Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tempting the Billionaire (Love in the Balance) by Jessica Lemmon

Author's Website: http://www.jessicalemmon.com/
Notes: I read the eARC of this book and will need to verify quotes against the final version.

I think I’m doing this all wrong. To tell the truth, I saw you crying and I wondered if I could do anything to help.  If you’ll let me.”
“She turned to him, her eyes softening into what might have been gratitude, before a harder glint returned. Tossing her head, she met his eye. “Help? Sure. Know anyone who’d like to hire a previously self-employed person for a position for which she has little to no experience?”

He had to smile at her pluck…and his good fortune. Crickitt’s problem may be one he could help with after all. ”Depends,” he answered, watching her eyebrows give the slightest lift. He leaned an elbow on the bar, “In what salary range?”
Shane August has a “night in shining armor” complex. When he sees someone, particularly a woman, in need he can’t help but help them. What he doesn’t realize, however, is that he needs someone to save him, and he has just met the perfect person for the job.
This started off as such a cute and lighthearted story in the beginning. Guy meets girl. Guy saves girl, in a manner of speaking, but as we get about half way into the book we realize Shane has got some serious baggage he's carrying around. We learn up front that his father blamed him for his mother's death, but we don't get the details of what transpired until later in the story. The events which happened all those years ago have shaped, haunted and followed him. They have also prevented him from becoming seriously involved with anyone. While I'm a big fan of the love conquers all theme, the behavior displayed by Shane was a tad severe. Enough so, that I think a psychiatrist should have been involved. 
Crickitt is divorced and has decided that with her newly found freedom, she'll reinvent herself. While I can understand the need to reinvent yourself, I was a little shocked she'd just totally abandon a lucrative career where she was making upwards of 6 figures. Alas, I've seen what divorce can do to a person, so I could honestly see someone doing this. She's actually a pretty level headed, upbeat type of person when her ex doesn't come around to play mind games with her. She's ready and willing to start a new life, but whereas Shane's hindrance is all mentally created, Crikitt's seems to be created by her ex who doesn't seem to truly know if he wants her back or not. Luckily, Crickitt has no wish to go down that path again, but when you've cared for someone for 9 years of your life, it's difficult to just shut them off cold turkey. Sometimes, however, there's nothing salvageable and you really should.
One of the things I really liked about the book was how the author used a set of Crickitt's nick knacks to sum up/symbolize Crickitt, Shane, and their relationship at different points in the book. Toward the beginning, Shane notices the incomplete set of the 'See No Evil, Speak No Evil, Hear No Evil" monkeys Crickitt has collected and wonders why she doesn't just get a new complete set. Crickitt states, "They're not worthless because they're incomplete." That kind of sums up Crickitt's and Shane's relationship when they first start dating. They're not complete as a couple they're missing something critical, but the relationship is worth the effort to find that missing something. It also sums up both their beliefs on relationships. Whereas Crickitt is the type who'll do all she can to make something work, Shane doesn't yet see the value in it. Later, as the missing monkey is found, we see once again the set of nick knacks symbolizes the couple's relationship. It still might not be perfect, but it has value and is worth keeping. I think that's true about most relationships. They're not always perfect, but if you're willing to invest yourself in it, and work at it, it can get pretty darn close. This also shows a marked change in Shane's thinking which I enjoyed. 
Overall, I gave this one 3 out of 5 roses. I liked the author's writing style, and her use of symbolism. I enjoyed the story, but felt Shane had some issues that required a little counseling which I would have liked to have seen addressed in the book. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

While not an exact copy of the ones Crickett had, I couldn't resist posting this trio:


  1. Thank you so much for reviewing! Can I tell you how much I LOVE that you posted those monkeys? :-)

    1. You're welcome and I really loved how you used the monkeys.:)


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