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Review: The Billionaire’s Pursuit Of Love – Jennifer St George

on January 17, 2014

Billionaire's Pursuit of LoveThe Billionaire’s Pursuit Of Love
Jennifer St George
Destiny Romance
2014, eBook
Copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley

Sarah Walker promised her mother she’d always take care of her orangutan wildlife sanctuary in Brunei. And for the last 10 years, she has done exactly that, living in borderline primitive conditions and devoting her life to helping the primates. But then the funding from their primary donator dries up and Sarah is forced to head to London to make an appointment with the company and beg them for more money for the sanctuary.

When she gets there she finds herself given the brush off….until Blake Huntingdon-Fiennes walks in. Ten years ago, Sarah knew him as simply Blake when they didn’t bother to exchange things like last names. For a week they had a fling until he walked away and Sarah suddenly realises the danger of what she’s doing, being in London. If Blake finds out her secret she stands to lose far more than just the sanctuary.

Blake Huntingdon-Fiennes is now the CEO of the company Sarah is trying to beg money out of and he’s stunned when he finds the woman he’s searched for the last 10 years standing in his boardroom. And almost immediately he sees how he can play this to his advantage. If Sarah wants her funding so badly then she’s going to have to endure his company…and treat him to an explanation of why she ignored his letter and lied to him all those years ago.

But if Blake thinks Sarah lied then….he’s going to be very unhappy when he realises what she’s been lying about by omission now…

The Billionaire’s Pursuit Of Love is Jennifer St George’s fourth novel for Destiny Romance, Penguin Australia’s digital imprint. I’ve read two of her other three releases so I grabbed this one as something light to read on a very, very hot and uncomfortable Melbourne day. And for the most part it delivered precisely what I was looking for.

I found myself quite liking the character of Sarah and sympathising with her and her situation. Having to go to someone and beg for money is never ideal and finding out the guy in charge is someone you slept with almost ten years ago can only make it more uncomfortable…especially when you’re hiding something and they also want to make you work for the money. He offers Sarah ten thousand pounds but she has to go out for dinner with him and if she mentions the sanctuary, he fines her a thousand pounds each time. Sarah is bewildered about this but both of them are laboring under some misconceptions about what happened at the conclusion of their affair a decade ago and it does seem like Blake wants to punish her a little at times.

Blake is quite an Alpha which I admit that I can struggle to deal with. I always tend to put myself in the place of the heroine as a matter of curiosity and I find it difficult to relax into a story when the hero blackmails or bullies the heroine, both of which occur in this story. In some cases, I can understand Blake’s anger and frustration – Sarah deliberately kept something important from him that he deserved to know. However, she also had no idea who he really was and didn’t even know his last time and tracking him down would’ve probably been a task quite beyond her, especially from the sanctuary. So in some ways, I believe that he was right to take action however I believe the action he actually took was wrong.

Forcing someone to stay in another country by threats of intimidation and legal blackmail never sits well with me. He also deliberately undermined Sarah in many ways, ignored her wishes, used bribery and splashed his money around in order to impress someone who didn’t know any better and put a private investigator on her with the intent of possibly spreading her entire life and anything that might’ve happened to her across the tabloids. The fight was grossly one sided and unfair and it made me mad. I was also mad at Sarah because she put herself in that position by not going to London alone and also by pretty much capitulating on almost every single point after about five seconds. Also, I’m not sure how you can be sexually attracted to someone who is constantly holding something over your head, but she seemed to manage it.

When Blake wasn’t being rich and entitled, he was surprisingly likable and I only wish that it had happened more often. As St George peeled back the layers of his personality to get the person underneath, it was incredibly easy to see that Blake and Sarah had a lot in common, including a feeling of crushing duty and a desire to please people that were no longer around. The sanctuary was Sarah’s mother’s baby, her passion and her attitude towards men had coloured Sarah’s greatly over the years. Likewise, Blake felt an obligation when he inherited the family company in a terrible state after the death of his father and he became obsessed with rescuing it and turning it around, never stopping, not even long after he’d achieved his goal. He didn’t see until Sarah came back into his life, how much else he had sacrificed in order to do this.

Fortunately Sarah grew a bit of a backbone towards the end and she forced Blake to see that what he’d done was wrong and she made him realise that it wasn’t right for him to expect her to give up her entire life because he wanted her to not because she was ready to.

6/10

Book #13 of 2014

AWWW2014

 

This is the 5th book read and reviewed for the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2014

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