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Jennifer Greene

REVIEW: The Billionaire’s Handler by Jennifer Greene

REVIEW: The Billionaire’s Handler by Jennifer Greene

“A whopping multi-million-dollar inheritance should have been Carolina Daniels’s dream come true. Instead, the money brought nothing but vultures looking for their share of the wealth. Fortunately for her, the generous gift also came with a rescuer: sexy billionaire Maguire Cochran.

Instinct told Maguire that the generous inheritance his father had given Carolina for saving his youngest son would send her running for help. His plan? To be her “knight in shining armor” and show her how to toughen up. Whisking her off for a luxurious getaway-’complete with a romantic dinner or two-’was all part of the arrangement. But letting the considerate, passionate schoolteacher give him a lesson in love-’and transform his heart-’was not….”

Dear Ms. Greene,

I’ll admit that it’s your name on this book which made me give it a second look. That and the fact that it’s from the Special Edition Line which generally tells me that any rich heroes won’t turn out to be despicable morons while the not-as-rich heroines have some strength to their spines. As for the rest of the plot, I knew I’d just have to buy into it and go along for the ride.

The Billionaire's Handler by Jennifer GreeneI do have a slight niggle about how Maguire busts in and “rescues” Carolina and a slightly skeevy feeling that he’d been watching over her and having her checked on. But he truly does have her interests at heart. Still… he’s a bit of a control freak – which is made more understandable with his upbringing, businessman’s persona and his family who won’t act maturely. So it’s funny to see her turn the tables on him, seduce him, and control him. I love it when she tells him to “take being seduced like a man.” Very funny moments here and it keeps him from being the asshole CEO type. The fact that early on you give her emotional power over him balances the initial set up. He might be tough workaholic but deep down, he’s putty in her hands from the start.

Maguire exemplifies Noblesse Oblige as opposed to most of his family. So he wants to keep Carolina at arm’s length because of that. She’s under his protection so she’s off limits. Even if it kills him. Brava that she takes control of their sexual relationship and tells him that it’s what SHE wants and needs and enjoys and he can either get with the program and enjoy it with her or not but she’s not feeling used or guilty. There are no apologies for her being a sexual being nor any “I’ve never experienced an orgasm til I met you” moments. Oh, thank you for that.

The story centers on an interesting plot angle – sudden wealth and how it will change a person and those around them. Who doesn’t dream of this but then who hasn’t heard all the horror stories of how it can ruin your life if you’re not careful? In the end, Carolina gets stronger and becomes tougher about giving til it hurts – personally, mainly, but also financially. I think it’s realistic that her family hasn’t changed much – no sudden Happy Bunny/group hug moments – which makes sense. And even she still hasn’t become a coconut who’s immune from entreaties but she’s learned something about what wealth can do for or against you and how to deal with it.

Maguire and Carolina both grow as people and help make the other one a better, stronger person. He teaches her big money handling and how to set boundaries and protect herself and she teaches him to open up to the possibility of love and risks of love.

A fun aspect of the book is that in the last part both play dirty to get the other – a sexy T-shirt, tree house books, a dog, a designer shoe catalogue – but these are things that they know would appeal to the other – cute, fun things. Which goes along with how they can slyly joke and tease each other.

In the end, she realizes that no place will be home without him and makes sure that he knows deep down, the money hasn’t changed her personality. Carolina makes Maguire examine his life and why he’s never written a wish list. Unlocking his own emotions and asking for himself just as he makes her buy shoes for herself. And you can’t beat a guy who insists that you buy some designer shoes! B

~Jayne

Book Link | Kindle | Amazon | nook | BN | Borders
| Sony

REVIEW: A Daring Proposition by Jennifer Greene

REVIEW: A Daring Proposition by Jennifer Greene

Dear Ms. Greene:

This is a reprint of a formerly published book.   Interestingly some of the book has been updated to make it seem more modern such as references to text messaging and more current popular culture references and, possibly even the clothes although I wasn’t quite sure of the latter.**

A Daring Proposition by Jennifer GreeneThe set up has a big plot hole in that independently wealthy CPA, desirous of a child, asks a stranger to volunteer his sperm. She gets the idea from an article she read about a sperm bank in California that hosts the sperm of Nobel Laureates. Why wouldn’t she just go to that sperm bank instead of availing herself of local talent?

Still, I liked the characters and if you set aside the plot hole (that is never really addressed because Leigh’s explanation that Brian, the hero, didn’t like personal entanglements and thus was perfect for her plans only served to reinforce the idea that she should just use a sperm bank), you get an interesting story.   While it is a book I recommend, I think it is only going to work for those who like a certain type of book.   Even though the descriptions were updated, the tone was not.   For instance, the constant use of “lady” instead of “woman” seemed to harken back to an earlier time period as did the reference to “lady friends” or the heroine as “frigid.”   It reminded me of the category books of the 90s in tone and I enjoyed that but I wonder if some would view the tone too old fashioned.   And there are a lot of problems to overcome and those problems will be insurmountable for some, justifiably so.

Leigh Sexton is a CPA and independently wealthy due to an inheritance from her deceased parents.   She works as a CPA, not for the money but for the mental challenge and stimulation.   She’s also very private and does not partake of the social activities that many of her peers do which is why her appearance at a cocktail party thrown by Brian Hathaway’s firm to celebrate the end of an audit.

Apparently Brian Hathaway likes all women, “so long as they are pretty and prone” he was once quoted as saying.   This serves to be true when Leigh approaches Brian and says that she has a request of a personal nature.   This leads Brian to assume Leigh wants to have sex with him and begins the process of dishevelment: removing pins, taking off her glasses and the like. Leigh quickly disabuses Brian of this and lays out her deal: $10,000 for his sperm.   Brian is offended that she would think he would father a child, even through sperm donation and then want nothing to do with the child.   He turns her down for a whole host of reasons, but primarily because he feels that a woman who would offer him this deal would be too cold blooded to properly parent a child.

Leigh’s desire to be a mother, however, is unabated yet she does nothing to pursue her dream.   She doesn’t look into adoption. She doesn’t contact the Nobel Laureate sperm bank.   Instead, Leigh is fortunate because Brian comes back with an alternate deal. Marry him and she can have her baby.   Brian doesn’t really believe in the institution of marriage, but at thirty-five, he, too, would like a family.   Marriage to Leigh who would condone his extra marital relationships but also provide a solid foundation upon which to co parent a child makes sense for him.

But as they pretend to love each other for their family and friends and as they spend more time together, their respect and affection for each other deepen to a point where sexual tension is an almost palpable object.   Leigh, however, has been sexually traumatized which is why she sought out the insemination path believing she could never withstand a physical relationship with a man.   She tried once, only to hurt her lover badly and render her scared of all further intimate encounters.

What I liked about the book was the slow progression of the romance and the love between the two people.   There was no instant lust.   Leigh was perfectly happy, particularly in the beginning, to send Brian off to his other women.   As her feelings for him grew, her laissez faire attitude about time spent away from her and with others abated.   Pregnancy also wore away her confidence, showing her how she couldn’t really plan or control everything.

The story is told from Leigh’s point of view and her character arc is the focus, although it is told through the romance between her and Brian.   Brian is portrayed as very devoted and tender.   He made the right foil for Leigh. There is a bit of Brian-knows-best during the book (particularly in the beginning and toward the end), but I  thought Leigh was always the braver one in the relationship.   She was willing to admit her feelings and suffer the possible rejection whereas Brian was the reactor.   In the hands of a less skilled author, I think this could have been a wallbanger. I liked Leigh quite a bit and Brian was right for her and that’s what makes this book for me despite the plot holes and the magic peen that washes away all sexual trauma.   B-

Best regards,

Jane

Book Link | Kindle | nook
| Sony| Carina Press

** The updating of older books prompted me to write up an opinion piece that I will post in 2011. I thought it was clever in this book, but could see it having negative results in others.