“‘Please, I wouldn’t get married to someone like you. You are way below my league and you are not even my type of girl. And me agreeing to act as your fiancé is a favor I’m doing to my parents. I wouldn’t cost me much to help one little company stand on its roots again…’ It was hard to believe he had just said those words on my face without a hint of remorse or regret on his face.” (Billionaire’s Ruin, Chapter Seven)
“A dark look of lust hovered dangerously in his stare as my chest heaved up and down in anticipation. It was like his gaze was searing through me, setting my body in an extreme fire. Every pore in my body was alive with desire, every inch of my skin up in ablaze. For a single stroke of the moment, I prayed that he would take right in this limo and have me scream out his name.” (Billionaire’s Ruin, Chapter Nine)
After Zoe has spent time trying desperately to save her family’s restaurant franchise, she is furious when she discovers that her parents have sold the business to Frost Sinclair, their number one enemy. She attempts to blackmail Sinclair into backing out the deal after she declines a loan offer from a shady banker, but he refuses. Her family is approached with a different offer from the Valientes, a wealthy family with a gorgeous model son. After a night out spent beside a handsome and kind stranger named Regan, Zoe’s parents give her shocking news. The Valiente family will help the company if Zoe will agree to marry their son Ryan in exchange.
Zoe agrees to the marriage, excited that she will be saving her family’s legacy and marrying a hot guy in one swoop. Ryan quickly shoots down her dreams of happiness; he has no intention of marrying her, believing that she is well below his league. While Zoe is thrust into a world different from the one she once knew, Ryan makes his contempt for her clear. Will Zoe be able to tame the wild heart of the world’s most famous model? Or will she realize that true love can come in many forms, often in the most unexpected ways?
Zoe’s dedication to her family’s business is sweet, but sometimes confusing. Their economic struggles began when Zoe’s twin brother Noah developed cancer. Between the treatments and the worry, her family neglected the restaurants, forcing them into a position of hardship. Zoe connects the restaurants with her brother, so she is desperate to save the franchise, despite the fact that the business is in trouble because of the tragedy in their life. By saving the franchise, she will never have a clean slate with which to start over. I understand that she is passionate about the franchise, but is it worth selling herself into marriage?
Zoe agrees to an arranged marriage in about five seconds. Again, I understand that she is desperate to save her family’s business, but a random marriage with a guy she barely knows seems like something that she would want to think about for more than five minutes. For a business woman, she seems incredibly naïve, believing that Ryan will love her, even though it was his parents that set up the arranged marriage. Why would she think that he is interested in her, a woman that he barely knows? If she had truly understood that this was going to be a marriage of convenience on both sides, this plot would have been more realistic.
Most authors struggle with the proper use of commas; the author of Billionaire’s Ruin flips the script by failing to use them at all. Sentences run on in a confusing gallop, making the writing difficult to understand at times. While this isn’t a huge issue, the lack of commas and proper sentence structure definitely lessens the overall style and appeal of the work. This work would benefit from the help of an editor.
On top of grammar issues, the language of this novel is oddly formal. The way Zoe speaks reminds me of a robot that is trying to imitate human interaction. When Zoe is speaking to her mother or her personal assistant, her words sound unnatural and forced, as though she were reading from a script. This issue is not limited to Zoe; all the characters speak as though they were in a far more formal setting than they actually are.
At the beginning of the novel, the reader is flooded with potential love interests. Will Zoe connect with Frost Sinclair, a man that shares her passion for business? Will Zoe reunite with the kind and respectful Regan, who helped her after a tough night out on the town? Perhaps Ryan’s heart will soften as he learns more about his fiancé. The reader will have their pick of potential love interests, though Zoe will be the one to make the final decision.
I wish that the reader could learn more about Frost Sinclair. Out of all the love interests, he seems to be the most complex and interesting. Does he know Zoe? I think that they have shared history, making their relationship even more compelling. He is a classic bad boy romance love interest, making me wonder if Zoe will change him for the better or realize that he is not that bad after all.
Overall, Billionaire’s Ruin is a fairly respectable contemporary romance. While it offers the reader several different handsome male characters to choose from, Zoe’s naiveté and quick agreement to an arranged marriage will make the reader consider Zoe a less than ideal protagonist. With some grammar and dialogue issues, this work would benefit from the help of an editor to help it read more smoothly.