1 out of 4 stars
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H.M. Irwing’s Marrying a Playboy Billionaire is an erotic romance novel abundant in explicit sex scenes, yet, severely lacking in substance as it makes its sluggish way from start to finish.
Jilted Aria Longbottom is devastated when her long-term boyfriend casts her aside for her more beautiful cousin. Dumped at a costume party, she immediately begins drowning her sorrows until she runs into the equally drunk and lonely, Justin Kay. An amazing night of passion ensues, only to result in Aria sneaking out at dawn, leaving Justin to wake up alone.
Five years later, Aria is forced to conduct business with her one-night stand, but much to her surprise, their reunion does not go as expected. Justin has never forgotten her and he is determined not to let her slip away again. When he is reminded of a stipulation that only grants him access to his hefty inheritance after he marries, he strives to convince Aria to be his wife.
Now, the newly-engaged couple must figure out if they are even compatible enough to make their relationship go the distance. With the wedding fast approaching, Aria is on a mission to break down Justin’s walls to see if the heat they share in the bedroom translates to true love.
Try as I might, I could not find one enjoyable thing about this book. It was boring, predictable, and pointless. There was very little plot to speak of outside of the relentless sex scenes that were neither enticing nor believable. Most were downright awkward and confusing, thanks to the endless paragraphs of what can only be described as “unsexy” verbiage. The words “mauling,” “sluggishly,” and “slobbering” do not belong in an erotic scene, especially if it is meant to seduce the reader. Words are the tools that draw the reader in and this unattractive language was distracting and sometimes even comical. Unfortunately, these scenes made up the majority of the book as the lack of a substantial storyline left plenty of empty space for the two characters to stumble clumsily in and out of the bedroom for pages on end. What little plot there was merely sputtered around aimlessly, never fully taking hold as a legitimate aspect to the story.
This was a first-person narrative by the heroine, Aria Longbottom, who was annoying at best and downright pathetic at worst. Her constant lamenting about her insecurities and her incessant need to be reminded by her fiancé that he still loved her was irritating. There was a sense that the author never fully settled on who Aria should be as she was a walking contradiction. She stewed about how sexist her boss was all while unbuttoning her top to get in his good graces. She alternated between melting in Justin’s arms and being utterly irritated by everything he did or said. She perceived herself a strong, independent woman, yet came off as weak and clingy throughout the novel.
Justin was a tad more likeable, albeit shallow. His character was served an incredible injustice by being written as one-dimensional. His obsession over sex left little time for him to engage in any other thoughts or actions. He lacked any real depth or intelligence because his only role was to lure Aria into bed.
There was a very unhealthy vibe in their relationship, one reminiscent of the obsession between Romeo and Juliet. Justin and Aria make constant declarations of their inability to live without the other, often going so far as to proclaim losing one of them would result in the other’s death. This was a bit over the top for a couple that barely knew each other and had absolutely no substance to their romance.
The definitive downfall came in the last thirty pages of the book when a couple of lazy, and ultimately, inconsequential, plot twists were thrown in as a last valiant effort to save this floundering story. Both attempts fell flat and were in and out of the book in a couple of pages, thus rendering them absolutely pointless.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the countless grammatical errors, misspelled words, and punctuation oversights. There was also a moment in which the author forgot a character’s name. Originally, the name was listed as Ashley Ashfield, later mentioned as Ashton Ashfield, and finally, reduced to just Ash.
I rate this book 1 out of 4 stars because I truly was unable to find one favorable thing to recommend it. For fans of erotic romance, this will be a disappointment as it is deficient on both accords. The romance between the couple is essentially non-existent and the sex scenes are neither sensual nor alluring.
Marrying a Playboy Billionaire
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