Friday, August 31, 2007

I finished reading... The Billionaire Next Door

The Billionaire Next Door by Jessica Bird

Take–no–prisoners deal–maker Sean O’Banyon ate Wall Street financiers for lunch. So why was he losing sleep over a fresh–scrubbed nurse in old jeans and a too–big T–shirt? Maybe it was those warm green eyes. Or the way she blushed when he got personal. There was no denying the serious chemistry between them. But sooner or later Lizzie would learn his deep, dark secrets: First, he had trust issues. And second—he’d rather not go into the whole family thing. He didn’t do relationships…but amazingly, Lizzie made him want one anyway.
The main reason I decided to read this is because Jessica Bird and J. R. Ward are the same person. I'm one of the many fans of Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood books and I wanted to see what her category romances are like.

I was surprised at just how much I liked this book. The characters were lovely, the story was solid with some lovely moments (the time at the park and the frisbee game especially) and the conflict between the hero and heroine was sensible and reasonable.

I could sense in my reading the Bird and Ward are the same author, although I don't know that I would have figured it out if I didn't know already. Here, her hero is again a strong, determined male but Sean avoids being over the top in the way the Brothers are (although they work beautifully for me). He has issues, and they are logical and possible ones, and it is these that create the conflict, not so much of themselves but because his past so totally colours how he sees the world.

Lizzie falls into the nice, caring heroine category, but she is still nicely fleshed out and I cared about her. With a different background to Sean (and a totally different experience with another character to his - trying not to spoil anything here) she sees the world differently and this is what causes the conflict.

I felt the resolution of their issues was sensible - and I totally loved Lizzie's reaction to Sean's apology. She didn't automatically forgive him everything, but instead acknowledged that she understood his actions now and set conditions on their being together. The scene for this itself was wonderful but I don't want to ruin it for anyone else so will say no more.

This is a category romance, which means it is a short book, but Bird has packed a lovely story into her page count and I suspect this could easily become a comfort read for the future. Sean has two brothers and I find myself looking forward to their stories.

The Billionaire Next Door
Jessica Bird

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