“The Bastard Billionaire” is my first book by Jessica Lemmon, and I have to admit that I totally selected this book based on the cover. Love the combination of the tattoos and the suit! I really expected this to be about a true bastard, not just a guy who acts like a bastard/jerk. But, even though it wasn’t entirely what I expected, I was not disappointed.
Eli was in the military and had a traumatic experience where he lost a leg and two friends. His wealthy family is desperate for him to take his place in the family business, but he wants to wallow alone in his depression/guilt. So, he acts like an absolute asshole to every assistant that is sent his way. Apparently his “meanness” has sent many an assistant away, crying. (Who are these weak women than can’t handle a bit of a jerk?) Isabella happens to own the agency sending the assistants, and now she is planning on going in herself, pretending to be an assistant, in order to keep their business and smooth relations until she can replace herself with a viable option. Eli acts like a jerk; she takes none of his crap. (Surprise, surprise!)
The main reason I actually enjoyed this book despite the predictable plot and jerk hero is the heroine, Isabella. She is smart, self-assured, beautiful, and never whiny. Isabella is confident, and gives us someone to root for. Parts of this book dragged for me; it felt like a similar conflict kept arising between the two, only to be resolved, then to come back later. There are some excellent moments, though, that make this book thoroughly enjoyable. The “hot” scenes are both realistic and completely steamy at the same time: button snipping, I am thinking of you… And, our hero redeems himself fully in several critical scenes involving Isabella’s past and insecurities.
The Bottom Line-
The billionaire aspect of this book is practically non-existent, which is a good thing to me. Eli doesn’t act like a jerk because he’s a billionaire; that actually barely registers in his life. He has some real issues to work through. Isabella is an excellent character: the perfect balance of soft and confident that many women aspire to. I recommend this book for fans of contemporary with strong female characters and damaged men. 4 stars