The Billionaire Takes a Bride
By Jessica Clare
Part of Billionaires and Bridesmaids #3
Ebook: 256 pages
Oct 20, 2015
Unabridged 8 hours, 41 minutes
Jillian Macie (Narrator), Tantor Audio (Publisher)
Book provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
A lie turns to love in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Taming of the Billionaire.
Billionaire Sebastian Cabral loves his family, he just doesn’t love their reality TV show, The Cabral Empire. So when his ex-girlfriend tries to rekindle their relationship on camera, Sebastian decides that drastic measures are in order.
By day, Chelsea Hall is a happy-go-lucky, rough and tumble roller derby skater. By night, she’s still living in fear of her past. Most of all, she just doesn’t want to be alone. And she really, really doesn’t want to date.
So when their mutual friends’ upcoming wedding turns Chelsea and Sebastian into fast friends, they realize they can solve both of their problems with one life-changing lie: a quick trip down the aisle.
But with one kiss, Chelsea and Sebastian suddenly realize that their pretend relationship is more real than either of them expected….
There are aspects of this story that are well-done, and others that are hard to suspend disbelief for, but their very outlandishness makes the story work. That hyperbole is mostly about Sebastian’s family. His mother and siblings were fame grasping “reality” TV stars who would make the antics of the Kardashians seem like, well, reality. His father is a sweet elderly man who adores his wife and kids, and Sebatian mostly takes after him in how he behaves towards Chelsea. Clare uses the ridiculous aspect of the family to look at important issues that many young women face. In this series she has looked at different family problems, and assault that leaves lasting damage, money troubles and the fact that money and happiness often have an inverse relationship.
In this particular book, which I both read and listened to, I like how the characters fall for each other, the deal they make, how they develop a friendship and slowly build a physical relationship was nicely done. The deal is really silly, but again, it shows how far we have to go sometimes to get away from a bad situation.
I like the narrator, Jillian Macie’s voice: she doesn’t try too hard with the male characters, and she puts just enough spin on the dialogue to add some color without overdoing. Plus, she has a certain bubbly quality that makes listening to her narration pleasant.
That Sebastian’s family wants fame so badly; all except Sebastian willing to live their lives on camera is such a sad reflection of the above mentioned family as well as other “reality” television programs. Clare actually does a great job developing the character of Sebastian’s mother just enough to make her unreal, over the top behavior actually believable. I could easily see her in my head. I really felt the character through the way she was completely disrespectful of Sebastian’s desire to be kept out the TV show and her total self-centeredness. But, I like how Clare shows Sebastian as being morally centered through showing him respectfully standing his ground.
I liked how Clare used roller derby, traditionally somewhere between entertainment and sport; allowing women to express themselves as sexy but empowered, as a bridge to recovery for Chelsea. And, while Chelsea doesn’t always make the best decisions, she does allow herself to change and comes to see she is not permanently destroyed; so often a romance character acts like they have to stay stuck, but Clare’s characters give themselves a hand up, and accept help too.
One aspect of this series I do like is that the author sometimes uses fairy tales or Shakespeare as a framework, but she mixes it up and doesn’t force each story in the series into the structure of a classic or fairy tale. I emailed Jessica to ask her about this. She told me she doesn’t plan to use fairy tales as the backbone of a new book but they are among her favorite stories, so some of her own end up being based in fairy tales.
The stories do flow in this series, leading out from the Billionaires Boys Club series’ book BEAUTY AND THE BILLIONAIRE. I would at least read that first.
Although it is not literature and the stories lean heavily to the erotica edge of the spectrum, I am addicted to the series. It’s a “Guilty Pleasure” kind of thing. If you like your guilty pleasures too then I recommend the series and this book.
Author (under pseudonym): http://jillmyles.com/
Audio Publisher: https://tantor.com/the-billionaire-takes-a-bride-essica-clare.html