Going to be totally honest here, I saw that title and was equal parts confused and excited. Excited because hey that title screams Harlequin-esque romance written by one of my fave authors and confused because well, I was dubious as to how the plot was going to play out based on the synopsis. I’m a judgey person. It happens.
And as it turns out, I’m quite conflicted about how I feel about The Billionaire and the Virgin. Why? Well, let’s start off about the things I loved.
I should never have doubted Jessica Clare’s ability to make me like something. I was dubious, even worried. Was this going to be super unbelievable (but totally enjoyable) book about a billionaire and a virgin, I asked myself because I’ve read plenty of those lately. Was it enjoyable? Yes it was. I found Marjorie Ivarsson to be a well-written heroine who was genuinely kind and was just all sorts of adorable. And I also liked how her “flaw” was that she was past 6 feet tall because I don’t think there’s been a lot of books about genuinely taller ladies. I had to pause at that fact because I’m five feet tall and just wow. (After I read the book, I asked myself if Marjorie enjoyed volleyball haha.) But I digress. I also enjoyed her interactions with Bronte and the rest of the ladies from the Bad Boy Billionaires series. And Audrey! I’ll have to reread her book. And Cade! I can’t wait for his.
I keep getting distracted, but one of the things I also loved was how funny and charming The Billionaire and the Virgin was. Those scenes with Marjorie’s geriatric friends (and their tips on how to attract men) were precious. I was on the fence about the whole “she hangs out with old folks because she understands them better” thing but whatever, I believed it and really, I thought it was sweet of her to ask Dewey to be her date to the rehearsal dinner. Marjorie just had my heart from the start of the book and I just grew to love her more. I think the best part was that while she might be sheltered and might have very questionable advice thrown her way, I really liked that she had her own principles and ideals and stood by it.
Which is what made her relationship with Rob Cannon work, I guess. I mean, a guy who owns a show called “Tits or GTFO” (side story: I’m pretty sure I’ve grown up with this phrase, being on the internet and all. I remember when this was a new thing and all that) is just bound to have some questionable morals, right? And yes, he definitely did. He’s pretty aware that he takes advantage of women with low self esteem to get good ratings. How he views that action does change throughout the book. This is also the part that I was really concerned about. And again, Jessica Clare weaves some magic because, even with insta-love/lust, I adored Rob and Marjorie together.
I thought the development of their relationship was pretty solid, even though they’ve only known each other for what, less than a week? It certainly helped that there were certain catastrophes along the way to deepen the bond. (They were hilarious.)
It’s just that, I really wish Rob’s “redemption” was more self-realized, y’know. Here we have a guy who starts out as very misogynistic and we end with a guy who makes himself over to be with Marjorie. And what he did was super commendable. I wish more people would do that really… but I kind of wish he realized it all for himself rather than having Marjorie tell him that he preys and takes advantage of people, women especially. I just don’t think I bought his whole 180 because it felt like he was doing it to be with Marjorie and because he felt unworthy of her not because he’s realized that what he’s been doing to earn money is horrible. Am I making sense? TLDR is that I just had a hard time believing Rob’s redemption or whatever it’s called.
And it’s been bothering me for days.
I guess it would’ve been nice if there were at least a paragraph dedicated to Rob realizing things maybe?
Am I asking for too much?
But I did like The Billionaire and the Virgin quite a lot despite my conflicting feelings about the ending. It made a very busy and stressful work week feel a little bit lighter because Jessica Clare writes really wonderful, steamy and hilarious novels and I can’t wait for her next books. I don’t know why I even doubt Jessica Clare honestly. I just like everything she writes. (And yes, it is very doable to be critical of things you like.)
Still though, 4 stars because it was enjoyable and funny and pretty hot, and 4 stars because I didn’t quite buy Rob’s redemption. A week or so later, it still bothers me.