Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Romancing the Billionaire, Part 3

Romance stories involving billionaires involve a certain level of suspension of belief; seriously, how many billionaires date restaurant servers? Here are two stories that push suspension of belief right to the edge – and somehow manage to not go beyond it.

In The Billionaire’s Secret by Lorana Hoopes, Maxwell Banks is almost the stereotyped image of the young billionaire. Not yet 30, he spends most of his free time pursuing women who are easy to pick up for one-night stands. He’s just brought one of these women home when his doorbell rings, and the girl he truly loved three years before hands him the three-year-old daughter he didn’t know he had. The young woman is off to New York for cancer treatments, and the prognosis is not good. 

Her best friend, Alyssa Miller, has agreed to help. Max knows nothing about children or being a father, and Alyssa agrees to teach him, with the help of an older nanny. For a time, Max keeps slipping back into his dissolute lifestyle, but things slowly change. And Max finds himself falling in love with his daughter and Alyssa, in spite of her Christian faith.  

Hoopes is the author of several romance novels and a collection of stories. She’s also published three children’s novels in The Wishing Stone series. She’s an English teacher and lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family. 

The Billionaire’s Secret (originally published as A Father’s Love) is a story of unexpected fatherhood, finding love, and coming to faith.

In Gambling with the Billionaire by Agnes Canestri, Bianca Biagi is the marketing director for a small-town Italian restaurant. She has to meet with Ryan O’Connor, a billionaire who is buying the restaurant to turn right around and sell it to a chain. Bianca is proud of what she’s down for The Sapphire, with its emphasis on old, romantic 1950s music and wonderful food.

Ryan is returning to his hometown, where his father still lives, to complete the sales transaction and return to Philadelphia. He’s currently dating an aspiring actress, although “dating” is too strong a word. He’s going out with her; she’s using him to further her career. And then he meets Bianca.

Bianca and Ryan feel an immediate attraction for each other, but both keep telling themselves this is about business and nothing else. Except the “nothing else” keeps intruding. Bianca finds a way to keep Ryan in town, and soon he’s taking her paragliding and introducing her to his father. But the sale os the restaurant is a problem.

Canestri is the author of seven romance novels, five of which (including Gambling with the Billionaire) are part of the Gems of Love series. A native of Hungary, she’s moved several times with her husband and family and currently lives in Germany.

Gambling with the Billionaire gets a little heavy on the oldies music (especially at the end), but it’s an easy-to-read, lighthearted romance about love overcoming business.


Top photograph by Danilo Capece via Unsplash. Used with permission.

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