Title: The Billionaire Beast
Author: Jackie Ashenden
My Rating: B
Genre: Erotic Romance
Series: Billionaire Fairytales #2
Main Characters: Nero and Phoebe
Release Date: March 2017
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: erotic
Dark, tortured, and intimidating, these dominant billionaires will steal their innocent heroines' breath away. Overwhelmed by their desire to control their world, they push their heroines to explore their deepest desires. But even the most unworldly of heroines can unlock these billionaires' secrets.
Nero de Santis: Damaged. Bastard. Beast.
Nero de Santis: Damaged. Bastard. Beast.
Nero hasn’t left his house in ten years—he demands the world come to him, and the world is only too happy to bend to the strong-willed billionaire. Ruthless, cold, and selfish, Nero wants for nothing and takes care of no one but himself. His last handful of assistants have left his house in tears, but the prim redhead applying for the job looks up to the task. Nero has spent his life shut within the walls he built, with no care to have more than a window to the outside world. But the fiery passion he senses beneath his reserved assistant’s exterior makes him want to break down the barriers he lives behind, and unleash the beast within.
Phoebe Taylor: Uptight. Misunderstood. Engaged.
Phoebe needs the obscene amount of money that comes with being Nero’s personal assistant for one thing, and one thing only—to pay for the mounting hospital costs that her fiancee’s two-year coma continues to incur. She’s heard rumors that the de Santis beast is a force that cannot be tamed—but even she isn’t prepared to handle the smoldering intensity simmering beneath his hard shell of feral dominance. Nero is hiding something, something he is fighting with every step he takes. Yet he can’t help but stake his claim on this woman who has shaken up his life, and Phoebe can’t believe this animal of a man is the one person to ever look into her eyes and see her soul. Nero wants to keep her. He wants to devour her. And Phoebe just might let him.
You need to go into reading this book with the idea that this is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, because there are certain things about it that don't work without that idea in mind as a straight romance. Nero is a beast in every sense of the word, and he doesn't take no for an answer. You've been warned.
The premise of this story is interesting. As a child, Nero was locked in what was basically a closet for 10 years...from ages 5-15. That's left its mark on him. Now, he doesn't leave his mansion. In fact, he doesn't leave only 4 rooms of his house. His mother told him for years that he'd be in danger if he left. He took that to heart and even though he knows it shouldn't, that fear rules him. Luckily he's rich enough that it doesn't matter that he's eccentric.
Phoebe has issues of her own...mainly that her fiance has been in a coma for 2 years and his health care costs are eating her alive. She desperately needs money which is the only reason she puts up with Nero. The kind of money he's offering can't be found anywhere else. She's desperate and he takes advantage of that.
There were parts of this story that I loved. The backstory for Nero was heartbreaking and it made his choice of artwork mean so much. I loved that aspect of the story. I will say though that I wish he hadn't been quite so "beast-like". Although I understood why the author wrote it the way she did, his manipulation to get Phoebe to do what he wanted at the beginning of the book was a real turn off for me, and I had a hard time getting past that.
Also...note, I would definitely consider this book to be an erotic romance. There was a lot of sex. The premise was incredible and I'll admit that I wish some of the time spent on the over abundance of sex could have been spent a little on character development. All the bases were there for some incredible characters, but I just never connected with them on that deeper level that could have made this book a highly emotionally charged one. But despite that, I did enjoy the book overall. It was an interesting modern twist on the classic fairy tale.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.