Friday, January 09, 2015

A Perfect 10: ROMANCING THE BILLIONAIRE – Jessica Clare

A Perfect 10 
Billionaire Boys Club, 
Book 5 
Berkley Publishing 
ISBN-13:  978-0-425-27578-8 
November 2014 
Contemporary Romance 

Detroit, Michigan – Present Day 

Violet DeWitt has just been given an envelope by her late father's attorney, and knows instinctively what is ahead of her.  Her father, Dr. Phineas DeWitt, had given her several envelopes for birthdays, leading to a treasure hunt.  But the prize at the end of the hunt was always a disappointment; at sixteen it was a copy of a doctoral thesis written by one of his students on Minoan frescoes, certainly nothing a teenager wanted for her birthday.  The lawyer tells her something she isn't surprised about; Jonathan Lyons had paid all her father's debts and had probably financed his archaeological digs the past several years.  She's not even interested in the envelope, and isn't surprised when Jonathan walks into her fifth grade class later that day.  At nineteen Violet had joined her father on a dig, and Jonathan was also working there.  A quick fling soon ensued, leaving Violet pregnant.  When she asked Jonathan to return to the States and get married and start a family, he said at nineteen he was just starting to live and refused to join her.  After returning several weeks later she suffered a miscarriage, but since Jonathan never even answered the letter she left for him telling him why she left, she has hidden her hurt for the past ten years.  Now Jonathan wants her to help him with his envelope from her late father and to find his missing journals and the stele artifact stolen from the last dig that Jonathan financed.  Bribing Violet's school with money for the educational programs it needs gets her leave to again chase clues in another treasure hunt.  Despite Violet's anger and heartbreak over how Jonathan treated her all those years ago, and the studied neglect she suffered from her father, she must go along with Jonathan's bribe. 

Jonathan Lyons preferred archaeology, but when his family's car business came into his hands he almost had to rebuild it from the ground up.  With the help of his friends in the Billionaires Boys Club, Lyon sports cars have become popular and exclusive, exclusive enough to make him a billionaire.  But the theft of the artifact from Dr. DeWitt's last dig has him going to see Violet after all those years.  Her father told him she moved in with an old boyfriend when she returned from the dig and got married soon after.  But the letter he received after her father died said she was the key to what he wanted to find.  A little bribery and they are soon going to her first house to find the next clue, and then to London.  Violet knows the hunt was put together to bring them together again for some reason, but the hurt deep in her heart isn't easily overcome. 

Jonathan keeps trying to get inside Violet's shell, and can't understand why their breaking up at the age of nineteen was so traumatic for her.  He acknowledges to himself that he has always loved her, but getting her to give him a chance is a struggle all the way.  What he finds out one day makes him realize why she hates him so much. 

Jessica Clare has written a dynamite story about Jonathan and Violet; drawn together all those years ago with the charisma of Violet's father.  Violet spent all her life trying to get his attention or even his love; when he was away on digs her mother drank and cried continuously about her husband.  Jonathan has made a success of his life, but still stayed in touch with Dr. DeWitt and paid for digs and had a close relationship with him.  Jonathan has never felt for any woman what he did for Violet all those years ago, and readily admits he still loves her.  Violet is justifiably scared and still angry about what happened when she thought he cared for her.  For the past years she has lived contained in her own shell, responsible only for herself and doing the best she can after the years of being ignored by her father. 

Secondary characters are other members of the Billionaire Boys Club, especially Cade Archer who comes to help Violet with Jonathan at a desperate time.  But it's Dr. DeWitt whose ghost follows both Violet and Jonathan as they try to find what they are looking for and the reason he set up the elaborate treasure hunt. 

ROMANCING THE BILLIONAIRE hits all the high points in my estimation.  I so could not forgive Jonathan for somehow causing the miscarriage, and it took a long time for me to forgive him.  There is poignancy, sadness for Violet's father's neglect and disregard over the years, and the fact they barely knew each other at all; yet all his students worshipped him.  The story feels like real people trying to overcome the pain of their past and coping with it and wanting to come to terms with what happened to them.  Jonathan remains in love with Violet and will do anything to remain in her life in any way.  Violet is used to be being alone, and struggles with telling Jonathan to leave her alone and never contact her again.  ROMANCING THE BILLIONAIRE has all the elements that make it a Perfect 10 in my book; give it a try for an extraordinary reading experience. 

Carolyn Crisher

1 comment:

Laurie G said...

A perfect 10! I will check it out!