Saturday, January 14, 2017


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.

Xavier De Santis: Disgraced. Ruinous. Playboy.

The headlines are always shouting about Xavier’s various excesses, and he’s everything they say he is. But now he’s gone too far, and the black sheep of the De Santis family has been ordered to clean up his image. Volunteering at a homeless shelter, he sees a bright light amidst all the bleakness. An angel whose luminous face and tragic beauty call to him in ways he can’t explain.

Mia: Vulnerable. Homeless. Virgin.

When the shelter Mia calls home closes, she is left with nowhere to go - nowhere except for the luxurious, glorious palace of a home that Xavier De Santis has invited her to stay. This too-handsome billionaire is dark, dangerous - and also too good to be true. But surely Mia can indulge in her fantasies and escape the drudges of her daily life for just one night?

As one night turns into two, Mia knows that eventually, the magic will end and she will have to return to her life of hardship. She can't keep the beautiful clothes. She can't keep the soft bed. And most of all, she can't keep the hard, handsome, brutal man who makes her crave his touch with every breath she takes. Mia doesn't belong in his world. But as Xavier tempts his rags-to-riches heroine with exquisite pleasure and heady desire, Mia doesn't stand a chance but to surrender completely to him.

Release Date: January 10, 2017
Billionaire Fairytales #1
Contemporary Romance
Review copy provided by publisher

Nikki’s Review:

I've said it before, I love a good billionaire meets naive and shy woman trope. I suppose it's the whole "knight in shining armour" thing. I like when the hero swoops in to save the day. That's doesn't mean I don't love a kick ass heroine, because they rock!

After reading the blurb to this book, I was so excited. But I was also a little weary. I love discovering new to me authors, but sometimes I worry that I won't connect with their "voice". The blurb grabbed me, though. I couldn't wait to dive in.

Xavier De Santis was an ass. I can't even beat around the bush about that. I struggled to find any likeable qualities from page 1. He's serving the folks at a homeless shelter, and he is having an internal diatribe of how pathetic these unfortunate people are. He mocked them by asking if they wanted the caviar this evening when they stood in front of him with their food trays. I was immediately turned off by his character. At this point, I'm hoping the author has something up her sleeve to redeem this schmuck. 

Mia is a lost soul. She's homeless and struggling to find a way out of her hopeless situation. She's built a thick wall around herself. She doesn't let anyone in. It's all about survival, finding her next meal, and not freezing to death on the cold New York streets. She's caught the eye of billionaire playboy, Xavier. And try as she might, she can't help but be intrigued about the pompous jerk. 

Here's where I was hoping the author would redeem, Xavier. And to some degree she did. I could see that there was a decent person hidden under his sense of entitlement and arrogance. I was starting to warm up to him, but then he ruined it by essentially telling, Mia that he was going to kiss her and there was nothing she could do to stop him. It was creepy. She wasn't protesting per say. But she was a homeless woman with zero experience in the sex department. Trust issues would be putting it mildly, and then he spouts stuff that has dubious consent written all over it. It left a yucky taste in my mouth.

Both, Mia and Xavier have their respective baggage. There's pain in both of their hearts. She wanted a home and he wanted redemption. There were a few moments where I got choked up, and I love a good emotional scene! I started to think maybe Xavier was capable of being what, Mia needed. After shredding her heart, he does some serious begging on his knees. I liked that. I think I needed to see him do that. I spent so much of the book disliking him, that the idea of him grovelling brought me much joy! 

So much of this book was shadowed by a hero that I couldn't respect; not until the end anyways. And I'm not sure that was even enough. The author had a good "voice". I'd like to read something else of hers to get a better sense of her writing. Perhaps if I liked the hero, I could concentrate on the overall plot and writing.   

Rating: 2 Stars (C)

Liza’s Review:

I had to DNF this book. I honestly couldn't even get to 30% in the story before I had to stop. I didn't like Xavier at all and couldn't connect with Mia either. I really couldn't buy into a billionaire picking up a homeless woman at a shelter. Especially with how condescending Xavier was about the homeless from the moment he arrived at the shelter.

I've enjoyed books by Ms. Ashenden in the past and will read future books by her as well, I just didn't connect with this particular book or set of characters.

Rating: 1 Star (DNF)

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