Read an Excerpt
The Billionaire's Christmas Proposal
A Billionaire for Christmas
By Victoria James, Alethea Spiridon Hopson
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2015 Victoria James
All rights reserved.
It was the worst day of her life.
Okay, so maybe not the worst. Maybe the second-worst day ... no ... well, it was definitely the worst day this month. Allison Barrington squinted at what remained of her apartment building, her eyes burning from the smoke. The orange blaze of the fire had mostly died down to an eerie gray smoke. It was still dark despite it being morning, but the red glare from the fire trucks and ambulances lit the sky, and the rush of emergency personnel buzzed around them.
"What a freaking disaster." No truer words had ever been spoken. Said words were uttered by her eternally sarcastic teenaged sister and roommate.
She turned to look at Danielle. "At least no one was hurt," she said, pleased that she could actually muster up something positive to say. It was all they had left, really. She glanced down at her dog, Captain Hook, who was currently peeing beside a lamppost.
"Hook," she said, giving his leash a gentle, but authoritative, pull. He looked up at her, his one eye locking onto hers before obediently ambling over. The eye patch on the other side had a smudge of soot on it. Deciding she needed to act confident and reassuring, she put her arm around her sister's shoulder.
"It's going to be okay, Dani."
"You say that about everything. This is not going to be okay. We have no apartment, no clothes, and seriously" — she paused to give Allison a once-over — "you are in desperate need of something else to wear. If this entire situation weren't so disastrous, I'd be humiliated for you. I mean, really Allie, flannel reindeer jammies and that ratty U of T sweater? Ugh. And that coat? At least button it up."
Allison didn't need to look down at herself to know what she looked like. But it was eight o'clock in the morning, and she hadn't been planning on standing outside in the crowded street while wearing it. She looked over at her sister, noting she was already decked out for the day. "Why are you dressed? The fire alarm went off at three a.m."
Her sister blushed slightly. "I was just —"
"Sneaking in, even though you promised me you'd be home by ten?"
Their conversation was interrupted as two young police officers walked toward them. "What a missed opportunity this is for you," Dani whispered in her ear. "Men in uniform everywhere, and you're standing here looking like a troll with a degenerate dog."
Captain Hook lifted his leg close to Dani. You couldn't ask for more loyalty than that.
"Gross!" she yelled, backing up a few steps. "So what are we going to do? Where are we going to stay?"
That was the million dollar question. She hadn't bothered getting renter's insurance, which meant everything would have to be replaced at her own expense. And yeah, she didn't have anything of huge value, and she wasn't on the brink of broke, so she could slowly replace things — key word being slow.
After a quick chat with the police and providing them with her contact info, she looked over at her younger sister.
"So now what? I'm not going back to Mom's."
No, of course they couldn't go there. Their mother was a train wreck, and they'd probably end up giving her money instead of the other way around. When she'd taken Dani out of there a few years ago, she'd promised her she wouldn't ever have to go back.
"What about the shelter?"
Allison shook her head. "We can't go there. They're beyond capacity, and now that they've been told they have to close ... no." In the last decade of being on her own, she had learned how to survive. She'd built up her own life, gotten her dream job, and found friends she considered closer than most family. But since learning the shelter she worked at was being forced to close because of some big corporation wanting to use the property for its real estate value, it seemed she couldn't quite shake off the feeling of being tired. Tired of the fight, of the constant uphill battle she was facing. She never regretted for a second that she'd brought her sister to live with her, but it was another mouth to feed, more responsibility. And now this; everything in the world she had worked so hard for had gone up in smoke. Literally.
"Hello? Allie? Now what? I'm freezing."
Now what? She buttoned up her coat, knowing where they'd go. Maybe she'd known the minute it had happened. Maybe she'd been dying to call him the second she'd managed to get them out into safety. Maybe she'd wanted to hear his voice, reassuring her. He was the one person they could go to, and he'd take them in without question. The only problem was she didn't want to be indebted to him, or anyone. She also knew she could rely on no one but herself. She had learned that lesson at a young age, and being the optimist she prided herself on being, she could say it had given her backbone. Really, if she only relied on herself, then no one could disappoint her. She had no expectations of anyone, except herself. This theory/policy of hers did complicate relationships, because if you were used to always taking charge and never needed anything from anyone, well, the relationships became very one-sided.
Nevertheless, this was one of those times she was going to have to reach out, but it wouldn't be for long, and of course if he said no then she'd come up with Plan B. Always have a Plan B, Allie. Now they'd go to Ethan because ... Ethan was Ethan. Ethan Dane was the guy she'd been trying to keep at a distance ever since her best friend and his best friend had gotten married. Their relationship was purely platonic only because she insisted it remain that way. She was either a saint for being able to resist a man like Ethan, or she was an idiot.
She looked down at her ensemble and cringed. Well, she had no choice; she needed to see him. "Let's go," she said to Dani and started walking away from the commotion outside the building.
"Uh, hello?" Dani said, catching up to her. The sidewalks were slushy, and the farther they went from the building, the quieter it became. Luckily, she'd been able to snatch her purse before evacuating the apartment. "It's like eight o'clock in the morning; where are we going? A hotel?"
Allison gave Hook's leash a little tug when he started lingering near a fire hydrant. This was not the morning for fire hydrant loitering. "No, we're going to see Ethan."
"Ethan? Yes! It's so great you have loaded friends."
"We're not going to overstay or take advantage. Just a couple of nights until we can get a new place."
"Perfect, then we can go to Hannah and Jackson's."
"No, they're at the cabin until New Year's."
"There's a bigger problem we need to address — you're about to walk into your hot, rich friend's condo looking like that."
"It doesn't matter what I look like." Though she did cringe at the thought of Ethan seeing her looking like a bag lady ... or troll. "Besides, Ethan's not at home now anyway."
"Where is he? And why are we walking?"
"He's at work, I'm sure —"
"At this time of the morning?"
"Most people work for their money, Dani." Ethan may have come from a very privileged family, but she knew how hard he and Jackson Pierce — his business partner and best friend — worked. It was one of the traits she admired about him ... among others. Not that it mattered. Different worlds, different problems. And despite her turning him down three times, they had managed to maintain a friendship. They would be completely wrong for each other.
They turned the corner and made their way into the financial district, and Ethan's building loomed in the distance. It was dark and cloudy; the snow on the ground was now mostly brown slush. The sidewalks were full, most people dressed in suits and coats, rushing to work. Dani plowed through the revolving door at the entrance, and Allison couldn't help but gasp at the image of herself in the mirrored foyer. Her sister had been right. She looked like a hideous little troll. Bag lady would have been a step up. She avoided eye contact with people in the elevator and kept her head low.
They rode the elevator to the top floor, and she refused to look at herself in the mirrors again. Instead, she listened to the sound of her sister texting and held on to Hook's leash tightly as he attempted to make friends with the women in designer clothes. Judging by their expressions, no one had any sympathy for the dirty, one-eyed dog or herself. Her sister was at the opposite end of the elevator, clearly pretending she didn't know them. She nudged Dani out of the elevator when the doors opened, and the three of them walked past the almost empty reception area. The soft glow of a light at the end of the corridor made relief seep through her, until the sound of soft voices grew louder as they walked toward Ethan's office. They slowed and looked at each other.
"Sounds like a woman," her sister whispered.
She wasn't surprised. And she shouldn't be disappointed. Disappointment implied feelings other than friendship. She had none of those. None. She looked down at her clothes and tried not to weep like a baby. They peeked through the glass wall of his office. Allison ignored the tiny little flip her stomach did at the sight of Ethan. The man could wear a suit like nobody else. He was tall and built in a way that made it very obvious he didn't spend all his time sitting behind his desk. Ethan came from a long line of old money, and he carried himself with the confidence and dignity of a man who had grown up among society's elite but was also capable of striking out on his own.
When she'd first met Ethan — at their best friends' wedding — she'd been charmed, floored, and, well, smitten. And smitten was not a word that was part of her regular vocabulary, but it applied in this circumstance. He'd made it very clear he was interested, and she'd made it very clear she was not. He intimidated her. Not to mention the fact that Ethan hadn't had a serious relationship in ... um, ever. She wasn't interested in being just another one of the women he slept with. So, difficult as it was to ignore the man's charms, she was determined. Even when he looked at her with those warm, whiskey-colored eyes and his mouth that always seemed to have a secret smile just for her. Nope.
So in the meantime they had become good friends. They saw each other frequently because of Hannah and Jackson and the fact that they were godparents to their first child, Emily.
Her sister nudged her, not taking her eyes off the window. "Who's Lawyer Barbie?"
Allison followed her sister's gaze. Lawyer Barbie indeed. What and who Ethan did in his personal or professional life didn't matter to her, or shouldn't matter to her.
"Actually, she might not be a lawyer. Maybe she's this hot model he's dating who likes to wear business suits that show off long, killer legs —"
"Stop talking." Her gaze moved past the woman, who was sitting in an unnatural pose on the corner of his desk. She did have killer legs, but Ethan wasn't noticing her — in that way at least. His gorgeous head was downturned, looking at something in a file.
"Maybe we should wait till she leaves," Allison whispered to Dani.
"Agreed. I feel even worse for you now. In fact, you're lucky I'm standing here with you so I can vouch for you in case security calls the insane asylum or whatever to drag —"
"Thanks. That's just what I needed to hear," Allison said. "Let's slowly walk back."
Hook suddenly started barking at his reflection with a fury, the high-pitched sound echoing in the silent office. Allison sucked in a breath as she made eye contact with Ethan. Mortification anchored her crappy rubber boots to the marble floor, and only the scattered bits of remaining pride kept her from weeping.
"Nice job, Hook," Dani muttered.
Allison wasn't paying her perpetually smart-mouthed sister any attention because instead of Ethan staring at her in horror, the man jumped out of his chair and bounded out of the room as though he were running to rescue his beloved ... someone. But it was her he was running to, which made her heart swell and her throat constrict because the look in Ethan's eyes made her forget that she looked like an escaped Christmas-loving sociopath. He made her feel like —
"What the hell happened to you, Allie?" The harshness in his deep voice was softened by the worry in his light brown eyes. His large hands gripped her upper arms and warmth seeped into her cold body.
"I, uh, I'm ..." Her voice sounded hoarse, and she realized her throat was clogged with something akin to emotion ... tears of some sort, because someone actually cared about her. Not someone —
"What's wrong with your voice?" he asked, frowning.
"I ... um —"
Dani sidled up next to him. "Smoke inhalation. She almost died. Firemen had to carry her out of —"
"Jeezus, Allie." Ethan wrapped her up in his arms, and the last thing she saw was her sister's smug face before the rest of the world was covered by Ethan. His chest was hard, the arms that wrapped around her were strong and comforting, and the man smelled like heaven.
"Oh, you know this person, Ethan? I was about to call building security," the woman said, standing in the doorway.
Dani scoffed and stood at attention. "She's his slightly disheveled, but otherwise very hot, friend —"
Allison broke free from Ethan's embrace, feeling cold again. "Dani —"
Her sister shrugged and leaned against the wall again.
"Why the hell didn't you call me? How did you get here?" Ethan ignored Dani and the woman and ushered her into his office. She didn't bother looking at Lawyer Barbie as she walked past her — the woman's huff was adequate proof of her thoughts.
"Sit," Ethan said, shoving her gently into his chair. "Now tell me what happened."
He was leaning against his desk, fine lines around an undeniably beautiful mouth.
She glanced over at the woman currently sending her a death glare from across Ethan's sprawling office and crossed her arms. She was suddenly self-conscious. "I don't really want to get into all this," she whispered.
Ethan frowned and then turned around. "Nadia, thanks. You can finish your presentation at the meeting this afternoon."
Her sister then proceeded to usher the other woman out the door, shutting it a little too loudly to be polite. She flopped herself down on Ethan's couch, completely oblivious to her slush-filled clothes on the pristine leather. Satisfied she wasn't listening when Dani pulled out her phone and began texting, she looked up at Ethan.
"Well, what happened?" he asked.
"Our apartment building blew up!" Dani said before she could answer.
Ethan's tanned face went a few shades paler than the snow outside.
Allison turned in her chair to glare at her sister. "Stop eavesdropping."
She turned back to Ethan and tried to concentrate. She needed a coffee.
"She's completely overdramatizing. There was a small fire in the building, and we had to get out —"
"Smoke everywhere, they had to put an oxygen mask on Allie's face."
He ran his hands through his hair. "Jeezus —"
"Stop talking, Dani." She continued to stare at Ethan, mesmerized by the look on his face. "It really isn't a big deal. No one was injured. I just ... all our stuff is gone. We have nothing right now."
"None of that matters," he said in a voice that sounded thick with concern for ... her. This caring, serious, protective side of Ethan was disconcerting. Flirty playboy she could easily dismiss. Big, protective, serious Ethan was a whole heck of a different ballgame.
"I wouldn't have come here except I didn't know where else to go. Hannah and Jackson aren't around, and I can't impose on the shelter," she whispered. He didn't know about her unreliable mother, and admitting that he was the only person in a city of millions that she could turn to was, again, disconcerting.
A look flashed through his eyes, but was gone before she could mull over its meaning. "You did the right thing. You and Dani can stay at my place."
"We'll need clothes and food."
Allie shook her head, embarrassed by her sister's big, teenaged mouth. "Just until —"
"Whatever. I've got more than enough room."
"I don't want to impose or intrude on your life. We'll be gone in a few days, I promise."
"Seriously, Allie, you're welcome in my home for as long as it takes."
The shiver that ran through her then was totally caused by the fact that she had walked through the freezing cold outside, not at all dressed for winter. Of course. It had nothing to do with the way Ethan said, in that warm, rich-as-a-cup-of-dark-hot-chocolate voice, that she was welcome in his home.
Excerpted from The Billionaire's Christmas Proposal by Victoria James, Alethea Spiridon Hopson. Copyright © 2015 Victoria James. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I loved, loved, loved this story. I truly don't know why I have not read all of Victoria James books. I've enjoyed each one that I have read. This story had it all, romance and humor and a touching dose of grief. Ethan and Allie have great chemistry and even though they have totally different upbringing they both had selfish parents. The only difference is the life paths they chose and how they held the cards they were dealt. I highly recommend this book and I'm looking forward to reading the other books in the series.
I voluntarily reviewed this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.I really enjoyed reading this book,it had a great storyline with strong likeable characters.I would highly recommend this book to my friends.
This was a very sweet and emotional read. Both Ethan and Allison had baggage - heavy emotional baggage. But with Allison - it helped her be this better person and strong in her beliefs and principles. I loves the way she interacted with people, regardless of their status. And Ethan was a dream. He took care of Allison and her sister. Man he was so good to her. And he was so vulnerable on the inside. I would love to give him a hug. I felt like they gave what the other always needed. I hated the way Ethan's family treated him and glad the issue was resolved the way it was. I am glad I read this one, very heartwarming story. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
Ethan Dane has been not so secretly lusting after Allison Barrington since the two first met at mutual friend’s wedding. Ethan knows that he and Allie come from two different back grounds but he can’t understand why that keeps her turning him away. Allison would give her arm and leg for a man like Ethan but knows that they are just two different to ever work. When a fire in her apartment forces her and her sister to find another place to live the only person who can help her is Ethan. Ethan jumps at the chance to help Allie knowing that with her living under the same roof as him he can help show her just how great they can be together. Both these two have secrets they are trying to keep that have the potential to killing any relationship before it has a chance to bloom. For these two to get their HEA they are going to have to learn to trust each other and lean on each other. I really enjoyed both of these characters as well as Allison’s sister, she was hilarious. All characters are well written and even though these characters were first introduced in The Billionaire’s Christmas Baby you can still read this book as a stand alone. I received an eARC of this book compliments of the publisher in exchange for my honest review and opinion. All ratings and opinions stated are my own.
Having read previous works by Victoria James, I couldn't wait to read yet another more festive book by her. In Billionaire's Christmas Proposal we get to meet social worker Allison Barrington, who has struggled in her life, but working at a homeless shelter has giving her a greater purpose and for that she has been also able to provide for her teenage sister. But things go incredibly wrong when her home gets caught in fire a month before Christmas. With all her hard work disappearing before her eyes, she does the only think that she could think of at the time and that is to go to her friend Ethan (aka long-time crush) for help. But soon things start to change when Ethan insists on them to stay in his house until things got better. It is then that between the holidays and everything that was happening to them, that Allie starts to feel the chemistry between them grow, and she wonders if they could be something more just in time for Christmas. Ethan Dane has always had a thing for Allie every since they met at a friend's wedding. But at the time she had actually turned him down, but he always hoped for a chance to be with her. Now that she is staying at his house everything that he had hidden from her could no longer be a secret and that could risk their friendship. Soon their attraction towards each other grows and they spend a lot more time together at Allie's work where Ethan really shows that he is the perfect man for her. I really liked the overall story of this book, it was filled with lots of holiday spirit and some steamy moments as well. The characters have kept their feelings to each other and when they realize that they want the same thing it is then that things start to change in the story. Allie is a sweet and kind character, she really wants to help others, whereas Ethan is more reserved and a typical billionaire who wants to get things done without a word. Yet underneath all of that he hides a secret that he has hold for a very long time, and it is when he he decides to do something about it that he realizes that he can't be away from Allie. From the cover to the synopsis this was a great book to read, the plot kept me interesting and it's just a book that needs to be read during the holidays. I highly recommend picking it up, you will absolutely love it. : ) ***ARC provided by the Entangled in exchange for an honest review.***
It’s no secret Victoria James is one of my favorite authors. She simply has this ability to draw you into her stories and have you wanting to get to know her characters. The Billionaire’s Christmas Proposal is a stand alone read, however both the hero and heroine were introduced in The Billionaire’s Christmas Baby. Ethan Dane has been fawning after Allison Barrington for years, in fact, since the day he met her at their best friends’ wedding. The two come from totally different backgrounds and for that, Allison is always turning Ethan down. But when Allison’s apartment burns down, Ethan is the first person she thinks of to help her and her sixteen-year-old sister out. For Ethan, Allison's apartment fire couldn't come at a better or worst time. He has a secret that makes the beginning of December a little hard for him. Having Allison stay with him could uplift his mood bigtime. Unfortunately, Ethan has something to prove to his family, and in doing so, he’ll have to rip apart Allison’s heart. What did I like? Without question, the characters. Ethan and Allison are both people I would love to have as friends. The are both caring and compassionate people who truly love those they care about. They also both have secrets they keep from those they are close to. There's also Allison’s sixteen-year-old sister, Dani. Dani provides the comic relief to the story and at times provides words of wisdom. What didn't I like? While I liked the storyline and the ultimate outcome, the story was predictable. I didn't like the way Allison, her sister, and friends reacted to Ethan when they found out his business deal had to do with the shelter she worked at. Without getting his side of things, they immediately attack him, not realizing he was trying to come up with the best possible solution. **Received a copy of the book courtesy of Entangled Publishing for an honest and unbiased opinion.**
Sweet and Seductive for Allie and Ethan--Great Story Ethan and Allie first meet at their friend’s wedding in The Billionaire's Christmas Baby. Allie is a social worker; she both loves and hates her job. She takes care of her teen-age sister due to the fact her mom is an alcoholic. Her home has burned to the ground one month before Christmas and she calls the one person she trust- her friend Ethan Dane. Ethan has a few closely guarded secrets and very few know them. Allie wants a forever type relationship whereas Ethan wants a love em and leave type. In this story, when they end up staying together they end up giving a relationship a chance and romance blooms. On another front, Allie’s shelter that she works with as part of her job closes and somehow Ethan is tied to that closure which causes Allie’s love for him to start to die and she backs away. She stops being friends and the relationship stops as well. Ethan realizes what he did was wrong, he wises up and figures out what he needs to do to get back in her good graces and get back what he lost. The emotions from both of the MC is so deep and we see scars from them, emotional type. They are not outside but inside ; Its how they react and deal with them in the relationship before the “betrayal “ and “after” is what makes this a good story. Love the ending and this is what makes this a great add on to the Billionaire story series. My rating: 4.0 stars **** ***A gifted copy was provided by the publisher via NETGALLEY for my honest review****
4 heartwarming stars I really enjoyed The Billionaire's Christmas Proposal. This was a beautiful friends to lovers story. I enjoyed watching Ethan and Allie's relationship slowly develop over time. Both characters were likable and relatable, they touched my heart with their pasts and how they both had to put aside their fears to let the other one into their hearts. They truly were meant to be. Victoria James has once again written a beautiful and touching romance that I highly recommend. Looking forward to reading more from this talented author in the near future. *crossing my fingers Nicholas gets his own book soon*
A sweet holiday romance! Since The Billionaire's Christmas Baby was the very first book by Victoria James that I ever read, I was very excited to get my hands on the follow up book, The Billionaire's Christmas Proposal. It tells the story of Allison and Ethan, the best friends of Hannah and Jackson, the hero and heroine of Christmas Baby. (We also get a short visit with Hannah and Jackson here too--bonus!) Ethan and Ally met at the wedding of their best friends, and felt an instant attraction--one Ethan was all for acting on immediately and which Ally resisted in every way possible. At the start of Christmas Proposal, Ally's turned Ethan down no fewer than three times already. However, when her apartment goes down in flames--literally--leaving her and her little sister and dog without a home, Ethan's the first person Allison thinks of to go to for help. Before Ethan can blink, he's moved Ally, her teen sister Dani, and their one-eyed and slightly incontinent dog Captain Hook into his penthouse apartment. Even though the month of December is traditionally a tough one for him, things are starting to look up. Until he finds out that the challenge his father has issued to both him and his brother--design a condo for me and win future control of the family business--will result in the closing of the teen homeless shelter and refuge that is Ally's pride and joy. But he'll fix it. Somehow. And not tell her that he might be involved in crushing her dream until he does. Because that's a solid plan that nothing can go wrong with. Riiiight. ;) I loved Ally and Ethan together--they have such great chemistry and engage in some really fun banter. The secondary characters, especially Ally's sister Dani, are well-fleshed out and add a lot to the story. I loved seeing Dani interact with both Ally and Ethan--she's a riot! Raising a sixteen-year-old sister has got to be the only thing more challenging than raising a sixteen-year-old daughter. I totally felt Ally's pain as her sister barely contained her despair at her high levels of uncool--but hey, it's way funnier when it's happening to someone else, especially when it's in a book! It was fairly obvious what Ethan was going to have to do to make things work out in the end, but it made sense that he doesn't see it right away since his rocky relationship with his family has been coloring things for him for so long. Naturally the Haven House problem is going to be the cause of their relationship crisis, but Ethan will pull things together in the end to bring us a highly satisfying--and seasonally appropriate--HEA. Yay! As a bonus, The Billionaire's Christmas Proposal is happening at the same time as another brand new book by Ms. James-- Falling for Her Enemy --and gives us a tiny glimpse into that story, since Hayden, the hero, is a close friend of Ethan's. We get just enough to make me glad I've already got it on my TBR and will be reading it by the end of the week :) Rating: 4 stars / A- I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
This is another wonderful story from Victoria James-very strong characters that bring the emotions out of you. The reader gets involved in the story right from the beginning and you truly feel for them.
3.5 - "You came through for me." Stars! Victoria James is a relatively new author to me, although it hasn't stopped me devouring and loving every one of her new releases over the last couple of months. I will be honest and say that The Billionaires Christmas Proposal didn't really live up to the high standards that I have attributed to this author now. "I've wanted you, and I was too afraid to ever take a chance with someone like you." I think the main talent and skill of Victoria's writing is that she takes simple themes and turns them into beautiful stories. Nothing is rushed everything is built solidly and the story as well as the characters are given a chance to develop at an organic and steady pace. And for me that is where this book struggled, to my count there are 4 tropes at play, and if I wanted to be completely pedantic you could actually split two of them and go as far to say 6, and that is where the problems start for me, half of them were really not needed. In the previous books I have read by the author, there have only really ever been two or three at most in play. The story between Allie and Ethan was crowded up with a bunch of secondary characters and plot-lines that detracted from the focus of the relationship that was three years in the making between them, not to mention the loss of the shelter that Allie worked at and the secret's that Ethan was holding close to his heart about his childhood. These were the three parts of the story I wanted to get involved in and fall in love with, the whole host of familial BS that was added in was really not needed. Oddly this has been a big bug-bear for me with a huge number of Entangled titles lately, and not just this author, for some reason it seems that the general belief at the moment is to throw the kitchen sink of familial drama at things, and a lot of the time, and particularly with an author like Victoria who has proven to not need all the additional drama, the 'less is more' ethos works perfectly. "What are you doing...? "I'm showing you what it's like to forget where you are, who you are, and everything except wanting more." This is still a pretty good read, the second half by far supersedes the first for me. I just really hope that the author goes back to her previous writing methodology, because she really has the talent and skill, to keep it simple and deliver it perfectly. ARC generously provided via Netgalley, in exchange for the above honest review.
This is a romantic rescue story – where both key participants need rescuing from their pasts to enable them to move on to achieve their HEA future together, but with plenty of drama en route! Allison Barrington had repeatedly turned down dating requests from wealthy business man, Ethan Dane, but when her home me is destroyed by fire he’s the one she turns to. He lets her, her sister Dani and their three legged dog, Hook, go stay with him, even sending sixteen year old feisty teenager with attitude, Dani, go out armed with his credit card to get them both new clothes and essentials to replace the ones lost in the blaze. Only with him does Allie feel safe, but they’ve both had problems in the past with their very different but still dysfunctional families. Now, not only has her home and possessions gone, but they helper for homeless teenagers where she works is being sold so soon it may also cease to exist. Ethan’s also got drama in his life. He can’t stop thinking about Allie and looks forward to having a better chance to see if the attraction he feels towards her is mutual or not but he’s also torn because his father has issued a challenge to him and his brother. The challenge is to come up with the most profitable plan for land he’s hoping to acquire shortly, then it turns out that land where the teenagers’ shelter where Allie works currently stands. Should he continue to prove he’s the better brother by outdoing his brother? What can he do to help save the home? What will happen when Allie discovers his and his family’s role in the demise of the shelters accommodation for teenagers? Will their attraction prove to belove? Will their love ever stand a chance of becoming a HEA romance? With strong characters, plenty of turmoil right from the start and so many decisions to be made, this is an enthralling, well written, read. It explores the impact of life threatening illness on family dynamics (thank goodness all families are not like Ethan’s!) and alcoholism, too, in a well rounded story that is a delight to get lost in for a couple of hours. Thanks to the Author, publisher and NetGalley, too, for letting me read an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
*ARC received from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review* The Billionaire's Christmas Proposal is another heart-warming romance by Victoria James. Other than their less than ideal childhoods, Allie and Ethan have one thing in common - their very strong attraction to each other. Allie, guardian to a teenage sister, is a social worker who works at a shelter for homeless teens. She thinks their worlds are too far apart for them to ever be more than friends. There's nothing Ethan wants more than Allie, except to win his father's company away from his brother. That puts him in direct conflict with her over the future of the shelter, just when it looks like he might have a chance with her. Which dream will he choose? I like the characters, even Dani, Allie's sometimes bratty teenage sister. Allie is a great heroine and Ethan is lovable, even if he his a little misguided. His feelings for her shine throughout the story. This is a sweet romance and I really enjoyed it.
Allison Barrington loses everything when her home goes up in flames, at a time when most folks are decorating and getting ready to celebrate the holidays, she is left scrambling to find a place for her family to live. With very few people in her life that she can trust, she is left with limited options of places to turn, which currently has her knocking on the door of a handsome businessman named Ethan Dane. They have a little history, but not anything that is going to any farther than friendship, because she is too smart and determined not to be the next woman in line for a night in his bed... Ethan Dane is pleasantly surprised to find Allie Barrington knocking on his door and asking him for a temporary place to stay until she can get back on her feet again. Ethan has been dying to get to know Allie better for quite some time now, and explore the chemistry that has been lurking between them since the first time they met. He thinks that providing her a place to stay might just be the perfect way to do that, only she has no intentions of letting that happen, so he's forced to get a little creative with his efforts. But fate has other things in mind for him, and if she finds out what he is up to he may just lose his perfect opportunity to get the girl he's been dreaming about for so long.. Ethan and Allie's story captured my attention right from the start and had me dying to find out if they'd get their happy ending. The chemistry between them burned brightly from start to finish, and it was clear to see that these two were made for each other, even if Allie didn't think so! Definitely another can't miss story from Ms. James, and a perfect read to add to your Christmas reading lists!! Highly recommend you acquaint yourself with these two, there sure to provide you with a few hours of exceptional reading!! ARC requested through NetGalley, and kindly provided by Entangled Publishing in exchange for a honest review.
I am a big fan of Victoria James so when I saw that she had a Christmas book, I jumped all over it. This story had a little holiday mixed in with it but was overall just a really good story! Needless to say, I am still a huge fan of her writing! Allie is a young lady that has taken in her younger sister because of her mother being an alcoholic. Allie has issues from her past that she is still trying to deal with and overcome. With Allie being a social worker, she has a huge heart and tries to help everyone out. When Allie's house catches fire right before Christmas, she has no one else to ask for help except for the guy that has asked her repeatedly for a date, Ethan. Ethan agrees that Allie and her sister can stay with him, but little does Allie know that Ethan is going to use this opportunity to try and make her realize how good they can be together. Ethan pretty much has it all going for him right now. Like Allie though, Ethan has some issues in his past that hold him back. Will Allie and Ethan be able to overcome these issues and move on with each other? Will Ethan finally be able to get that date with Allie that he has longed for since he first laid eyes on her? When Allie's youth center that she works at is in danger of being shut down, Ethan comes to her rescue and vows to help her keep it open. Ethan has no idea that this particular youth center is the one that his business is trying to shut down. What is Ethan going to do now? Will he find a way to help Allie and keep it open or will he have to follow his commitments that he has with his job? You need to read this sweet story to find out. Victoria James has done a great job with this one. I can't wait to see what she has in store for us next!
This was a very cute Christmas romance with just about everything I wanted in it. Allison is a great person that just doesn't seem to see her worth many times. A social worker that takes care of her mouthy teen-age sister who suddenly finds herself homeless. The shelter she works at make be getting sold to a real estate tycoon and Christmas just seems like it's not going to be a very good one. Ethan is in love with Allison - but she keeps turning him down. She's afraid to risk their friendship by trying something more. But when she is forced to turn to him for help she discovers new sides to Ethan that make it hard to resist him. I love how Ethan struggled with the wishes of his family versus his conscience and what Allison has asked him to help with. He's willing to put everything aside to try and help her and the shelter she loves so much. I especially liked his little bout of jealousy when they meet Allison's ex-boyfriend. Ethan will need to get used to having not just a teen-ager around, but a strange little one-eyed dog that doesn't have a lot of manners - but he is incredibly cute. There is plenty of holiday cheer to find in this story and lots of great romantic scenes that are more than just gestures. I loved it! *This book was received in exchange for an honest review*
Another great read from Victoria James. I loved all the characters and the crazy one eyed dog. Truly this one got my interest from the first page and held it tight. The struggle between desire and trying to do the right thing that both Allie and Ethan deal with captivated my heart. Ethan is such a good guy but revenge is a powerful motivator what will win in the end, his need for revenge or Allie?? The writing style and the character development of this author is one I love. I really enjoyed the character tie in from her other books as well. This is one I highly recommend!
I fell in love with this story. They're both scarred from things from their past, but such good hearted people. Allison Barrington is not having a good week. First she finds out the shelter where she's a social worker is going to have to close , and now her apartment building has caught on fire and she, her little sister and their dog are homeless. She goes to the the only guy she can trust to help her. Ethan Dane has been trying to get Allison to date him since he met her at her best friend's wedding to his best friend. She thinks he's just a playboy and has kept it friends only. He moves her gang into his condo as soon as he hears what happened, not caring about anything but helping them. As they spend time together, she starts to see what a genuinely good guy he is, Will she be able to resist letting herself fall for him?
The past few weeks I have spent becoming acquainted with quite a few new authors. One of the stand outs has been Victoria James. I was introduced to her work by a friend and had to catch up on what I had been missing. The central theme in her works is the power love has to influence so many areas in life. She writes about characters that are easy to relate to and that is what makes her stories such precious finds. I received an ARC of The Billionaire's Christmas Proposal. I love how she creates family bonds through enduring friendships and helping hands. With her stories you become so invested in the stories that it is hard to leave when they end.
The H and h were both strong characters shaped, or better said, emotionally mis shaped by their childhoods. They made mistakes, but realized where they went wrong and figured out what they had to do to make things right for each other. The supporting characters were realistic, even when not likeable. The HEA tied up loose ends without pushing or rushing. Altogether a very satisfying story.