Wednesday, April 12, 2017

[ARC Review]: "How to Bang a Billionaire"

romance novel covers, contemporary romance, M/M romance, How to Bang a Billionaire by Alexis Hall
How to Bang a Billionaire by Alexis Hall
Publisher: Forever Yours (April 16, 2017)
Series: Arden St. Ives, 1
Genre: M/M Romance -- Contemporary

Rules are made to be broken . . .

If England had yearbooks, I'd probably be "Arden St. Ives: Man Least Likely to Set the World on Fire." So far, I haven't. I've no idea what I'm doing at Oxford, no idea what I'm going to do next and, until a week ago, I had no idea who Caspian Hart was. Turns out, he's brilliant, beautiful . . . oh yeah, and a billionaire.

It's impossible not to be captivated by someone like that. But Caspian Hart makes his own rules. And he has a lot of them. About when I can be with him. What I can do with him. And when he'll be through with me.

I'm good at doing what I'm told in the bedroom. The rest of the time, not so much. And now that Caspian's shown me glimpses of the man behind the billionaire I know it's him I want. Not his wealth, not his status. Him. Except that might be the one thing he doesn't have the power to give me. 

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My Review:

My poor beautiful man, too aggressive for his own good, a monster at the mercy of his own savagery.

How to Bang a Billionaire is book one of a trilogy all set around the same couple. It’s 1ST POV from Arden only. Now, this one does not end on a cliffhanger – they are together when the last page rolls by – but I have heard that there IS a cliffhanger at the end of 2 (due out later this summer, I believe). I might hold off on 2 until closer to 3’s release, but I’m not sure. I’m not always patient, after all.

Arden is the younger of the two, just graduated from Oxford, and is not at all sure about what he’s going to do with his life. (His major was English, by the way.) Caspian is older – I’m not sure that an exact age was said, but I was guessing early 30s, maybe? – and very rich. Like, third-richest-man-in-the-UK rich.

“That’s nice, but it’s not your problem.” 

Another of his hesitations. “No, but if it was. If you were…” 

“If I was what?” 

“If you were mine.” 

Now it was my turn to freeze, the distance between us solidifying in the silence. I knew how I should answer: But I’m not. And then say my goodbyes, try to sleep, face my exams with some pretense of courage or fortitude. 

“What if I was?” Why was I was whispering for no particular reason? I tried to sound confident and flirty instead. “What would you do to me?” 

I’d been expecting something sexy back: Bend you over the nearest piece of furniture and make you scream, would have done nicely. 

“I’d want to make you feel safe,” he said. “And I’d make sure you never forget the extraordinary man you are.”

So how did these two meet? Well, when the book starts, Arden is helping his school with a fundraiser and is manning the phones, calling up alumni for donations. He’s only there that night to fill in for his sick roommate, and he’s been hung up on all evening, until he manages to catch Caspian’s attention – and not just for the fundraiser. The two talk for a few, and something about Arden has Caspian wanting to know more, even though that’s the opposite of his MO. He doesn’t do one-night stands but he doesn’t do relationships either. But he does want something with Arden, some middle ground between those two opposites. Before long, the two agree to an arrangement: Arden will live in one of Caspian’s houses for the summer (or longer – there’s no set end date yet), so as to be available between Caspian’s busy schedule. Arden, unable to deny his attraction to the mysterious man and with no plans for his immediate future anyway, happily agrees, even though he has his problems with Caspian throwing his money around too much.

It's soon made clear that it won’t be that simple, as Arden needs and wants more from him than Caspian can give, and this does lead to Arden leaving him for a bit. But don’t worry, Caspian goes after him, and I found that scene quite sweet.

Caspian is very much an intense, secretive, and controlling man – not in an asshole way, by any means, though he’s not perfect. He’s the tortured hero, the one whose past has made him who is today, and while we don’t find out in this book what happened in his past, we do see how the mysterious dark past has affected him. Caspian is both extremely sweet and charming to Arden, but also a bit unintentionally hurtful to him, too. 

“You don’t understand. Yes, I care for you. Yes, I want to make you happy. Yes, I would lay the whole damn world at your feet if you would let me. But I also want to hurt you. I want you on your knees. I want you in chains. I want to have you crying and screaming and begging for me.”

Caspian has a lot of dark baggage that clearly causes his need to put distance between them, as well as his self-hatred of his enjoyment – no, need – for control and kink in the bedroom. Arden is plenty comfortable with what he likes, including the BDSM bits, but has a hard time convincing Caspian that there’s nothing wrong with what they do behind closed doors. Arden wants Caspian to restrain him, to dominate him, but Caspian can’t let himself go enough to do so, even though it’s clear that deep down he wants that, too.

Reading this reminded me of why I love Hall’s writing, which is both beautifully captivating at times and ridiculously silly, with phrases and scenes making me giggle-snort. Even better, these moments often came out of nowhere, which is something I really love about Hall’s voice and writing style. How to Bang a Billionaire is romantic, it’s deliciously tempting, and it’s got snarky-silly, often dry, wit that I love.

His hands closed around my wrists and I slowly looked up again. He was crouched in front of me, as calm again, but for the tightness of his lips and the furrow between his brows. And when he spoke, there was a note in his voice I wasn’t sure I’d heard before—something that almost could have been desperation. “I’ve wanted you since you were nothing but an imagined smile and a voice on a phone. And I want you still.”

If you’re looking for a new tortured billionaire with a need for BDSM, this is a great choice, and gives the reader a solid look at the start of what I’m sure will be an angsty relationship for these two men. I need to rest of the trilogy ASAP! 


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I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley.

*Note: The quotes used belong to Alexis Hall; TBQ's Book Palace does not claim them. Any mistakes or typos in the quotes are my own fault.

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If you want to look through some other quotes I shared, check out my Twitter!

Off topic, but Hall is also great to follow on Twitter. See this most recent thread example about 4am bacon and a slug.


Until Next Time,


  *TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!

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