How to Blow It with a Billionaire, by Alexis Hall
Series: Arden St. Ives, Book 2
Publisher: Forever Yours
Release Date: Dec 12, 2017
Be careful what you wish for . . .
Once upon a time there was a totally ordinary boy who fell for a cold, beautiful prince. Only it’s not a fairy tale, it’s my life. The prince is a billionaire called Caspian Hart. And we’re trying super hard to live happily ever after.
He’s everything I want, need, and can’t resist: a man who looks like a god and bangs like the devil. Except he’s still got his rules and he’s still got his secrets . . .
But if there’s one thing Caspian’s taught me it’s that you should never settle for less than you’re worth. And I’m worth his trust. I have to show him that I see him. That I’m not afraid of his passion, or his power, or his past. And that I won’t settle for less than everything.
Here’s the thing – I think the title of the book is wrong.
This really should be called How to Blow it with Arden St. Ives because if anyone blows it here, it’s Caspian Hart.
Here’s the other thing – I can’t entirely blame Caspian for fucking things up.
Look, I didn’t go into this expecting to feel something akin to sympathy for that inscrutable billionaire, but HTBIWAB made me do just that. It seems like the more we get to know Caspian, the less we really understand, and that just makes him more intriguing. Bastard.
“Arden” – he looked up at me with his restless ocean eyes, so full of unfathomed pain – “you have no idea what I’m capable of.”
But despite getting glimpses into Caspian’s messed up psyche, this is still Arden’s story and HTBIWAB sees Arden showing some real growth, both personally and professionally, as he explores a life of endless possibilities outside of Oxford. He’s still committed to Caspian, of course, but far less willing to accept the emotional crumbs Caspian has, up until now, been doling out.
Was Caspian Hart my boyfriend? And did I even want him to be?
One of the things I loved about HTBIWAB is how Arden gets to live this full life outside of Caspian’s sphere. While there’s no doubt about his feelings for Caspian, he doesn’t let their relationship overshadow everything else in his life. Whether he’s hustling for work or spending time with Caspian’s sister, Ellery, he’s building this life for himself that exists outside of his and Caspian’s relationship.
I know a few people who are holding back on reading this until book three is released, hoping not to prolong any heartache they’ll feel at the end of this book, but I have to say that, despite the title, HTBIWAB somehow manages to end on a hopeful note. You can’t keep a good man down (unless he fully consents to being held down, of course) and Arden is the best of men. His natural inclination to find light in the darkness serves him well here and quite frankly, I get the feeling that he’s going to be fine. Eventually. But he’ll get there.
In the end, Caspian may be the one who needs our sympathy, not that he’d ever want it, mind you. He’d sooner throw it back in our faces. But the guy who really blew it here is going to need Arden’s help if he ever wants to overcome his demons. Now we’ll just need to wait and see if he’s brave enough to try.
Alexis Hall was born in the early 1980s and still thinks the twenty-first century is the future. To this day, he feels cheated that he lived through a fin de siècle but inexplicably failed to drink a single glass of absinthe, dance with a single courtesan, or stay in a single garret.
He did the Oxbridge thing sometime in the 2000s and failed to learn anything of substance. He has had many jobs, including ice cream maker, fortune-teller, lab technician, and professional gambler. He was fired from most of them.
He can neither cook nor sing, but he can handle a seventeenth-century smallsword, punts from the proper end, and knows how to hot-wire a car.
He lives in southeast England, with no cats and no children, and fully intends to keep it that way.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.