There’s a saying in cooking: the presentation has to be great. In writing, the presentation is in how well a book is edited and formatted. The Billionaire Playboy falls down in that respect. And not just in the writing itself, but overall.
I don’t normally critique covers, but this is one of those that I literally stared at for a few minutes trying to figure out what was wrong with it. I swear I was doing the dog headtilt.
The head is off. And I mean in an Anne Boleyn kind of way. Seriously, it doesn’t line up with the neck and shoulders. Not to mention the shoulders are also not quite right. Now that could be the lighting, but I don’t think so. I really, really hope that she designed the cover herself because if she paid for it, I know of several people on Fiverr who can do better work.
But enough kvetching about the cover. On to the story.
Billionaire and son of the current sitting president, Jake Sherbrooke has a reputation in the tabloids as a playboy. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth. He’s a hands on philanthropist and engineer who runs his own foundation from the front lines. It’s on the front lines of a hurricane which decimated part of New England where he meets navy doctor Charlie. Charlie is home on leave and facing an important decision when the hurricane hits. But then Jake breezes into her life and nothing is the same. To say I had a lot of problems with this story is underselling it. The grammar was so haphazard I wonder if the book received any editing. If it did, the editor needs to be fired. So many comma problems. So, so many. It was almost unreadable. Seriously. I don’t care if you’re going the self-publish route, invest in a proofreader. Or at least buy Grammarly. Something!
To make matters worse the author didn’t do a whole lot of research. This was especially true in the Catalyst… the Hurricane. Just as an FYI, most A named storms aren’t that powerful… Andrew was an exception… It’s definitely not the rule. Additionally New England never gets a direct hit from the first storm of the season. They may get the remnants. But never a full fledged direct hit. It has to do with water and air temperatures. I could go into it. I have a fucking degree in Natural Disasters FFS, but no one wants to hear me rant about ocean currents and jetstreams so I’ll just let it go.
The lack of research carried into Charlie’s career. Based on the fact that she’s considering retiring and that the navy paid for her degree in medicine, she has to be at least in her early 40s. The navy requires this because they don’t want to be used just for an education and then lose their doctors to much more lucrative private practice. There are contracts and the navy’s website spells this out. Again, it’s an easy Google. And while I am all for a reverse age gap (seriously there needs to be more reverse age gap – recs please?), it needs to be stated and Charlie acts nothing like a mature 40 year old woman. I say this as someone who is in their early 40s. Some of the crap she does had me rolling my eyes. Then there are the characters. Jake is so generic that I can’t really tell you much about him. Charlie is also fairly generic and what personality is there is pretty annoying. Even now writing this review I can’t remember much about them other than they annoyed me. What does that tell you?
The plot is predictable and several subplots are just left hanging. Like the stuff with Charlie’s family. There’s no resolution. Speaking of, the sex also cuts off midway. You get all of the foreplay in lurid detail, but no actual penetration. Just the morning after. It’s at the point where I can’t call this a clean romance… The foreplay is way too descriptive. But I can’t call it steamy either. It’s like the author got all embarrassed about writing the sex and said “Fuck it! Explicit foreplay is good enough!” It’s a cop out. If you don’t want to write the sex, that’s fine. Clean/Sweet romance is a thing. And there’s a huge market for it. But for the love of little green apples, pick a genre and stick with it. In all I was super disappointed with this book and I won’t bother checking out the rest of the series. What makes me even more annoyed is that the book is apparently a re-release and that the author didn’t even bother taking a polish to it. I waffled on what to give this but since I’m still kind of ranty about the book at the time of this review.
If you want to get a taste of the author’s writing and start at the beginning of the series the first book is available for permafree. Ostensibly it’s been edited. But I haven’t had the stomach to check it out so read at your own risk!
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