There is something incredibly magical about the dance of two people in love. The lyrical waltz is captivating and hauntingly beautiful as bodies perfectly in sync allow the music to guide their movements. Yet, when the music stops and the dance ends, the silence still communicates the love.
Except when a sour note threatens the beat.
Ty Langston skillfully captures the steps and missteps of love in her novella, The Bet. The Bet tells the story of acclaimed rocker Chris Knight. Knight is the lead singer of Knight’s Armour, a rock band that has set the music world afire. Groupies worship Knight and his band members as if they were the Pied Piper with an intoxicating allure of unquestioned devotion. But Chris is in love with his girlfriend, Rockline Magazine writer Gabby Trent. When Chris and Gabby make an unconventional bet and the situation spirals out of control, it is not only Valentine’s Day that may be derailed but the couple’s entire romantic future.
Langston masterfully sets up the plot and immediately hones into her characters’ motivations. The reader has no doubt that Chris and Gabby love each other. But these are two people with strengths and flaws. Further, when Chris and Gabby bottle up their emotions and fail to communicate with each other, problems ensue.
I like how Langston’s supporting characters enrich the story not overwhelm it. Readers get a clear sense that Chris and Gabby’s friends care about them and want the couple to succeed. I particularly like Adele, the housekeeper, who adores both Chris and Gabby. Adele is warm and sage. In some ways, she is the conscience of the reader, observing and asking the questions we want answered.
I would recommend The Bet. My only regret about this story is its length. I was so engrossed in the plot and these characters that I was sad that the novella ended too quickly. It felt like a marvelous appetizer. I was hungry for more.