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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Throwback Thursday Review: The Billionaire and the Virgin by Jessica Clare

Throwback Thursday Reviews is dedicated to those books that have been around for years but you’ve only recently discovered. They’re the “New but Old” reads that are just too good NOT to talk about! Why not share them anyway? They may end up being a “New Read” for someone else too! After all, there’s no such thing as “Too Many Books!”

This Week’s Throwback Thursday Book is:The Billionaire and the Virgin by Jessica Clare

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher:
Release Date: February 17, 2015

Waitress Marjorie Ivarsson is the picture of naiveté. Raised by her grandmother, she’d rather go to bingo than go dancing. But when she’s asked to be a bridesmaid in her friend Bronte’s destination wedding, she finds herself venturing into new and exciting territory. The wedding is set on the billionaire groom’s private island and Marjorie is fascinated by all the new people she’s meeting.

Most fascinating of all is the man she saves from almost drowning in the blue waters of the island lagoon. She might even have a bit of a crush on him. Unfortunately, she’s not the only girl who finds him so intriguing. Hot shot television producer Robert Cannon has a reputation for womanizing, drinking, and partying to excess. They couldn’t be more wrong for each other...so why are they constantly drawn together like magnets?


Naïve but kind hearted Marjorie Ivarsson is used to spending her time working as a waitress and hanging out with senior citizens but when she’s asked to be a bridesmaid in her friend’s destination wedding, she says yes and ends up out of her element for the first time. Fascinated by all the people surrounding her, she doesn’t think twice about rescuing a drowning man who turns out to be billionaire tv producer Robert Cannon. The womanizing playboy is fascinated by Marjorie and she by him. Soon they’re spending time together trying to figure out just what it is that keeps pulling them towards each other.



Robert Cannon was my kind of fun. Foul mouthed, blunt, and a playboy, he was the guy who could be totally entranced with Marjorie one minute, then tell a dirty joke the next. I liked him but I didn’t love him. I felt that at times he was just trying too hard in being the playboy, in winning Marjorie, everything. Still, Robert had some pretty fun, cheeky moments, not to mention that dirty mouth of his (Pun totally intended). He was conniving, sneaky and in desperate need of a drop from that high horse he was on. It might make me mean but I enjoyed that fall from selfish playboy into a man desperately in love.

Okay so I really don’t like virgin heroines in contemporary romance because, well, this isn’t the 1800s and I like a liberated female character. That said, Marjorie was a likable character. She was sweet, kind, and caring but she also had a stubborn streak that wouldn’t let her become anyone’s victim. I liked that about her. What I didn’t like was that she was so naïve and lacked so much life experience that it was really not realistic at all. Her behavior would have been more believable had she grown up locked up in a convent and then decided to venture out into the world. Being raised by elderly grandparents and senior citizens? Not so much. Unless they were out in the middle of nowhere, there was always the internet and really no plausible excuse for how utterly naïve she was. I mean, it was borderline TSTL. Plus she was way over the “Goody Two Shoes” line for my tastes.


Robert and Marjorie couldn’t be more opposite if they tried yet they seemed to find a balance between them after awhile to make their relationship work, but while the relationship did work, I didn’t really get the sense of “Wow, these two are just amazing together.” It was more like “Oh they made it work, that’s cool. Next?” There were no fireworks; no real “Aha!” moment for these two and that was kind of a letdown. I’m familiar with Jessica Clare’s books and she usually has more flair with the romance aspect of her stories so this one was a surprising letdown in that sense. Don’t get me wrong, it was a cute, fluffy type romance but it wasn’t a Jessica Clare romance, at least not one I’m used to.

Since The Billionaire and the Virgin is the first book in a spin-off series there are lots of secondary characters to be had and most of them are a lot of fun. It was great to see Bronte again who was the heroine for the first book in the original series though.

Overall though I think the pace wasn’t consistent enough to really make the story flow. Some parts dragged where they should have been faster and vice versa. I didn’t have any complaints about the plot however, just the execution and I questioned the believability of Marjorie who, when compared to previous characters in the original series, was really not all that special.

Final Verdict: There were enough bits and pieces in The Billionaire and the Virgin to make it a likable if too clichéd romance but those clichés, an overly innocent heroine and lack of real connection between Robert and Marjorie that kept it from being a stellar read. I honestly think this story would have been better as a novella instead of a full length novel.


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