The Bastard BillionaireSeries: Billionaire Bad Boys #3
by Jessica Lemmon
Published by Hachette, Forever on February 28th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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 . . .
The last Billionaire Bad Boys book, The Billionaire Next Door, gave us readers a brief introduction to the middle Crane brother who has been practically absent from the series. Eli Crane came in like a wrecking ball and refused to leave my mind. I knew this veteran would be trouble in the grumpiest sense. Oh, was I right.
Where the last book was a bit more playful, this third book deals with a subject I feel strongly about, the treatment of our veterans who make it home after serving our country so we can enjoy the freedoms we have. Eli is an injured Marine returning home after being honorably discharged, having survived an explosion when others did not survive. He’s bitter, a bit lost, and whole lot of grumpy. He wants to be left alone to do his own thing. His family is pushing him to return to the family business, Crane Hotels, but the last thing Eli wants to do is return to normalcy and be surrounded by people.
His oldest brother, Reese, sends a personal assistant to Eli’s house to help him stay connected to Crane Hotels. One after the other, each new personal assistant scrambles away in tears or anger (or both) from “scary” Eli. Eli doesn’t have time for this, he has his own pet project to work on.
Enter Isabella Sawyer, the owner of the company that employs all the personal assistants that have been “expelled” from Eli’s house. With her fledgling company’s reputation at stake, she just can’t have another failure. She needs Reese Crane’s endorsement to grow her personal assistant company. So as a last resort, Isa goes in to meet the guy who took down all her personal assistants.
Some romances just take you for a nice little ride and dump you off at the door and say goodnight. The Bastard Billionaire was an exciting ride in a Jeep in the desert where I got to see lots of sights, got a bit of “action” (wink, wink), and was fully satisfied having learned a little about where I’ve been and had some fun along the way. That is to say, this wasn’t a boring blah, blah romance. My metaphors get clunky sometimes.
Two things stuck out for me with this story. First was Isabella’s character. I am such a sucker for a heroine (or protagonist – I never know what to call her) who recognizes she isn’t in a good situation and she takes her life in her own hands and sets her life to rights. And she was a one smart cookie. Hmmmm… cookies…
Second, the pet project that Eli was working on was actually a brilliant idea and I had never thought about that “angle” for returning veterans. There are so many things in my normal day that I take for granted that our veterans have to adjust to when they return home. It could be mental or physical adjustments, but our veterans need help and too often, they are overlooked by our “me, me, me” society. I know I need reminders often.
OH, and hey, Ms. Lemmon writes some fantastic sex scenes so there’s always that 😉
If you’d like a little more background on the book, behind the scenes shots from the cover photo shoot, and maybe check out a short excerpt, check out Ms. Lemmon’s website, specifically this PAGE.