Series: Billionaire Bad Boys

The Billionaire Bachelor by Jessica Lemmon

The Billionaire Bachelor by Jessica LemmonThe Billionaire Bachelor by Jessica Lemmon
Series: Billionaire Bad Boys #1
Published by Forever on June 30th 2016
Pages: 286
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two-stars

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 . . .

I’m going to say from the onset that it’s Jessica Lemmon’s writing that brought me here, even though this particular trope isn’t exactly what I typically go after. That much does good writing matter to me and my decidedly lackluster review in no way any reflection on the quality of it.

But while I do like the marriage of convenience that Lemmon writes about here, I took issue with the Reese Crane, whom I thought was simply an unredeemable arse through and through. Cold, closed-off and unfeeling, it was hard to accept that an intelligent man like him became a womaniser because he concluded women on the whole, couldn’t be trusted to stay after a nasty experience with a cheating ex and a mother who had died in an accident when he was a teenager.

I couldn’t really see a change in his detestable behaviour, not even at the end when it seemed as though a switch suddenly flipped and he decided in his own time, that he wanted everything that he’d lost with Merina back. Perhaps what frustrated me more was that Merina – who had actually invested time, and emotional energy in him and played by his blackmail rules made it all too easy with a rushed and abrupt HEA that left me unsatisfied. In short, Reese’s misdeeds more than outweighed the measly kind of damage control that I’d expected him to do (but didn’t) and I finished the epilogue not having the kind of closure that I needed.

two-stars

The Bastard Billionaire by Jessica Lemmon

The Bastard Billionaire by Jessica LemmonThe Bastard Billionaire by Jessica Lemmon
Series: Billionaire Bad Boys, #3
Published by Forever on February 28th 1970
Pages: 271
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four-stars

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 . . .

Eli Crane has run off way too many personal assistants, wearing his grouchy self as armour and badge as he refuses to get back into the family business despite his family’s interference. Finally meeting his match In Isabella Sawyer, a take-no-nonsense type of woman who whips him into shape, it isn’t long before he starts thinking about life beyond his disability and rediscovering the man he used to be.

The plot itself isn’t entirely unexpected, with the prerequisite build-up, some pushing and pulling before the dramatic (but perhaps unnecessary) conflict before the resolution. But I think what really stayed with me was how well Jessica Lemmon writes, without purple prose and without falling into the end where the story becomes too simplistic, particularly so when it comes to the subject of PTSD, survivor guilt and the aftermath of vets who return from war. There isn’t the obscene showing of wealth as I’ve come to expect from the cliched billionaire-type books and it felt as though Eli/Isabella could have worked out as typical, middle-class individuals who didn’t have inflated bank accounts.

Both Eli and Isabella are generally likeable though not without their faults, yet I think I appreciated how Lemmon didn’t shy away from the difficulty that Eli faced and how upfront Isabella was – mostly, up until the ending episode when she did something stupid – with him. Overall, it’s a decent read, but I find myself really getting into the author’s personal writing style more than anything else.

four-stars