect from Graykowski. I did have some major issues with the story line, mostly because there was so much going on that big gaping plot holes and rushed explanations were littered throughout. Just a list of what I'm talking about:

*A super-famous country singer moves into the country when she's suppose to be writing an album - agent tells her to finish ASAP and you never hear about it again
*Two friends stick with Betts for seventeen years - mysteriously have other plans when meeting the secret baby
*The two lovers have hated each other for seventeen years - manage to have sex and talk civilly before talking about the past
*The son's girlfriend gets pregnant - we never hear what happens with her parents

The list goes on and on. However, if you can put this aside and try not to think about it, it's a decent story about two flames coming back together. Although, the steamy scenes are not all that steamy and put me off more than once.

I must say that I'm falling in love with Pam Dougherty's style. She definitely puts the Southern charm into every book she reads and she's got the sarcastic comedy down. In fact, she was the reason I picked this book up in the first place. I would recommend listening to everything she narrates.

A decent romance with too much plot.

**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • MeDi
  • 13-09-14

Entertaining and funny

Any additional comments?

I love this audiobook by Katie Graykowski. It held my interest from the 1st chapter and kept me on edge of my seat throughout the audiobook. The narrator, Pam Dougherty did a great job narrating this story too. I loved the southern accents she gave the characters. Pam added all the excitement & laughs in all the right places.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Susan
  • 30-08-16

Humbled

Cute cozy, fun characters and a good story line. I will look for more books from this author.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Pat
  • 01-06-15

Greatest story I have read!

This story made me laugh and made me cry more than once. The characters are realistic and the story is (unfortunately) also more common and real to today's society. I hope this story helps parents to deal with teenage pregnancy and support their children. Understanding that they are not the first to go through this problem and they will not be the last. Support your children and educate them and best of all LOVE THEM.

1 person found this helpful

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  • K. April Holgate
  • 30-09-14

Awesome chick-lit read!!

Oh boy, I seriously loved this book!!!! Such a fun and engaging story. The story has some seriously emotional moments, but most of the time it is laugh out loud funny!

The story is a typical chick-lit romance trope. Nothing wrong with that though, there is a reason those tropes stand the test of time. Reunited lovers, who had a baby as teens, yup that is a delightful classic!

I love Betts, she is fantastic! There is something more than a little likeable about her. She breaks your heart then makes you giggle the next moment. You really want to route for her.

Gabe is a yummy cowboy. I wanted to see the fences mended in the worst kind of way. He seriously grew up from his youthful stupidity.

The banter between Betts and Gabe is incredible. I loved them together, they were great even when they were still mad at each other. They are a perfect pair and you want to see them work it all out. Add to the top of that the quirky supporting cast. Love her Mama and best friends. Can not wait to see how this series plays out.

The narrative is mixed, you get both leads POV and the teen romance as well. It is great to see it all play out and a little bit of history repeating itself. It is a great story that I could read again.

I listened to the audiobook narrated by Pam Dougherty, who is amazing!! The characters have southern accents, but they are doe with a light touch. Such a delight to listen to the smooth tones and swift pace. She really gets all the amusing moments and brings them to life in a brilliant manner. She has terrific energy that brings all the emotion to life. I am definitely looking for more of her reads!!

Overall this is a great book. Fun chick-lit with a touch of emotion. I can not wait to read HEA for Charlie and Lucky!!

Disclosure - I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts. opinions and ratings are my own.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • NBB
  • 09-09-14

Fun listen, great voice, great moral/story line

Would you consider the audio edition of Place Your Betts to be better than the print version?

I loved the cadence of the narrators voice. Although I love to read and have a book in my hand, I loved listening to the twange and changes of the voice. It made it seem like I was there and apart of the story. Pam's voice invites you in and makes you love the characters.

What other book might you compare Place Your Betts to and why?

It's been a while since I've read a book about these life issues so I really don't have a book to compare it to but it's a book/audio I would recommend.

What does Pam Dougherty bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The sound effects and twang are a rare treat brought by Pam. It's a rare occasion to hear these and have them sound like they were meant to be there. For example, if Pam reads that Kat hiccuped...she wouldn't just read it, she'd hiccup.

If you could rename Place Your Betts, what would you call it?

I think it's a perfect name for the book. Anything that comes to mind to summarize the story sounds trite or too mushy. Place Your Betts sounds catchy and makes you want to read the back for a description.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Elizabeth L.
  • 29-08-14

A second chance at first love

Have you listened to any of Pam Dougherty’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I love Ms. Doughtery's voice. It is the perfect blend of Southern Charm and Sass. She makes the characters come alive with her emotion, pacing and voices. I have listened to 2 other books by Ms. Doughtery and I can tell you this is just as good as those. Ms. Dougherty doesn't disappoint!

If you could take any character from Place Your Betts out to dinner, who would it be and why?

I would love to have dinner with Mama Cherie. She may be rough around the edges but she has a heart of gold and a voice of reason. Mama makes you feel happy and loved.

Any additional comments?

Place Your Betts is the first in The Marilyns Series. The Marilyns are Betts, Lucky and Charlie ~ three friends who met as teenagers in boarding school. This is Betts' story. When her grandmother Gigi dies, Betts learns that the child she gave up for adoption has been living with her first love (and father of the baby). Betts rushes back to the town that they now live in and tries her best to get to know her child. Can she be a part of his life and get back with her true love?

I would recommend this book to all of my friends who like their Chick Lit with a little more substance. I can't wait for Book 2 in The Marilyns Series.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
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  • Gayle
  • 14-08-14

So GOOD.....

Such a great listen~absolutely loved every minute. Betts Monroe is a country music star who had a son when she was a teenager. She reluctantly gave the baby up for adoption and finds out that he (now a teen) has been living with his biological father, Gabe Swanson, for years. The characters are so likable and very well developed. Though it deals with various serious topics the story moves along delightfully and at times I was laughing out loud. Narration by Pam Dougherty is fabulous. PLACE YOUR BETTS was so much fun that upon completion I immediately purchased and downloaded Katie Graykowski's PERFECT SUMMER.

Highly recommended.

Audiobook provided for an honest review.

1 person found this helpful