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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Memo: The Billionaire’s Proposal by Melissa McClone

Memo: The Billionaire’s Proposal by Melissa McClone
Publisher: Harlequin
genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (192 pgs)
Heat Level: sensual
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Note to self: when stepping back into your billionaire boss's world:

· Remember why you turned him down all those years ago: because infamous playboys like Drake Llewelyn are trouble with a capital T!

· He plays to win. You can't afford to take a gamble on love and lose, no matter how much he says he's changed.

· So arm yourself against his movie-star looks, devastating charm, intoxicating smile… Oh, no! This is going to be so much harder than I thought!

What is a woman to do when she faces falling in love all over again with a man she was barely strong enough to walk away from the first time? By getting him to fall in love with her too, that’s how.

That pretty much sums up the heroine’s dilemma in this book but it’s a pretty big one. Chaney is a career minded woman who started out interning for Drake’s company. She figured out that he wasn’t in the running for what she needed in a relationship and I liked how she kept her wits about her during those initial scenes. It also was a great foreshadowing about Drake’s character. Color the man confused.

Fast forward a few years and Memo: The Billionaire’s Proposal takes off with both Chaney and Drake older but not entirely wiser. Chaney has a family conflict that not only plays a part in bringing the couple closer but it dogs the heroine’s sense of self through a good portion of the story. I got glimpses and teases here and there until the author came right out and explained to Drake (and me!) about the reasons for that internal conflict, and I believe it made Chaney’s character pretty remarkable because of what she’s done with her life despite it all.

Chaney is a dreamer yet is pragmatic enough to deal with reality face to face without losing hope for her secret wishes. I liked her loyalty and the strong friendships she develops because of the kind of personality she has. There is a lot to like about her character and I agreed with her that a happily ever after is not something to give up on.

Drake on the other hand is a self-made man who has substituted helping others as a defense against the broken dreams from his youth. He truly is a dear man but he’s totally delusional when it comes to relationships. What I really enjoyed about Drake’s character is his propensity to rationalize everything to fit his structured ideals.

Slowly but surely, Chaney got under his skin and he found himself doing things that truly were romantic, considerate and special and yet he couldn’t face the real reason why he was going to the lengths he was. I could see it and I kept shaking my head at him. For all his money he was a scared little boy who was afraid to want things for himself. If that isn’t a great emotional hook to care for a character, I don’t know what is.

Secondary characters were not on stage to a huge degree but the author created some wonderful counterpoints to Drake and Chaney’s characters. They contributed to the movement of the plot and showcased the strengths and even the weaknesses of the hero and heroine.

The one thing I feel compelled to mention is that a reader can expect to see some editing errors peppering this story. Most didn’t bother me too much but there was a gender mix up in one paragraph that caused me to blink in surprise. After that, things got much smoother.

Memo: The Billionaire’s Proposal is an adorable story that is perfect for those times when all a reader wants is pure romance, something that reaches the emotions and dreams inside each of us. The growing love between Chaney, ever hopeful, and Drake, the reluctant, is a delight. I enjoyed their push-pull dialogue and the passionate kisses that take each of them by surprise. I liked the dreamy way Chaney views the hero when he is in his suit of armor and I thought it funny when Drake saw the heroine in the ocean for the first time. I knew he was a goner right then.

This book kept my interest and provided a very sweet and satisfying happily ever after and I’m very glad I read Memo: The Billionaire’s Proposal.