Monday, 8 April 2019

#BookReview: Amara's Calling (Billionaire's Club Series Book 1) by C.L. Donley

Amara's Calling: A Billionaire's Club Novel (Billionaire's Club Series Book 1) by C.L. Donley

BLURB

He's a brilliant, bullied computer nerd turned handsome playboy, with a penchant for blondes. She's the assistant to the assistant, who works on the third floor and is... not blonde. And secretly obsessed with him. Complete with all the classic "plain Jane" tropes you thought were hopelessly overdone, read the smart, sexy, bingeworthy debut exceeding "billionaire romance" expectations!
Amara's Calling is the first book in the Billionaire's Club series of sinfully sexy romances. If you like unexpected love, lucrative deals, and billionaires with as much prowess in the bedroom as the boardroom, then you’ll love C.L. Donley’s steamy office affair.

MY REVIEW
Amara's Calling is like Indecent Proposal meets Pretty Woman. Amara is the assistant to the assistant, is dissatisfied with her job of a few months and is already thinking of quitting.

Grayson, the CEO of the company, has been catapulted into fame and fortune due to the massive success of his social media platform (so basically Mark Zuckerburg, but he looks like James Dean). He visits the office once every quarter or so, which is where the books starts - on the occasion of one of his rare visits.
Amara, who idolises Grayson, is invited into a board meeting and their conversation, which is quite ordinary leaves an impression on both. However, aside from being employer and employee, Amara is not the kind of woman Grayson normally dates - on account of she's black rather than a foreign blonde with blue eyes.

What I liked
Amara and Grayson are two accomplished people on paper (he's a billionaire CEO and she's educated with a master's degree). I especially liked the fact that despite his money, Grayson was a geek at heart. Their attraction was mutual, which brought some sexual tension. The sex scenes were hot while remaining sweet. Amara had a support system of her two closest friends, Mya and Kim, whose conversations were interesting to say the least.

What didn't work for me
To be honest, I didn't connect with either Amara or Grayson, which was a shame because Amara, especially, had so much potential. She was well-educated but hadn't figured out what she wanted to do with her life, and I'd hoped she'd somehow channel her smarts into helping the company out of a bind or something. However, the plot rather took the opposite turn, focusing on their sexual relationship. That would have been okay if the plot developed beyond that, but unfortunately, it didn't (for me).

As mentioned earlier, the hero wasn't the usual suave billionaire romance hero, but he's not deficient in the arrogance department. He was verbally abusive in some parts, and even though a reason was given for that, it didn't fully win me over. It would have been great to see him have to truly fight for the love of the heroine, but things were too easy for him. The story also perpetuated some stereotypes especially about women and blacks.

Overall Impression
Although, this particular story didn't meet my expectations, I felt the author is worth another try. The story is well-written, which is the strongest aspect of the story for me. There is some head-hopping, but that appears to be a deliberate style the author chose. Once I accepted that, it didn't bother me too much. I'd definitely try book 2 before making a decision on the series, because the hero seemed promising as a secondary character in book 1, and the heroine - well, she was a little crazy and I'd love to see how she handles her own journey to HEA.

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