Taken By Him – Book Review
It must be fun to be a billionaire. The world is your playground, you’re the master of your own time, living paycheck-to-paycheck is something you’ve never heard of. You can be rude and cocky and arrogant and still people will throw themselves at your well-shod feet, begging, whimpering to do your bidding. And if you’re hot and sexy and a 30-something to boot . . . well, you really do have it all.
That’s essentially the overall premise in author Red Garnier’s The Billionaire’s Club series. As the tagline says, the Billionaire’s Club is for “men who are used to having whatever they want, whenever they want it.” There you have it. Recently I read the second book in the series, Taken By Him.
It’s the story of Luke Preston, mega-sexy, mega-rich billionaire, whose sole aim in life, apparently, is to have sex with as many women as humanly possible. Luke’s also a model, an underwear model, so his nearly nude bod is on billboards and in magazines for women everywhere to drool over with helpless longing. Everyone knows Luke Preston, of the famously rich Preston clan. Everyone, that is, except for Peyton Lane, whose high-pressure financial job keeps her nose buried in numbers and out of People magazine, so she has no idea who Luke is. The two meet at a resort in Mexico where Luke has gone to escape a would-be murderer still on the loose, and Peyton has gone to escape the intense grind of her job.
Peyton first spots Luke on the beach, his six pack on glorious display as he runs back and forth catching a ball he’s tossing with a little boy (awwww . . .). The ball goes flying, Luke goes running after it, and practically runs smack into Peyton. Sparks fly at once and lickety split they end up having an intense 36-hour f**k fest, which is all the time Peyton has left before she’s due to return home. It’s established right from the beginning that this is a no-strings attached, just lots of scorching sex-type deal. They don’t know where each other lives, what they do, nor do they want to. It’s just sex, and lots of it. Luke, in fact, doesn’t even give Peyton his real last name but tells her that he’s Luke Alexander.
The sex scenes in the book were, I thought, pretty good. Luke is incredibly cocky, but author Garnier tones him down just enough for his assertiveness to be sexy and not jerky. He’s as turned on by Peyton as she is by him, and their sexual chemistry totally works. But alas, as it goes with all good things, this, too, comes to an end and Luke and Peyton have to bid each other so long with the assumption that they’ll never see each other again. Of course, despite the agreement that the weekend affair is just about sex, feelings for each other have inevitably crept in. Neither confesses to the other about it, however, and off their separate ways they go.
Turns out, they both live in Chicago! Who knew? They reconnect at a swanky, orgiastic party that Luke throws for himself in an effort to forget Peyton, except that the lady herself turns up at his party. Sparks fly, hot sex ensues, and Luke and Peyton realize they’re the only one for each other.
There are several things to like about this book. As mentioned above, I thought the sex scenes were strong and the chemistry between the couple works. The character of Peyton Lane is fairly inexperienced in the bedroom and it balances nicely against Luke’s dominant sexual prowess. This line from the book sums him up: “Plus everyone knew he was a cad – clearly, the heart in his chest was just for pumping blood to his cock.”
I have to admit I had a few issues with the story, namely with the heroine, Peyton. When she and Luke meet in the beginning of the story, she’s the one who actually suggests they have an affair, and she makes it very clear that there are no strings attached; it’s just about the sex. That’s why, when she meets up with Luke back in Chicago, I had a hard time buying her fury over finding out the truth about Luke: his modeling career, his name, and especially his wealth. He didn’t tell her everything, but that’s what they agreed to. Her having a fit about it later on doesn’t quite ring true and makes her look like a hypocrite.
I also would have liked to have been immersed a little bit more in Luke’s billionaire-ness. I mean, let me see the lap of luxury he lives in. Show me the wealth! Except for a few references, like him renting a large room at the beach resort and having a big apartment, there’s not much description of his glamorous lifestyle. He’s also pretty tough to like in the beginning. I mean, cocky male is one thing, but Luke comes across like little more than an arrogant a**hole. On page one we see his thoughts about why he hates hospitals: “The fact that he did not rule here, as lord and master, but his doctors did.” Lord and master?! O-kay.
However, aside from the bobbles, I’d recommend the book. It’s a quick fun read that will keep you engaged throughout. Second in the series but you don’t have to read the books in order. Enjoy!