Banned Review: How to Bang a Billionaire (Arden St. Ives #1) by Alexis Hall

Rules are made to be broken …

If England had yearbooks, I’d probably be “Arden St. Ives: Man Least Likely to Set the World on Fire.” So far, I haven’t. I’ve no idea what I’m doing at Oxford, no idea what I’m going to do next and, until a week ago, I had no idea who Caspian Hart was. Turns out, he’s brilliant, beautiful . . . oh yeah, and a billionaire.

It’s impossible not to be captivated by someone like that. But Caspian Hart makes his own rules. And he has a lot of them. About when I can be with him. What I can do with him. And when he’ll be through with me.

I’m good at doing what I’m told in the bedroom. The rest of the time, not so much. And now that Caspian’s shown me glimpses of the man behind the billionaire I know it’s him I want. Not his wealth, not his status. Him. Except that might be the one thing he doesn’t have the power to give me.

The Meta Details:
Source: Netgalley
Format: eBook
Length: 385 pages
Publication Date: 04-16-2017
Genre: Romance, Contemporary Romance, BDSM, mm romance
Content Level: Adult
Pearl Clutching Content: contractual sex
Trigger Warnings: hints of previous abuse, under-negotiated kink, drug use
Featuring: reluctant doms, sparkle pan twink unicorns, snarky assistants, crazy families, and best friends who are heteroflexible where Arden and Caspian are concerned.

Recommended for fans of: fifty shades, BDSM, mm romance, kink, or any combination of the previously mentioned
Rating: Must Read

Ginny Lurcock’s Thoughts: The prologue is told from someone named Nathaniel’s POV, leaving me to wonder if I had read the blurb for the wrong book… again… I surfed on over to Goodreads to confirm that I had not and snuck a peak at the reviews. Normally I don’t before I read an ARC so I go in with a blank slate, but I’m glad I did here.

The first review that came up for me stated, in bold, it’s like 50 Shades but gay and well written. With that thought in my mind, I was totally onboard with what was promised to me.

But that bold text undersold it.

While we do have a tortured and repressed billionaire meeting and then offering a scandalous proposal to a recent college graduate with no marketable skills, that’s where the similarities end.

Instead, we get in-depth and complex characters. We get a sadomasochistic dom who’s so afraid of desires that he pushes everyone away. (I just want to give Caspian all the hugs.) We get a flamboyant pan twink boy who loves no strings attached sex until the one man we can’t have. (Love that trope.) One who is so far out of his comfort zone when he ends up as a kept man that he makes the most adorable faux pas.

When the assistant hangs up on him? Classic.

The book has an amazing flow. It’s well crafted. The prose is simple and elegant. The characters are honed to perfection. I know mentioned that earlier, but it bears repeating. Because it’s not just the two main players who got the author’s attention, but everyone in the book. All of the characters are fleshed out and feel unique and real.

Even the assistant.

(In case you couldn’t tell, I really like that put-upon assistant. If I didn’t like Caspian so much I’d love for Justin and Arden to run off together into the sunset…)

“How to Bang a Billionaire” is just an all around great book and is now the standard to which I will hold all other “indecent proposal” books and tied with “Beyond Shame” for “tortured by my secret desires” books.

Plus it’s got a fucking awesome name…

A complimentary copy of this book was provided in exchange for a fair and honest review via Netgalley.

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