The Taming of the Billionaire, by Jessica Clare

The taming of the billionaire

Grade: B-

Doing it at: 51%

Catnip: Shakespeare; Enemies to Lovers; Billionaires; Cat Lady; Evil Sister; Dual Narrative; Sex En Plein Air

Shame scale: Low to moderate. It’s light and formulaic, but well written.

Fantasy casting: Timothy Olyphant, Jennifer Garner

Book Description:

The New York Times bestselling author of The Billionaire and the Virgin returns with a tale of Shakespearean-style seduction…

Edie’s an overbearing cat behaviorist who’s not big on people. Magnus is a newly-rich game developer who likes to be in control. When the two of them meet at Gretchen and Hunter’s masquerade engagement party, the loathing is mutual. Unfortunately for them—and everyone else—they’re in the wedding party together and must deal with each other for the next few months.

But when Magnus’s younger brother falls for Edie’s sister, he begs for his brother’s help in concocting a plan to win her over. If Magnus can keep the prickly Edie occupied, his brother will have time to woo Edie’s sister. Of course, Magnus isn’t interested in the slightest, but Edie is…intriguing. And stubborn. And smart. And sexy. And they might have more in common than they thought.

This book is part of the Billionaires and Bridesmaids series. We were lucky enough to receive an ARC for this one, which will be released on July 21, 2015. I’ve had a few Jessica Clare books on my wish list for awhile (Yes, Beauty and the Billionaire is the one I’m most anxious to get my hands on if you must know), so I was excited to see what her style is like. This book is loosely inspired by Shakespeare’s ‘The Taming of the Shrew,’ which admittedly, I have not read. Confession time: even when I read Books, I didn’t ever really get into the classics. I googled it though, and based on my extensive Wikipedia research I can say that there are indeed some similarities between ‘The Taming of the Shrew,’ and ‘The Taming of the Billionaire.’

The book opens with Edie and her sister Bianca arriving at Gretchen and Hunter’s mansion (the couple from Beauty and the Billionaire, which I now definitely have to read because Gretchen is amazing) for a dinner for the members of their wedding party. Edie has a bad knee from an old accident that causes her to limp, and she brings her sister Bianca everywhere “for help” – although as far as I could tell the help was pretty much just driving and being awful. Bianca is a giant See-You-Next-Tuesday, the kind of woman who acts angelic and selfless as a way to make herself look good. AKA my favorite kind of villain. She’s obviously intent on going to the party she wasn’t invited to because the host is rich and she wants to land a rich husband. Spoilers are coming. If you’d like to avoid, scroll directly down from one cat lady to the other.

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After a brief tour of the mansion, Edie’s bum knee is bothering her, so she sneaks off to rest. She happens upon Magnus in the kitchen, where he some of the groomsmen are joking about how there won’t be any hot bridesmaids at this wedding to hook up with, since Gretchen is weird. Likely all nerds and cat ladies. Edie just so happens to be a professional cat lady. Like, she runs a business as a cat behaviorist.

Edie is outraged (probably because everything they’re saying is true and she knows it), and makes sure they all know how grownup mad she is by giving them the stone cold ice queen treatment. Magnus is our billionaire hero in this one, and he thinks Edie is hot, but that any potential bangability is completely negated by her personality. So basically, great cat nippy foundation for a romance. Girl hates guy, guy thinks girl is a frigid bitch.

Later though, Levi, Magnus’s brother/business partner/creative genius, proclaims that he is in love with Bianca, and can’t work until he is able to date her. For some reason Bianca has told him she can’t go out with him because she’s too dedicated to her sister. It’s an awkward plot device, but we’ll let it go. Bianca and Levi came up with a plan to have Magnus adopt a cat and hire Edie as the cat behaviorist, so they can sneak off and fool around. It’s obnoxious and manipulative, but Magnus agrees because he is annoyed and wants to get this over with so they can meet their software development deadlines.

Levi and Bianca continue to jerk Magnus and Edie around. They even go so far as to make Magnus take Edie out on a date. At this point he is rather sick of the two of them, realizes that he actually kind of likes Edie, and decides he wants nothing to do with their bullshit games. He decides to be an adult and starts dating Edie for himself, but the betrayal of his initial pursuit of her is still buried there between them.

There’s not too much doing it in this one, but what there is is decent. It’s not bad, not exceptional. The first time the P enters the V is in a garden, that was pretty fun. But otherwise, the sex in this one is metaphorically canned chicken soup.

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This book wasn’t life changing, but it was very engaging for a regular old romance. The characters were interesting enough to be memorable, and the enemies-to-lovers story managed to feel fresh. It was kind of like a Kate Hudson Rom Com: fun, enjoyable, with no emotional hangover. A great lazy weekend book. I’m definitely going to pick up Beauty and the Billionaire, but I’ll probably wait for a sale.

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