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Series? Yes Name of Series: Billionaires and Babies Number of Series: 76 Pages: 216
Time read: 2 days
Fruit Count: 1 (thank goodness)
Steamy Factor: 3/5
Do The Dirty Count: 3
Bonus points: +10 for not using the word “nub” or “pebbled” anywhere, those words are basically the smut equivalent of “moist” in cringe factor for me. +10 for culture references, they made a really nice touch and showed that the author cared about things being accurately represented. +5 for an adorable baby and another +5 for the guy on the cover actually being handsome. +50 for the dedication for this line, “Tequila is the devil. Even the good stuff.” Truer words have never been spoken. +5 for military reference via Kal’s dad’s life and the impact it had on Kal and his traditions. +5 for making putting on a condom not terrible and safe sex is important to represent +10 for a happily ever after ending.
Negative points: -2 for redundant statements about how rich Kal is in the beginning. -5 for redundant statements about how they come from different backgrounds (WE GOT IT THE FIRST 3 TIMES). -5 for a pregnant lady saying she can’t eat sushi, because yes you really can.
Out of the first three books that I bought to start off this Year of Smut challenge, this is the one I was the most wary of, I was skeptical about how good a romance centered around a billionaire and a baby could be. I straight up cackled when I saw it in the store and had to snag it to add to my weird little book challenge, it could either be awesome or completely absurd.
On the second page of chapter 1, I was worried. Already the main leading man Kal was using fruit to describe women. He arrogantly thinks that all of the women in Hawaii are ripe fruit waiting for him to pick them. Seriously? This is where I started to eye roll and my expectations plummeted. But I soldiered on and thankfully it got better.
The gist is that Kal and Lana are best friends. Kal is a real love ’em and leave ’em type and refuses to settle down, while Lana has terrible taste in men but she also has a dream of getting a white picket fence style life one day. Kal comes from a family that made their fortune in the hotel business while Lana comes from a family of users (alcohol for the father, drugs for the sister) but she built herself a solid career as a choreographer at the hotel owned by Kal. As you can see, they’re exact opposites with a big dose of sexual tension floating between them that they mask with friendship. So where does the baby come in? Lana’s sister has a 6 month old daughter that is about to be shuffled into foster care while her mother goes to rehab. Obviously the ONLY solution is for Kal and Lana to get married so that they can get custody. I’m pretty sure that’s not how this works, but you wouldn’t have a story without it, so I’ll roll with it.
I will give the book credit that outside of that little plot hole (seriously, I don’t think that getting married is the only way that Lana would be able to petition for custody, but the book does present that the judge has a definite bias, so ehhhhh it pushes slightly into wildest scenario plausibility), it’s refreshingly real. Besides the whole billionaire thing, I could relate to the struggles of sudden parenthood and marriage.
I laughed out loud when the characters went into it going “OH NO WE CAN TOTES JUST BE PLATONIC” and then they slept together halfway through the book. That whole platonic thing shifts to “OH NO, WE CAN TOTES STAY CAUSAL.” That’s where realism doesn’t touch in the story, any two people with half a brain cell rolling around in their noggin would know that 1) casual rarely ever stays casual even between strangers or semi acquaintances and 2) sleeping with your best friend that you’re in love with isn’t going to suddenly cure you of your romance affliction. I feel like when they went into it, they were basically holding their hand above a flame ready to touch it saying “Nah dude, what’s the worst that can happen? There’s no way that this could ever go wrong!”
Outside of that though, Lana seems like my kind of girl. She doesn’t put up with Kal’s crap. She’s independent and strong. She has made the best out of a life that hasn’t been kind to her. Even Kal is ok once you get past his starting arrogance. His reasoning for wanting to stay unattached is explained and understandable. I like that both characters have their lives together after being through everything they have.
Of course the book follows a pretty standard formula, so you know it will end with a happy ending of Kal realizing what he has lost after Lana storms out. Lana’s sister even pulls her life together and gets her daughter back (I was honestly pretty surprised by that bit). There were quite a few times where I wanted to reach through the book and slap the both in the hopes that some sense would fly through their ears and embed itself into their brains… but it all works out in the end.
It’s sweet, it’s cheesy, it was surprisingly ok. It definitely wasn’t a chore to read.
QUOTES WORTH MENTIONING:
“Even if she was an exotic dancer that lived in a van down by the river…” -Kal (Please tell me this was an intentional reference to SNL) “He didn’t like any of this and he certainly didn’t like this judge. Who was he to impose his value system on others?” (PREACH) “Actually they asked for permission to slip you a sedative in your morning coffee, so I thought me coming out here was a better solution.” (I’m sure we have all wanted to tranq a boss before, let’s be honest.) “Kal regrettable, had to leave her to put in a few hours at the hotel, but when he came home, the house wasn’t on fire, the baby was alive and Lana wasn’t drinking hard liquor, so it was a success in his book.” (This is how every day of parenting is. I chuckled.)