Welcome back to the TehBen.com Book Club! What’s the first thing you think of when you see the word “billionaire?” If you’re versed in the world of romance literature, the first thought to your mind is probably about that certain series of novels and films that still has a firm grip on our genre to this day. A vision of male deliciousness, wrapped in a $10,000 suit with all the tools and skills to get anything he wants…ok so maybe there’s a case for this particular subject matter to live on in perpetuity. Anyway, with some unfortunate prejudices already in place for some readers, how can a good modern romance writer separate themselves from the pack? I’m thinking our returning author has a good answer to this question, so let’s see how it flies. It’s time to take a visit to a new tax bracket, and see how love might work out for a true 1%er.
Right for the Job by Laura Westbrook introduces us first to Amanda, a young attractive go-getter slowly rising through the ranks working for a highly successful company somehow fixtured in the beauty industry. She’s VERY slowly rising for that matter, as her age and experience might be holding back both her talent and drive for the company. She does have a very promising interview coming up though, and perhaps this will be the shot in the arm that her career needs. After returning to her office to prepare, a strikingly handsome, confident, if not totally inconsiderate man is for some reason tapping away on Amanda’s PC attending to emails. Ugh, whatever, this must be that BOY she heard about transferring from the Batesville office, and Amanda does not have time for this BS right now. After a brief unpleasant exchange, some weirdly timed flirting from him, Amanda shoos the pest away, trying to catch up and get ready for that interview. Gee, that’s strange, why’s that same kid sitting in on the interview all of the sudden? Standing up, the young man is finally introduced with a grin a mile wide: Shane Bennett, CEO. Oh geez, upward mobility was bad enough before. Can Amanda turn it around after this all-timer bad of worst first impressions?
A short novel with a slow burn romance setup is a bit of a challenge conceptually. But as this author has shown us before, we can have efficiency without losing any information OR entertainment. We compromise with some of the “wick” on the candle for the slow burn, however most of the elements are still present. Of course, Amanda and Shane have an instant attraction to each other, but business is supposed to come before pleasure. Shane’s perspective for the story is brief, but we get a clear picture that Amanda isn’t merely some conquest, and he needs to try really hard to resist dipping his pen in the company ink. Shane is kind of a dick, but in a shrewd business sort of way rather than just playing with Amanda’s vulnerabilities for sport. A common trope of a rich man’s heterosexual romance is for the male lead to toy with his love interest like a ball of yarn, watching her squirm while he holds all the cards. Certainly, Amanda is going to squirm a bit, but only as a from the point of a business person. But while our billionaire is tough on Amanda from the prospective of the boardroom, he leads with a firm hand in his pleasurable endeavors as well. The love scenes get pretty hot and heavy, and there’s an introduction to dominant/submissive sexual relations as the pair get to know each other. Verbal commands, the expectation of instant obedience…in role playing terms you might consider Shane a bit OP. However, in the back of a fabulous limousine resisting a single, handsome billionaire who actually took the time to get to know you, that’s sure to be hard to fight off.
Verdict: Right for the Job by Laura Westbrook is an enjoyable short romance that takes an established theme and makes it shine in an efficient package. There’s a solid build up, realistic motivations, and bubbling steam when it matters. There’s plenty of fun to be had before that promised HEA. To be honest we’re not sure what’s hotter, a handsome billionaire who can make all our dreams come true, or that there might actually be a billionaire out there with relatable competency and accountability..but that’s a hot take for another review. Happy reading!