by Crystal Kaswell
She's broke and out of options. He's willing to dig her out of debt... if she submits to his terms.
Kat Wilder is totally screwed. At only twenty-one, she's resigned to one seriously bleak future. Waiting tables barely supports her only family, her sister, and she's got no luck finding a better job. With no money or time for school, she has no chance at a better life.
Then she meets Blake. The billionaire tech CEO is a lifeline. An arrogant, controlling, impossible to read lifeline. He wants something from Kat and he'll do whatever it takes to get it.
He offers Kat a deal-- a few months of her life for a few hundred thousand dollars. All she has to do is play his girlfriend and convince everyone that she's madly in love with him.
It's Blake's way, Blake's terms, Blake utterly in control.
She tells herself it's only business. But the part between them that matters-- the two of them alone, her giving in to everything he wants-- that part is strictly personal.
The Billionaire's Deal is a new adult romance featuring an inexperienced yet feisty heroine and a protective alpha billionaire hero. The Billionaire's Deal is a full-length, standalone novel. It was previously published as a four part serial.
Okay - I'm gonna gush because I really loved reading this. I read it in a day. I feel that I need to prepare you for when I do that because I tend to go on tangents. Also - spoilers.
If you're a frequent visitor to this blog, you may have caught my previous review for Crystal Kaswell's other book, The Billionaire's Intern. Now, if you read that review, you would know that I did not like it, and could not bother to finish it. Well, I am happy to say that this book was a whole different experience for me.
Kat is a hard working 21 year old woman who lost her parents in a car accident when she was a teenager. She has been taking care of her younger sister Lizzy since that horrific day. That day was also the end of Kat's dreams of going on to college and living her life. Now, her goals are to pay the mortgage, and send her sister to the university she wants. Unfortunately, without a college education, she's stuck finding quick waitressing jobs to make ends meet.
Until the day she, literally, bumps into Blake - self made billionaire. A spark between strangers turns into something more when Blake makes Kat a deal she finds hard to pass up: pretend to be Blake's girlfriend for at least 6 months in exchange for Blake paying her full mortgage and Lizzy's tuition.
Okay - so there was quite a bit that I loved about this story. Before I get started with the gushing, I do want to say that I think billionaire love stories get a bad rep. I'm not saying they're ALL good because they aren't. I, personally, enjoy the billionaire story when told the "right way" (i.e. the way I like it).
I truly enjoyed Blake's character in this story. Yes, he's a billionaire, but I hesitate calling him a bad boy. His previous partners aren't really spoken about, and if anything what's talked about is that he often ignored women in college in order to focus on programming (he's a tech mogul). He cares a lot about his mother (be still, my heart), and he doesn't push Kat to agree with anything. All she needs to say is their safe word and he will stop. This goes for anything - during sex or not. He takes his time taking care of Kat, and constantly stops her deprecating herself and her achievements.
Then there's Kat. I liked Kat. She never forgets how insane the deal with the billionaire is, but after years of struggling and doing it alone for her sister have her bend her thoughts for some help. Kat holds onto who she is throughout the story - and even has the freedom to remember the bits of her that were long forgotten after her parent's accident. I admire that. She also doesn't shy away from what she wants - Blake.
I don't want to give away so much information, but know that this story had a strong plot and characters to see it through. There were times where I was afraid we were going into 50 Shades territory, but then I'd be welcomed with a sensible Kat comeback. There is some very VERY light S&M in this story - but it's consensual and not too heavy for the relationship at all. I didn't like that Kat was a virgin, what I'm used to the woman being a virgin in some of these stories. I also saw that some phrases were repeated quite a bit. Now, this story was originally published in parts, so maybe that's why it wasn't noticed. Also, some sentences could have used some editing. The plot and characters though - I cared about all of them. It was quite detailed. The only thing that would have made it even better for me would have been if we were given some POV chapters from Blake. I wanted to know what that guy was thinking! I knew Kat was making him happy, and there were little telltale behaviors in what Kat saw, but as you probably know by now, I am a sucker for a hero's POV.
All in all - this story has me looking forward to Kaswell's work in the future. It is also up there in top favorite billionaire stories.
Do you like billionaire love stories? Why or why not? Leave me your recommendations if you do!