Anyway, I made a big effort for the TBR Challenge because I want a perfect year for 2014 LOL. Seriously, finding books to read is so hard lately :( I just don't know what I'm in the mood for. I'm just so afraid that my "romance novels/fiction" phase is over... Fingers crossed that it isn't. Since the TBR Challenge date was closing on me, I totally cheated and picked up the shortest book I could find... and that was:
published by Harpercollins Publisher (Avon Impulse) in December 2013
Jane Sparks has accidentally announced her engagement on Facebook—to the infamous Bad Boy Billionaire, Duke Austen. As soon as it’s discovered that Jane and Duke barely know each other (One hot kiss at a party does not a relationship make), she’ll be humiliated. And then Duke does something Jane never expected. He plays along with her charade.Genre: Contemporary romance
With his hard partying, playboy reputation jeopardizing a fifty million dollar investment deal, Duke realizes an engagement with the hot but oh-so-proper librarian could be just the thing to repair his reputation. This good girl tempts him to be very wicked…but just with her. It’s unprecedented. Inconceivable. Totally alluring.
As the unlikely match of librarian and tech entrepreneur set out to convince the world—and the internet—that their love is real, something unexpected happens: they start falling for each other. But Jane is secretly writing a historical romance novel that could expose their carefully constructed romance…unless two perfect strangers are content to be perfectly scandalous together.
Series: First part in the contemporary version of The Wicked Wallflower, connected to Bad Boys & Wallflowers series
The Story: Basically, The Bad Boy Billionaire's Wicked Arrangement is a fake engagement between two completely opposite persons. Jane Sparks had her whole life planned out as the future Mrs. Sam Chase... that is until her high school sweetheart of 12 years dumped her for being too settled, too safe. After the break-up, Jane moved to NYC, took a job at New York Public Library as a library assistant and told everyone she would write her romance novel. In truth, after six months, she's still pining after her ex, hoping he'd take her back. When she gets her tenth annual high school reunion invitation, she panics because she feels like a failure while her classmates are all in relationships, even Sam who seemed to have moved on. In a bid to help her, Jane's roommate posts an update on Jane's FB announcing her engagement to Duke Austen, a bad boy billionaire who made his fortune in the technology field with codes and apps, and the man with whom Jane made out at a party very recently. To Jane's utter shock, Duke doesn't deny the engagement and even seeks out Jane. Turns out that Duke is attempting a third startup, but his bad boy reputation has been turning away investors. Not wanting to be labeled as a choker for the rest of his life, Duke needs this startup to succeed and believes that an engagement to someone as composed as Jane will help.
But what happens when you want a lie to become reality?
My Opinion: As mentioned above, The Bad Boy Billionaire's Wicked Arrangement is the contemporary version of The Wicked Wallflower and is released as a somewhat serial. I thought the idea was a good one, so that's why I picked it up, hoping for a good read. Unfortunately, while I'm pretty sure it's a case of "more me than the book," The Bad Boy Billionaire's Wicked Arrangement really didn't work for me :(
Sorry if this will read more as a rant than a review, but that's the only way for me to express why I didn't enjoy The Bad Boy Billionaire's Wicked Arrangement. Basically, it has everything to do with the heroine, Jane. I'm so tired of heroines like her who seem to have no spine, who cannot accept the end of a relationship and pine away for their ex. The harsh truth is that their attitude is pathetic ^_^; Do you really want to be with someone who dumped you? Who deemed that you weren't "enough" for them and threw you aside? I know, I know, I can't fully understand because I've never been in a relationship myself... but it's hard to read about characters that cling to a rosy past, remembering only the good stuff and magically erasing the bad times, and not attempting to move on. In the case of Jane, I tried being more understanding and patient because after all, it was a twelve years relationship... but the problem is that it wasn't about only losing Sam. In fact, a large part of why she could not accept the break-up, why she longed to get back with Sam had nothing to do with him and everything to do with people's perceptions of her. The fact that she wasn't single, as if being single makes you a loser... and it is, but only if you believe that. Is a relationship, a marriage the only measure of one's success in life? So yeah, that's pretty much why The Bad Boy Billionaire's Wicked Arrangement didn't work for me and I guess that's specifically linked to my mood. It seems to me that half the romance books I pick up lately are about heroines similar to Jane ^_^;
Aside from that, well I was expecting this contemporary twist to be more fun... but the truth is, the story was not original at all. There was nothing new to it, no twist :( And it might have worked better if the book hadn't been released as a serial... However, having read only the first part, I feel like everything went a bit too fast: how they met, how the fake engagement happened, them faking it and later having sex. I didn't buy in the chemistry between Jane and Duke or the progress of their relationship from being fake to something that wasn't.
My Grade: D. I usually enjoy Ms Rodale's writing which is why I keep picking up her books... but in the case of The Bad Boy's Billionaire's Wicked Arrangement, the writing wasn't enough. I just felt that in all the other aspects, the book didn't work for me :(