Tempted by the Billionaire Tycoon by Jennifer St. George

Tempted by the Billionaire Tycoon by Jennifer St. George
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (134 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Hawthorn

Three strikes and you’re out…

A series of strange accidents are occurring at Sirona, a luxury spa resort in the picturesque English countryside. Billionaire owner Nic Capitini wants the person responsible sacked. But the law requires he give three official warnings. Nic checks in undercover to gather the evidence he needs, and when he arrives to find his general manager enjoying the spa’s facilities, he doesn’t think it will prove very challenging.

Despite first impressions, it isn’t long before Nic realises that not only is Poppy Bradford beautiful, she’s a brilliant manager who runs the resort superbly. And the chemistry between them is undeniable. When Poppy herself is threatened, it seems clear the incidents are part of a systematic campaign of sabotage. Even though he believes she’s innocent, Nic knows Poppy is hiding something. But will learning her secret mean losing her forever?

Mixing business and pleasure can be problematic, but it can also be irresistible, especially when it comes to Poppy and Nic.

Nic is a self-made billionaire with a dark family past. His main focus in his adult life has been his business, so it’s understandable that he is very protective of it. When the events at one of his resorts endanger his success, he flies to England to personally sack the manager. He doesn’t expect to encounter the innovative, capable and feisty Poppy.

I loved Poppy’s character because she was independent and strong. She’d supported herself and her sister since her teens. Her energetic personality was a great counterpart to Nic’s principled view of things, and both helped create great chemistry and a deep conflict between them. It was easy to understand their motivation and sympathize with their struggles as they began to feel mutual attraction.

While the characters were well-developed, the story and plot were rather cliché and too predictable. I figured out who the saboteur at the resort was much too early, so there was practically no suspense left for me. Even the romance between Nic and Poppy developed in a predictable way and thus made it less enchanting. I wished for a surprise twist, something that would show them and their relationship in a different light.

The story ends with a happy ending that is perhaps a bit too fairytale-like and slightly spoils the otherwise lovely story. With all the troubles that Poppy and Nic had had, they were solved too easily in the end. I felt the plot needed either a more realistic ending, or maybe a longer finale in which the resolution would slowly come together.

What I really liked in this novel was the main character, Poppy, and I’d recommend the book to anyone who likes strong female characters.

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