Once upon a Billionaire
Release Date: April 15th
The Billionaire Boys Club is a secret society of six men who have vowed success—at any cost. Not all of them are old money, but all of them are incredibly wealthy. They’re just not always as successful when it comes to love…
As a member of the royal family in a small European country, Griffin Verdi’s presence is requested at the wedding of the century. The scholarly billionaire feels out of his depth in social situations, so a good assistant is required—especially when dealing with royal etiquette.
Unfortunately for Griffin, he’s stuck with Maylee Meriweather, a pretty, charming, and thoroughly unsuitable woman who doesn’t know a thing about high society—but she sure can kiss. Her lack of polish may sink Griffin, because after all, even his money can’t buy class. But through Maylee’s eyes, he’s starting to appreciate the simple things in life—if simple means the most complicated woman he’s ever met.
Maylee is everything Griffin isn’t—and everything he wants—if he can let down his guard and step outside his sheltered world…
*Blurb taken from Goodreads*
E: I have to admit I was getting sick and tired of Billionaire heroes and had almost vowed not to read another one when I found out that Clare was starting a contemporary series with Billionaire heroes. I read the blurb about the series, thought it was nicely different from most I had viewed and decided to give the first one a try. Let’s just say that this is the fourth installment and I haven’t once questioned my decision to give the series a try. I didn’t really know a lot about Griffin before this installment except he wasn’t too happy at the effects of his friends’ growing relationships so seeing some of the reasons behind his general self-centered curmudgeonly ways was very entertaining. I loved his contrast with Maylee’s sunny unpretentious personality and general friendliness.
MinnChica: I will read just about anything that Clare/Myles/Sims writes. I absolutely adore her stories. I love this group of billionaire friends, but like E said, we didn’t know too much about Griffin before his story, so getting to know his backstory and cranky ways was such fun. While I loved the fact that Maylee was such a contrast personality wise, her obsessive use of the word “Lordamercy” did start to rankle on my nerves a bit.
Has: I am still drawn to Billionaire heroes, but I am with E that this trope is getting tired. But I really enjoy Jessica Clare’s series about a secret brotherhood of billionaires because it is sp different to other series or books featuring them. I love the humour and the eclectic cast of characters, which has given this series a colourful and vibrant tone compared to the dark angst and the typical BDSM elements which seems to follow a lot of billionaire heroes.
When I first found out that Maylee who is sweet and naive would be the perfect foil to Griffin’s stuffy and rigid nature and was looking forward to see how it would play out. And it was a romance which was sexy and hilarious. I was cracking up out loud during their first meeting when Griffin is confronted by a slightly high and drunk Maylee. Because of her nervousness with flying she deals with her anxiety by taking an anti-anxiety pill along with some alcohol which was was not a good mix especially for first impressions had major consequences for both of them.
E: That was a great scene. It really brought home just how different they were. I also got to see how Griffin had a hidden soft spot, he just didn’t know what to do with it. His soft spot didn’t show often and when it did it was usually executed in a way that hurt Maylee’s feelings despite his best intentions. Everytime he had to “phone a friend” for help I about died laughing as he was paid back for some of how he treated his friends’ significant others in the past. Although I will agree that I found the behavior of one particular couple rather obnoxious.
At the same time I really enjoyed how Maylee handled everything thrown her way. Professionally she was a great asset to Griffin by teaching him some life lessons, juggling his schedule, and managing to remove a lot of his usual travel irritants. While she certainly didn’t fit in with the “royal” model of an assistant or member of the royal entourage she made friends everywhere. Watching her gain the loyalty and affection of those who were supposed to serve Griffin was a treat.
MinnChica: Despite the overuse of a certain phrase, I adored Maylee. She took like in stride, never let it bring her down, and really did look at everything with a glass-half-full attitude. She tried so hard to keep such a positive outlook, even as Griffin did some really jerky things to try and bring her down. Her determination to see the bright side of everything was so sweet.
For me, Griffin needed to do a little bit more groveling. He was such a jerk to Maylee throughout the majority of the book, that I felt like he needed to suffer a little bit more before he was given his chance for a happily ever after.
Has: I really liked Maylee’s character, she was very sweet and patient towards Griffin when he messed up several times. I loved how the romantic tension between them slowly built up. It was a slow burn and had a wonderful sweet overtone. It was really fitting to their characters and to their romance. But I also felt Maylee was too understanding at times, and wished she would have stood up sooner to Griffin. I felt that the conflict between them was a bit weak because it seemed to drag on with Griffin’s snobbish attitude and concerns for protocol with Maylee’s dress and appearance. However, he hated the Royal family’s constraints over the social rules and etiquette but acted the same towards Maylee’s carefree nature. I just found his epiphany over his behaviour didn’t really work for me. Although I liked the grovelling scene when he tried to make it up for his priggish behaviour it was cute and meaningful as well as earnest and Griffin really redeems himself at the end.
E: You have some great points there. I think my favorite scene involved Maylee proving a point to Griffin. When she let Griffin go ahead and try to manage without her with the end result of Griffin discovering really was just as spoiled as the family members he detested I died laughing. I did wish she told him off at least once but when he had to grovel not just to her in public more than once but to his friends’ significant others as well I felt vindicated.
This struck me as a romance of the extremes; Maylee on the sweet, innocent, friendly side and Griffin on the grumpy self-centered side. I felt Griffin grew more as a character than Maylee did but I enjoyed their overall interaction and contrast. I also loved watching Griffin receive some of what he had been dishing out the entire series to date. I don’t think he is going to catch a break anytime soon. I am looking forward to seeing what Clare comes up with for her remaining Billionaire bachelors.
I give Once Upon a Billionaire a B/B-
MinnChica: All in all, I think Clare continues to write wonderful and sexy contemporary romance books. She did a wonderful job with creating Maylee to be this sweet and somewhat innocent heroine, while contrasting her with Griffin, a jaded and rude hero whose manners were sorely lacking. I can’t wait to see what kind of crap Maylee and the guys give him in future books.
I give Once Upon a Billionaire a B
Has: Yes! I totally agree about a romance of opposites attract which can be fun and zany to see two characters clashing like Maylee and Griffin did. But I definitely agree with you about needing to see Maylee developing a bit more and that Griffin’s character learned more lessons than she did. I wished she was more assertive and confronted him a lot more because I think she was a bit passive.
Once Upon a Billionaire was a sweet and enjoyable romance, with some laugh out loud moments. I loved the slow build-up of tension between Maylee and Griffin, which was sexy and sweet that culminated into a wonderful romance. And even though I was not keen with the main conflict of the book, it was a good instalment in a series which definitely stands amongst usual Billionaire type heroes who tend to be dark and angsty. I love how Jessica Clare injected humour and a vibrant cast of characters in this series because it is memorable and appealing.
I give Once Upon a Billionaire a B-