Thursday, 2 March 2017

New Release Spotlight & Review: The Bastard Billionaire by Jessica Lemmon

Author: Jessica Lemmon
Series: Billionaire Bad Boys, #3
On Sale: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Forever
Mass Market: $7.99 USD
eBook: $6.99 USD

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 . . .

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Standing, she smoothed her hands down her pants and flipped her hair. She had planned to quietly finish her work and leave without seeing him again. No such luck. And no hiding that she was heading his way when her heels clicked along the concrete floor.
The kiss had happened. The button incident had happened. There was no taking it back. Regardless of how either of them felt about it, she was going to continue working here. So. She would deal with the here and now.
Since the sun was shining, Eli’s lair was welcome instead of foreboding. No fire cracked in the hearth today. Also unlike his usual, he wasn’t at his desk. He was at the printer.
This yours?” He offered a sheet of paper.
Yes.” She couldn’t keep from explaining. “Pressed the Print button by accident.”
Mi printer es su printer.”
Isa accepted the document and Eli sank his hands into his jeans pockets, his forearms flexing with the movement.
I wasn’t—”
I shouldn’t—” they said at the same time.
He pursed his lips and she looked at her shoes. “Go ahead.” She was going to say, I wasn’t offended when you kissed me, but now that she’d had a millisecond to think it through, maybe she should pretend the kiss hadn’t happened. Which was . . . impossible. Standing this close to him, it’s all she could think about.
I shouldn’t have ruined your shirt,” he said.
I dared you to.”
Why?” His eyebrows compressed along with his lips.
Because you have accepted the role of beast, but I don’t believe that’s who you are.” She let her gaze linger on his face before tracking down his body. “And because I like a challenge.”
Do you?” He took a wide step toward her.
She matched his move and took one step closer to him. “Yes. I don’t wilt easily.”
He threaded her hair between his fingers, a look of longing and hurt mingling in his eyes. “I was about to lie and say I shouldn’t have kissed you.”
Shivers climbed her spine as she remembered how firm his lips felt against hers. “Maybe . . . you shouldn’t have stopped.”

The third novel in the Billionaire Bad Boys series focuses on the middle son, Eli who's determined to do things his way. For those who read Tag Crane's story, you'll have already met his grumpy older brother.

Eli Coolidge Crane wishes his family would leave him alone. When older brother Reece arranges for a personal assistant to ease him into the unwanted role of COO for Crane Hotels, he manages to intimidate and scare off ten within a short period. Only the subsequent assistant makes it her business to let him know she won't be following her predecessors anytime soon. Something, he surprisingly respects and realises he doesn't want either.

With the reputation of her employment agency at stake, Isabelle Sawyer takes matters into her own hands when she takes over the contract with Crane Hotels and becomes Eli Crane's temporary personal assistant. With a positive attitude and determination, she relishes the challenge to smooth out the rough start to their working relationship. In doing so, she uncovers the reason for Eli's reluctance to commit to the role within his family's business and understands his need to prioritise issues from his past before he can move forward with his life.

When I first began reading Eli's story, I thought I understood his issue with Crane Hotels. Hell, I'd be irked if pressured into accepting a position I didn't want. With constant nagging, I'd put up barriers too. However, situations are not always black and white as we begin to understand what motivates the middle Crane son. When his tough protective shell chips away he reveals a secret and a desire, the latter an unexpected bonus caused by his new assistant. Eli didn't stand a chance when Isabelle catapulted herself into his life; A woman on a mission to preserve the reputation of her business with a clear view that an anti-social, rude client won't destroy what she's worked so hard to achieve. Where her predecessors had failed, Isabelle earned a respect from her new client who appreciated her forthright attitude and her ability to call him out on his appalling behaviour.

I've thoroughly enjoyed reading all the Billionaire Bad Boys novels. Each brother is distinct but all are inflicted with the same problem...a broken heart caused by grief. Each shutting off their emotions to prevent their fragile hearts breaking again. Each had their own coping mechanism and becoming a Marine was Eli's escape. Only now back home, he's more broken; not only emotionally but physically too. I love the dynamics of Eli and Isabelle's relationship. She gives him space to breathe and doesn't pity him. She's a strong, ambitious and independent woman creating a life for herself against the wishes of her parents. He's loyal and compassionate with a heart of gold.

Overall another fabulous novel by Jessica Lemmon; devoured and enjoyed. The hero and heroine are adorable. There's humour, sadness, heart-warming positivity and button popping sexiness!! What's not to like?

***arc received courtesy of the publisher Forever Romance***


#5~ Isabella Sawyer’s smart-aleck remark when Eli fires her for the umpteenth time:
Apologies, Eli, but I’m not changing my shoes.” She came into his office, her hips swaying with each sure step she took toward him.
Fine. Then you’re fired.”
Oh, no, not again.”

#4~ Merina, the heroine from The Bastard Billionaire shows up as yet another feisty woman who refuses to bow to Eli’s gruffness.

I can go out into public, you know,” he grumbled, setting the beer bottle next to his plate—on the table, no coaster, thank you very much. “You guys don’t have to come in here and serve me.”
He was skilled at his new role of miserable bastard, and since everyone expected it now, he was determined to excel.
Oh but we do, Lord Crane.” Merina smiled demurely as she leaned over and handed him a glass.

#3~ I loved this line after Eli and Isa had sex—his honesty cracked me up!

I like this.” She touched the corner of his mouth. “I’ve been trying to get you to smile since I started working here.”
Well now you know how to do it.”

#2~ Bold Isabella knows how to ask for what she wants!

Is kissing you in my marching orders for tomorrow night?” he asked, his eyes picking up a trace of heat.
She wasn’t going to pass up this opportunity. No way. No how.
Yes,” she answered. “Need to practice?”

#1~ Eli’s worry that he didn’t have what it took is my favorite line in the book.

He’d done what he needed to be a good soldier.
Now that he wasn’t a soldier, he wasn’t sure what it took to be a good man.

The Billionaire Bachelor, #1
The Billionaire Next Door, #2
The Bastard Billionaire, #3

A former job-hopper, Jessica Lemmon resides in Ohio with her husband and rescue dog. She holds a degree in graphic design currently gathering dust in an impressive frame. When she's not writing super-sexy heroes, she can be found cooking, drawing, drinking coffee (okay, wine), and eating potato chips. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want.

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