Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Mini-Review: Billionaire, Boss...Bridegroom?

I've spent the first quarter of 2020 doing what I call "obligation reading" and then hit a slump at the tail end thanks to work stress and COVID-19.  Well, I finally got past those obligation books and the first stop on Wendy's Going To Read What She Wants meant comfort read.  The Harlequin Romance line is my go-to for comfort reading. The books just feel like warm hugs to me.  So I went diving deep into my Kindle and pulled up Billionaire, Boss...Bridegroom? by Kate Hardy.

Bella Faraday was working as a freelance graphic designer until a traitorous boyfriend cleaned out her savings account and her biggest client went bankrupt. She's just landed a job with an independent music label in London when she gets a call from her sister. Her even-keeled, totally responsible sister who has just called off her engagement.  Bella is riding to the rescue when she hops in the nearest taxi only to discover it's already occupied. Um, by her new boss - Hugh Montcrieff. 

Hugh is the youngest of five and the only one not working for the family's brokerage firm.  He's set to head to the country house to celebrate one of his brothers' engagements - but he's not relishing more pressure to give up his record label "hobby" or to finally "settle down."  He's charmed and taken by Bella and thinks she could be the answer to his problem.  His proposal? Spend the weekend with his family and play the role of totally unsuitable new girlfriend.

Hugh suffers from an abundance of what I call Romance Hero Logic. He's not the progeny of Evil Romance Novel Family Genes, his family is legit lovely - so why he just doesn't, oh I don't know, TALK to his parents...but then we wouldn't have a plot contrivance.  Bella basically says as much to him but agrees to the charade.  The problem, of course, is that's she's bloody terrible at it. She may show up wearing outrageous clothes, but she can't hide her caring and charming temperament.

I liked Bella tremendously and it's the kind of warm hug atmosphere I'm a sucker for in Harlequin Romance.  But this hero y'all.  Besides the Romance Hero Logic, he gives the heroine a dreaded ultimatum at the end all because his last relationship flamed out when he mixed business with pleasure.  So one of THOSE heroes.  Bella, blessedly, doesn't cave to his stupid ultimatum even if she does love him and her heart is shattered.  He eventually realizes what an idiot he is and we get our happy ending. Although I'm left with the feeling that he doesn't deserve Bella or his lovely family for that matter. What a butthead.

But as a comfort read during a time when I desperately needed one, this fits the bill.  I just feel like Bella deserved better.

Final Grade = C+

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