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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Review: The Billionaire Bachelor by Jessica Lemmon

Yes! Another series from Jessica Lemmon and the first book sets a real good tone!

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: June 28, 2016

Manwhore. That's what the board of directors-and the tabloids-thinks of billionaire bachelor Reese Crane. Ordinarily he couldn't care less, but his playboy past is preventing the board from naming him CEO of Crane Hotels. Nothing-and no one-will keep him from his life's legacy. They want a settled man to lead the company? Then that's exactly what he'll give them.

Merina Van Heusen will do anything to get her parents' funky boutique hotel back-even marry cold-as-ice-but-sexy-as-hell Reese Crane. It's a simple business contract-six months of marriage, absolute secrecy, and the Van Heusen is all hers again. But when sparks fly between them, their passion quickly moves from the boardroom to the bedroom. And soon Merina is living her worst nightmare: falling in love with her husband

In order for billionaire playboy Reese Crane to be named CEO of Crane Hotels, he has to convince the board of directors, not to mention the media, that he’s a changed man. A settled man. A man in love. So Reese comes up with a plan to give them exactly what they want so that he’ll get exactly what he wants.

Marina Van Heusen is furious when she finds out her parents sold their family boutique hotel to Reese Crane but after she confronts the cold hearted man he has the nerve to proposition her with a tempting reward. Marry him, play the loving wife, help him convince everyone that he’s not a player anymore, and he’ll sign over her beloved hotel to her. Soon Reese and Marina are in a marriage with a six month time limit guaranteed to give everyone what they want. Except Marina starts to fall in love with her husband who has no intention of staying married no matter how hot things are between them.

What a super strong start to what could be a really great series from Jessica Lemmon!

A billionaire hero I could fall in love with, Reese was remote, cold, and calculating at first but he wasn’t one of those caveman jerks who liked to order women around like robots. He was a playboy but I liked that he was aware that his lifestyle was not going to help him achieve his goal. He was a responsible business man who may have had a revolving door of women in his personal life but he was darn good at what he did and knew it. Reese wasn’t a total jerk though, his soft spots (i.e. the real him) would come out whenever he was around his brother and father. There was a bond between them that gave Reese more depth than that of the clich├ęd cold hearted billionaire. I liked him a lot.

I loved Marina because even when she was stubborn she was still trying to do the right thing in her eyes which was preserve a landmark that would in turn preserve the memories of her childhood. She was fierce in her stance against Reese and I loved that she didn’t let him boss her around, and while he may have had the upper hand financially, Marina was able to pull the rug out from under his feet a couple of times. The balance of power was very important to me because I like for my characters to be equals in as many ways as possible and since Reese had the fortune, it was great that Marina had the backbone and intelligence to give Reese a challenge. She was just as blunt as Reese was and had no shame about it.

“Are you capable of being monogamous?” It was easier to needle him than address the gauntlet resting between them like a huge pink elephant.
“I don’t prefer it.”
Which was no answer at all.
“So this is a bribe.”
“It’s a proposal.” One eyebrow lifted slightly. “In this case, literally.”
“You think the first time I walk down an aisle it’s going to be an arrangement with a coldhearted snake whose only goal in life is to deepen his pockets?” There was no way. No way she’d agree to this. Even if it meant she was fired, she wouldn’t sell her soul. “I’m not going to let you bribe me into marrying you. I don’t even like you.”
“You don’t have to like me. You have to pretend to like me.”

Ha! I just love a romance where one character doesn’t care much for the other because it makes them having to spend time together more interesting. In this case Marina doesn’t think very highly of Reese’s personality and takes delight in telling him so in different ways. She needled him out of that pompous, arrogant, rather bland persona he had going on. Marina gave Reese a personality and breathed life into his everyday activities.

The one thing I wasn’t expecting from The Billionaire Bachelor was how sexy the story was but Jessica Lemmon made sure that the sex scenes served a purpose. Since Reese really only let his guard down during and after sex, Marina snagged that opportunity to get to know him better and it allowed Reese to see a more vulnerable side of Marina that normally he didn’t see. I liked that they trust and affection began to go beyond the bedroom at around the halfway point and that’s when both characters started to face some real emotional dilemmas.

I can’t wait to see how this series unfolds because Reese has two brothers who are a different as night and day. Eli and Tag, the soldier and the… Well Tag was like a beach bum with a hidden side to him. I couldn’t quite picture him physically but he sure did make things interesting whenever he was around. Of course, Lemmon created quite the mystery surrounding the absent Eli so I’m curious about him too and I can’t resist a Marine for a hero. Yum!

Final Verdict: All in all, this Marriage of Convenience romance had me reading until the early morning hours. Reese and Marina couldn’t have been better suited for each other and I do believe Jessica Lemmon has another addictive series on her hands with the Billionaire Bad Boys.

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