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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Blog Tour: The Bastard Billionaire by Jessica Lemmon (Review + Giveaway)

Dang, when I finished this book I didn’t know what to do with myself for a while. I didn’t want to leave the Cranes at all. *sniffles* I love Jessica Lemmon’s billionaires, she’s the one who made me change my mind about hating ALL billionaire romances.

About Jessica:
A former job-hopper, Jessica Lemmon resides in Ohio with her husband and rescue dog.

She holds a degree in graphic design currently gathering dust in an impressive frame. When she's not writing super-sexy heroes, she can be found cooking, drawing, drinking coffee (okay, wine), and eating potato chips.

She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want.

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: February 28, 2017

Beauty and the Beastly Billionaire . . .
Eli Crane is one tough bastard. After an explosion left him injured and honorably discharged from the Marines, all he wants is to be left alone. Yet his brothers insist he take a greater role in the family business. They've hired him ten personal assistants-and Eli sent each one packing as fast as possible. But when beautiful number eleven walks through the door, Eli will do anything to make her stay.

Isabella Sawyer's employment agency can't afford to lose Eli Crane's business. Her plan: to personally take on the role of his PA, and secure her reputation with the wealthy elite in Chicago. But this beauty and her hot billionaire bad boy soon find themselves mixing business with pleasure in the most delicious ways. And passionate, stubborn Isabella won't rest until she tames this wicked beast . . .

What’s it About? After an explosion ended his career in the Marines, Eli Crane was honorably discharged and sent home. All he wants to do is be left alone but his meddlesome family keeps sending him personal assistants. Ten of them, all of which he has managed to run off without much effort given his surly attitude. When number eleven walks through his door he’s not sure what to make of her. Isabella Sawyer stands up to him, challenges him, and makes him feel normal. Isabella owns the agency that has been sending Eli assistants and now that he’s run off so many she’s decided to take matters into her own hands and be Eli’s assistant. She needs to make things work with Eli Crane so that her business will become more successful but Eli is just as stubborn as Isa AND they’re attracted to each other.

Describe the hero in five words: Intense. Hurt. Insecure. Passionate. Intelligent.
Did you like him? Heck yeah.
Why? Eli was the opposite of his younger brother Tag in almost every way (Except the stubbornness which seems to be a Crane family trait), he was not a laid back guy, he felt too many emotions at the same time and at the top of that list of emotions is some severe Survivor’s Guilt. It really defined Eli as a character for about the first half of the book and it wasn't easy for him to change things. Jessica Lemmon took a tough as nails Marine, put him through hell, and then sent him home to his family with a boat load of inner demons riding on his shoulders. Eli’s struggle to acclimate to civilian life rang true and created sympathy for “Beast Crane” because he desperately needed someone to see where he was coming from and I felt that job fell to the reader first, then to Isa. I wanted this character to find something for himself that made him happy and I felt for him when he doubted himself. So kudos to Jessica Lemmon for creating a grouchy, wounded hero who could test anyone’s nerves but who at the same time could get me to fall in love with every grouchy, wounded inch of him. Especially when he showed that soft side, the “before” Eli he rarely showed to anyone.

Describe the heroine in five words: Determined. Stubborn. Intelligent. Funny. Brave.
Did you like her? Yes.
Why? Isa, or “Sable” as Eli called her was a professional career woman. I loved that she didn’t wait for someone to save her, she saved herself. She didn’t like the path her parents expected her to take so she took her skills and started her own company. Strong women make the best heroines in my opinion and Isa was definitely a strong woman. Her balance of confidence when it came to her job and insecurity when it came to her feelings for Eli made her likable and relatable. She could go toe to toe with Eli when he was in one of his beastly moods and win but when it came to her personal relationship with him, she made just as many mistakes as he did. She had a dry wit too and I do love sarcastic heroines who aren’t afraid of an irritated billionaire mountain man.

How convincing were the main characters as a couple? Eli and Isa were very convincing due to their strong and determined personalities. Eli challenged Isa like she had never been challenged before and Isa pushed Eli out of his self imposed exile so he could make the changes he needed to in his life. Their constant proximity to one another and the sizzling chemistry was just the icing on the cake with these two. I loved the way they worked with each other and the way they fought each other too. They definitely weren’t a boring couple that’s for sure.

Is there a “Scooby Gang” worth mentioning? Naturally the Crane clan shows up now and again throughout the book because Eli needed them. I’m still in love with Tag Crane because, duh he’s awesome but even when that cuddly giant was in a scene, the focus was still on Eli. The scenes with all three brothers were exactly what I expected them to be: Tense, familiar, awkward, funny, and heartwarming. Eli also brought in a friend of his to help with a special project and he seemed to be quite the charmer. Isa’s friend Chloe was capable, strong, and tended to tell it like it is which helped push Isa along on her own journey.

How “Lost” did you get in the story? The weight of Eli’s guilt and his bitterness over his losses was a big factor in his relationships with the people around him. It caused a back and forth between them for most of the book and while that might have been a no go in another setting, here it was realistic. Everything Eli went through cannot be solved overnight or by “the power of love” without sounding ridiculous. As light hearted as most of The Bastard Billionaire was I found myself enjoying the serious side of it just as much.

The Bastard Billionaire brings the Crane family full circle I couldn’t imagine a better way to do that than with Eli. I was a bit concerned that The Bastard Billionaire wouldn’t live up to Tag’s book (Which I L-O-V-E-D) but Lemmon brought her A-game, complete with all the feels and all the sexiness I’ve come to expect from her books.

Click It or Skip It? Click It. Jessica Lemmon writes billionaires the way I like them: Alpha, sexy, and sarcastic, but without the controlling/stalker a-hole complex that seems to be the trend.

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