HOW TO SEDUCE A BILLIONAIRE
by Portia Da Costa
Publisher: Black Lace Books (UK) / Virgin Books (USA)
Publication Date: January 2015(UK) / September 2015 (US)
Format: Paperback (393 pages)
Source: Review Copy
HOW TO SEDUCE A BILLIONAIRE…
… without really trying!
Twenty-nine year old virgin Jess Lockhart has had to put her life on hold due to family commitments, but now it’s time to break out and start enjoying sex and love. Trickily for her, years of artistic dreaming and fantasising about her first ever lover have given her impossibly high standards where men are concerned. She’s not about to do the deed with just any old male that crosses her path. He has to be Mr Right, or at the very least Mr Sex, right for now, and a super special, superior example of his gender. Nothing less will do…
Ellis McKenna has all the credentials to be Jess’s ‘Dream Lover’. He’s gorgeous, accomplished, capable and a fabulous lover, and he also just happens to be the scion of a family whose international assets can be counted in the billions. He’s perfect Mr Right material, apart from one thing… the thing that makes him Mr Wrong for any woman wanting a relationship. Ellis is a grieving widower who’s sworn never to love again. He wants sex, yes, and plenty of it, as a way to forget his pain… but his deeper heart is locked away by regret and sorrow.
Can this unusual couple put aside their issues and enjoy a simple seduction? Or will life’s complexities put a spanner in the works (Goodreads)
Portia Da Costa is a name that is recognised for writing Darkly Sensual Erotic Romance, before it went through resurgence due to the popularity of the Fifty Shades of Grey Series. So, when I was sent this for review I had high expectations for this read. It is true that this is an interesting read and Costa more than shows why she is still a popular author. However, I found that it didn’t live up to the expectations I had built up for this author.
The book starts off really strongly and the first meeting between the two main characters is funny, with Jess getting a lift to work from her new boss, Ellis McKenna. The fact that she doesn’t know that he is the new boss and only finds out when he is talking a walk in the office, really showcases a great knack of cementing her book in a sense of reality. OK, so the chances of your new boss being a bona fide Hunk are much less than the odds of a literary setting, but what I mean is that we have all had those “Oh God!” moments of embarrassment and it really did make Jess seem more fleshed out. It made her more relatable to me and my first thought was “that would be just my luck.”
The sexual chemistry between Jess and Ellis really is electric and the pages just sizzled with heat. As with every good romance, one (or sometimes both) have a deep, dark secret that prevents the course of true love or for the couple to get their happy ending. How to Seduce a Billionaire is no different, with Ellis having suffered a huge loss that still haunts him to this day. This prevents him from really going all in with Jess in a relationship. Instead, he can only offer being her tutor in all things to do with seduction and sex.
Right now, I can hear you asking why would Jess needs her own Sex Sensei. The answer is that though Jess is looking for Mr Right, she is inexperienced both in the bedroom and in seducing men. Yes…. She is Virgin. This may seem not seem that unusual, but what I found interesting was that rather than being a early 20’s woman, she was in her late 20’s, with certain hang ups on what her future Mr Right may expect when it comes to the bedroom department.
As part of her epiphany, she decides to start living and take her own sexuality into her own hands, instead of waiting for Mr Right. Ellis is Mr Right-Now and is offering to show her an unforgettable experience without any strings. As soon as this was stated to be the MO, I knew that it would be complicated and that both, especially Ellis, would fight against their growing attraction and feelings.
For a good two thirds of the book, it was really face paced and I enjoyed watching these two characters grow closer and closer together. However, where the book fell down for me was about 2/3’s of the way through. Whether it was due to the fact that Ellis refused to try and move on from his past or if it was the half-hearted objections, I found my interest beginning to fall and it became difficult to pick the book up. The push/pull became tiresome and I knew that the book would end with them together.
Regardless, Da Costa knows how to write erotically charged sex scenes that really are a joy to read. She dances near that line that could easily push them into the crass side of the spectrum. She just pulls back, making these scenes a master class in the genre.
This is my first book by Da Costa and although it isn’t as dark as I anticipated, the book does show why Da Costa is still going strong. In the ever crowded market of Erotic Romance, Da Costa manages to have a unique style and voice. Yes, it may not be ground breaking or as controversial as the “New Kids On The Block”, but she shows that the back bone to a good Erotic Romance has to start with interesting characters.
I’m really interested in reading some of Da Costa’s back catalogue and I am now raiding my TBR list to see which ones are hiding among my mountain of books. How to Seduce a Billionaire may be my first book by the author, it’s not my last.