Mini-reviews: The Billionaire’s Secret duology by Ivy Layne

The Billionaire’s Secret Heart by Ivy Layne
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Links: AmazonGoodreads
Publication Date: June 6, 2016
Source: I think this came from someone’s mailing list?

It was the worst blind date in the history of the universe, until Holden Winters swept in and rescued me.
Are you kidding? Holden Winters?
A scion of the notorious Winters family, Holden is gorgeous, wealthy, and brilliant. He dates socialites and pop stars, not computer science grad students more comfortable in a hoodie than couture.
Our night together was a fantasy…and a huge mistake.

I don’t usually steal other guy’s dates. I don’t have to. A look is all it takes, and the women fall over themselves to get to me. Then I saw Josephine, sitting with her dweeb of a date, just waiting for a man who could appreciate her lush curves and sharp brain. When she ghosted on me, I shouldn’t have been so shocked, but women never walk away from me. Josephine thought she could call the shots – she didn’t realize that a Winters man always gets what he wants. And I wanted her.

The Billionaire’s Secret Heart is a standalone romance with a happy ending. It’s the first in the Scandals of the Bad Boy Billionaires series, and introduces the notorious men of the Winters family. You can read it on its own, but you might want to read the others once you get a taste of the Winters men.

Here we are again, hate-reading another book from the dark, dusty corners of my Kindle. Someone remind me why I do this reading challenge. I would prefer to just forget that these books exist.

This one doesn’t actually start off that badly. I mean, from the beginning, I really disliked that the hero is named Holden. I think that name should be reserved for one character only and not used on an asshole billionaire, but let me just set that aside. The beginning is actually really funny! I love reading about terrible, cringy dates. It makes me feel better about my teenage years. And an awkward, cringy date is how this book opens.

It all falls apart around 5% when the author not only forgets how she spells her own character’s name (is it Stuart or Stewart?) but also then forgets that said character even existed. Holden whisks Josephine away to his private penthouse, or something, and they have a lot of sex. A lot of sex. So much.

Then there’s just drama. One thing after another. There’s a weird love triangle, some instalove thrown in for good measure, and a “you’re not like any other girl I’ve dated,” which is, admittedly, a step up from “you’re not like other girls.” Josephine borrows her friend’s dress (fine, nice, okay) and also borrows her friend’s bra (not fine, not okay, just weird). At one point, Holden says, “Take off your bra” even though Josephine’s “full breasts spilled free” not even three paragraphs earlier. This book was terrible, but at least they used condoms every time.

Some quotes:

  • “I’m a scientist and I rarely exaggerate.”
  • “I jumped out of the bed like a scalded cat.”
  • “I was guessing he had a big cock. Exact inches didn’t matter.”
  • “I hadn’t just slept with him. I’d fucked him three times.”

#killingthetbr: 1 year on shelf

The Billionaire’s Secret Love by Ivy Layne
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
Links: AmazonGoodreads
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Source: I think this came from someone’s mailing list?

I tried to say no. I did more than try, I flat out turned him down. Repeatedly. But Tate Winters doesn’t take no for an answer. He’s smart, hot, and he knows how to get to me. Before I can stop myself, I’m falling for him. But Tate doesn’t know my secrets. He doesn’t understand that we can’t be together, no matter how much we both want it.

I like things easy, at least when it comes to women. I’m Tate Winters – I’ve never had to work for a female in my life. Emily is worth the effort, I know she is. She’s beautiful, brilliant, and real. The only woman I’ve ever known who can match me. She keeps running from me, but I won’t let her get away. Emily Winslow is mine. I just have to prove it to her.

The Billionaire’s Secret Love is a standalone romance with a happy ending. It’s the second book in the Scandals of the Bad Boy Billionaires series, and reveals more about the notorious men of the Winters family. You can read it on its own, everything you need to know from the first book is explained, but you might want to read the others once you get a taste of the Winters men.

So, I was a little nervous to read this installment of the series because

  1. It’s not like the first book was good (at all), and
  2. Let’s be honest, Tate sounds like a rapist from the synopsis.

And, yeah, turns out that this book is even worse than I thought it would be. I mean, what can I even say? Tate tells us what a gentleman he is and then promptly starts stalking Emily. Emily turns him down, so he asks if she’s a lesbian, because that’s the only reason he can come up with that a woman wouldn’t be falling all over herself to date him. At one point, Tate tries to “trap her without making her feel trapped.” There’s also a tense change mid-sex scene, so that’s great. Oh, and a very brief side plot about murder and paparazzi and crime scene photos that’s promptly forgotten because of the “stupendous” sex that Tate and Emily have.

This book is only 99 pages but it was a struggle to finish.

Some quotes:

  • “At the memory of Tate’s strong hand on my arm as we crossed the street, I shivered again, my nipples tightening, an ache rising between my legs.”
  • “My cock wasn’t exactly small, or even average.”
  • “When his hand slid under my shirt, I broke the kiss and said, ‘I made you a picnic.'”

#killingthetbr: 1 year on shelf

Have you read this duology? Let’s talk in the comments!

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20 thoughts on “Mini-reviews: The Billionaire’s Secret duology by Ivy Layne

  1. SHA @ Book Princess Reviews says:

    I think I can happily say I have not read this duology, but your reviews left me cracking up (minus the obvious creepiness of the men). The thing about bad books is sometimes they lead to good reviews? Although that should not be the goal… Points to you for knocking these off your TBR!

    Liked by 1 person

      • SHA @ Book Princess Reviews says:

        You really got me in the groove to knock off some TBRs, I have to be honest. And I mean, nothing on ny list can be as annoying as these, right? There is something cathartic about a snarky review, I hope it’s not just me. Maybe not for an author to see, but I wouldn’t give snark if I didn’t find it was reeaally needed.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sara @ The Bibliophagist says:

        It’s definitely not just you! I feel so much better after writing a snarky review. I usually try to be nice in my reviews, but sometimes I just can’t. I hope the authors don’t read my snarky reviews, because I would feel kind of bad. 😬😬


      • SHA @ Book Princess Reviews says:

        I mean, unless I expressly tag an author because my review was glowing and I want them to know their book is a gracious gift, I don’t usually want them seeing what I write either. Reviews are for readers, not authors. (Although how can authors improve… but I don’t want to offend… I don’t know!)

        Liked by 1 person

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