ARC Review: Dirty Money by Jessica Clare

Release Date: January 17, 2017
Series: Roughneck Billionaires #1
Rating: 3.75/5
Voluntarily reviewed an ARC from the publisher.
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Boone Price and his brothers know oil; at least, the dirty, backbreaking side of working an oil rig. But when their scrubby, worthless hunting land turns out to be sitting on top of one of the biggest oil wells in North America, they go from the rig to the boardroom and end up billionaires practically overnight.

Now with enough money to do whatever he wants, Boone is developing a taste for fine things. And the finest thing he’s ever seen is Ivy Smithfield, local realtor. Boone’s determined to buy her affection and show the world that he’s more than just a dirty fool with a bit of money. Ivy’s classy and beautiful – she’ll make the perfect trophy wife. The fact that she’s sexy and funny is just a bonus.

There’s one tiny problem – Ivy’s as dirt poor as Boone is. Her carefully crafted veneer of luxury? All an act to promote her business. What’s Boone going to do when he finds out the woman he’s falling for is, well, in his league?

Dirty Money is the first in a new series by Jessica Clare featuring billionaires who actually do the real dirty work and it is unconventional and filthy in every way. My new favorite Jessica Clare book.

The strongest point of this book was its different take on billionaire (and this author knows how to write them seeing all her books under the name are about them). I’m not really sure if I’d encountered reading a billionaire who had an aversion to suits and board meetings. And that was Boone Price.

Boone Price hit jackpot digging up oil when he was young. He’s a self-made billionaire, so sure of himself, was definitely rough around all the edges and knew the value of hard work literally and doesn’t take crap from anyone. But a nerve was hit when a potential business partner made a mistake of judging him by his grimy looks. And he was about to change that–his image for the suited folks to respect him–by purchasing a grandiose home that speaks money and a certain classy arm candy that would sell that house to him.

That arm candy had the name of Ivy Smithfield. Ivy who’s struggling to make ends meet because her bosses kept on stealing her clients and wouldn’t do a thing about it because they’re her bosses. But she wouldn’t let it show because she needed the job for her sister who’s going to college. Thus, looking the part of a real classy woman to attract rich clients.

It wasn’t love at first read at all with Boone for me because of his attitude. He was very cocky and though I liked my men to be on that side, Boone was totally in a different league. His biggest issue was people not respecting him. He wanted them to tremble at his feet even when he didn’t act and look like a respectable man. And he wouldn’t dare change a thing about himself just to accommodate their needs. If anything, he’d do something to magnify his status like buying a business he actually hated then literally burning it to the ground for everyone else to see. While it was something that kind of bothered me in the beginning, I figured it got a positive side towards the end of the book. He’s 100% alpha and and I liked his dirty thoughts about Ivy (HAHA). He was such a strong character but he’s got a vulnerable side on him, too, with regards to his girl.

Ivy, on the other hand, was not Ivy in a weird way. Yes, I got why she had to change and keep the image, but her characterization was rocky. On the outside, she appeared to be this confident girl who’s positive she can conquer the world because of her determination (which was admirable, really) but when it came to her bosses, she just folded out. And Boone noticed that, too. It was like she’s losing not only clients but also her backbone because of them and she didn’t do anything about it (which Boone hated). She’s the kind of woman who thought she could do everything without the help of other people, including the ones who love her. Even her sister, whom she let to be in the dark so she could carry the burden of the world alone because she felt like it’s her responsibility, felt bad for her doing such thing. I loved the carefree Ivy when she was with Boone though. The take-charge Ivy who knew how to bring Boone to his knees. She’s a pretty decent character to me and I got why she did what she did.

The chemistry of the characters though it was under insta-lust was intense and totally believable. The pacing of events generally was fine, so were the sexy scenes that the author made sure were flawless, passionate and erotic. The pretense surely added to the looming tension throughout the story though the pretense itself was kind of dragged out. There were some parts that were a little over the top for my taste but overall, it was still good, not annoying, and I’m already looking forward to the next book in the series.

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