August 1, 2014
REVIEW: Beauty and the Billionaire (Billionaire Boys Club #2)
Published July 26, 2013
Publisher: Berkley Intermix
Format: e-book, purchased
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
Rating: 4.5 STARS
(From Goodreads) The Billionaire Boys Club is a secret society of six men who have vowed success—at any cost. Not all of them are old money, but all of them are incredibly wealthy. They’re just not always as successful when it comes to love…
Real-estate tycoon Hunter Buchanan has a dark past that’s left him scarred and living as a recluse on his family’s palatial estate. Hunter is ready to give up on love—until he spots an enigmatic red-haired beauty and comes up with an elaborate scheme to meet her.
Gretchen Petty is in need of a paycheck—and a change. So when a job opportunity in an upstate New York mansion pops up she accepts. And while she can overlook the oddities of her new job, she can’t ignore her new boss’s delectable body—or his barely leashed temper.
Hunter’s afraid his plan might be unraveling before it’s truly begun, but Gretchen is about to show him that life can be full of surprises…
My friends at Penguin were kind enough to send me a copy of Stranded With a Billionaire (Billionaire Boys Club #1) a few months ago (read my review here). I knew I would like it, but I had no idea I would LOVE these boys! I knew right away that there was no option except to buy all the remaining books in the series. Of them all, the one I was most looking forward to reading, though, was Hunter's story in Beauty and the Billionaire. It did not disappoint.
Hunter Buchanan is a recluse who hides away from everyone except for his closest friends because of the scarring on his face. He thinks no one could possibly love him, so he spares himself the embarrassment. Gretchen is a creative woman with a free and open spirit. When Hunter sees her, he thinks maybe she could open herself up enough to the possibility of being friends with someone like him. He didn't bank on the fact that Gretchen couldn't care less about his appearance. It's his heart and soul she cares about. But, when she finds out he brought her to his house under false pretenses, it may be what causes her to walk away.
Okay - I'll be straight with you. There were a few things in Beauty and the Billionaire that were pretty far fetched. The elaborate plan that Hunter hatched to bring Gretchen into his house was kinda nuts. The fact that she bought it and went along with the crazy plan was even nuttier.
But, the craziest thing of all was that I really didn't care.
It was absolutely impossible to not love Hunter. He was so sad and dejected and had pretty much given up on any chance at happiness. People outside of those who already knew and cared about him treated him badly because of the scarring on his face. When Gretchen initially reaches out to him, despite his intense yearning to know her, he lashes out at her, inadvertently pushing her away. I felt so badly for him and wanted nothing more than for he and Gretchen to find their way to each other.
Gretchen is a ghost writer stuck writing books she hates just so she can pay the bills. In order to get him in her house, Hunter creates a publishing company and tells them to employ her to write a book based on a trunk of 100-year-old love letters that Hunter passes off as coming with the house, but really, he just bought them at an estate sale. It makes me sad that Hunter had to go to such extreme lengths just to get Gretchen to spend time with him - that he didn't have enough faith in her to want to hang out with him on his merits alone.
Gretchen, as it turns out, is exactly what Hunter needed. She's a take charge kind of girl who isn't content to just allow Hunter to continue to hide. She draws him out slowly. He's uncomfortable at first, but Gretchen has a way of putting him at ease. The transformation of Hunter is sweet and just makes me feel all girly and touchy feely. It was just what I needed when I was looking for a feel-good read.
Just because the romance was sweet doesn't mean it was sweet all the time. Beauty and the Billionaire was super hot too. The heat between Hunter and Gretchen was scorching. And there was plenty of time for angst too. Things don't always go smoothly. Old habits die hard for Hunter, and when he reverts back to his suspicious nature and doesn't trust Gretchen or her feelings for him, he has to answer for that.
The title of the book is no coincidence. This really was Beauty and the Beast told with a modern non-paranormal spin. Hunter is the beast who has hidden himself away from the world in his huge mansion because of his shame. He is also an expert when it comes to roses. Gretchen is the sweet beauty who accepts him unquestionably because she sees the goodness underneath the rough exterior. She is eager to draw him out of his shell and show him all the wonderful things he is missing. And, she likes books. She is Belle through and through.
I am so excited to continue with this series. The romances are wonderful. The sex is hot and the happily ever afters make my toes curl. These are books I could read any time, any where.