The Billionaire and the Virgin


Book 1 in the Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
Author Jessica Clare
Narrated by Jillian Macie
Audio: Tantor Audio  Feb 17, 2015
Running time 9 hrs
print and e-book: Penguin/Intermix Feb 17, 2015
250 Pages

Audio file and E-Galley proveded by publishers for review purposes. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own unless otherwise noted.

Waitress Marjorie Ivarsson is the picture of naiveté. Raised by her grandmother, she’d rather go to bingo than go dancing. But when she’s asked to be a bridesmaid in her friend Bronte’s destination wedding, she finds herself venturing into new and exciting territory. The wedding is set on the billionaire groom’s private island, and Marjorie is fascinated by all the new people she meets.

Most fascinating of all is the man she saves from almost drowning in the blue waters of the island lagoon. She might even have a bit of a crush on him. Unfortunately, she’s not the only girl who finds him so intriguing. Hotshot television producer Robert Cannon has a reputation for womanizing, drinking, and partying to excess. They couldn’t be more wrong for each other . . . so why are they constantly drawn together like magnets?

Contains mature themes.


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My Take Oblong


Oh Gosh, golly gee, gee whiz and shucks, Marjorie runs past naive to anachronistic naivete. This girl has apparently been raised by nuns in the mountains without cable TV or a school filled with other children, nor looked at a magazine. This girl has grown up to see her height as a liability. She apparently missed every fashion model ever.  But it is her unworldliness when she works in a diner and talks to people all day that

Okay, I wouldn’t have thought tall women have problems with their height, and I call Marjorie an anachronism, but I have  a young friend who thinks her height is terrible and that it makes her ugly.  She is from another country so there may be cultural bias there, but seriously she’s gorgeous.  At the same time when her friends hear about this we stare in disbelief because it seems you would have had to be somewhat removed from popular culture to believe height makes you unattractive.

You could say it’s because Marjorie grew up with seniors as she was raised by her grandmother.  But the seniors she talks to are more current than she is.  I find this a lot in contemporary romance: people my age are represented as ancient and people older than I am are often put in situations that were more common years ago, like shuffleboard.

Then there’s the guy, Rob.  Honestly my skin crawly reaction to Rob Cannon, especially his use of the word sweetheart over and over again in the narrator’s voice fell like one of the guys on The Sopranos. This is a book I was embarrassed for my husband to hear as I listened to it.  It just felt really sleazy. And that’s it — the guy is sleazy, and yet he and Marjorie are drawn together.  It reads like a sit com, in that the situations are ridiculous, but with a lot of sex.
She must be drawn to his innate goodness?  All he needed was the love of a good woman?

I have really mixed feelings about these books.  Usually the guys are part of one club, but this one went out of the usual pool for the billionaire component, because in general the guys aren’t as icky as Rob, who makes no apologies for his language and business style.  This is a spin off of STRANDED WITH A BILLIONAIRE.

On the other hand, there were times I was touched by the way Rob makes Marjorie believe she isn’t some hideous giantess.  And, by how they affect each other’s lives. There are many moments when I felt the book had a positive message.    And, sometimes the sex is also well written.  The characters don’t have sex constantly or at the drop of a hat, and as in other books in the series, it takes a while for the couple to get there.

Like I say I have mixed feelings about this book. If you blush easily hearing spicy language then you might want to read it in private. And, I always pick these up because they are readable even though I occasionally find the situation ridiculous or the language sometimes just a little too much.  There’s usually a little humor and a little pathos.