Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Book CoverLynneC’s review of  Restless Billionaire (Bad Blood Collection, Book 3) by Abby Green
Contemporary Romance published by Mills and Boon Modern Romance 20 May 11

Sigh. Another doormat heroine, and I had such hopes for Aneesa.

Aneesa meets Sebastian when he attends her wedding, because he owns the hotel where it’s taking place. Aneesa is to marry a fellow Bollywood star, but she knows he’s gay. She backs out, almost literally, and Sebastian gives her the wedding night she deserves. I found all this charming, hot, and different enough to be really interesting, but after the first section, the book takes a backward step.

Aneesa discovers she’s pregnant. Her career finished, she finds Sebastian in London, and he offers her a room and support for the baby. Of course they become lovers.

Aneesa was a Bollywood star. I didn’t find it believable that her career could be ruined and she’d lose all her money like that. Bollywood stars have faced worse, and if she couldn’t take better care of her money, she’s an idiot or had the worst agent ever. She could do other things that cash in on her fame. Bollywood stars, like their Hollywood counterparts, endorse make-up, jewelry, and other luxury goods. She could have done that.

And there’s a cultural error – in one scene she wears a knee-length dress, although at the beginning she’s going through the big Hindu wedding ceremony. She wouldn’t show her uncovered legs if she’s Hindu. That shook me somewhat. Even if she isn’t a strict Hindu, cultural norms would have made her doubtful about showing her legs in public, probably for the first time ever.

She sticks with the hero, even though he treats her really badly. It is part of the Indian culture to obey your husband, but she’d already eliminated that by living with him outside wedlock.

Sebastian decides he’ll date and treat Aneesa as a friend only. So he puts her up at his London apartment while going on dates. Sheesh. It’s meant to prove to him that he can’t do it anymore, that he’s more involved with Aneesa than he cares to admit, but what a guy. I’d have accepted it more if the date had somehow been set up before Aneesa’s arrival, so he had no choice but to go on it. Not that he’s trying to break away from the inevitable attraction between them or that he’s afraid to get so involved. If there’d been a really great grovel scene, that might have helped, but I didn’t read one in this book.

Even when he and Aneesa sleep together, Sebastian decides it’s a casual thing. Sure, he’ll support the kid, but he doesn’t want anything long term. Because of his past, you understand, the same past he shares with his siblings. No. Just no. Whatever your past, it doesn’t excuse behaving like a jerk, and that’s what Sebastian does.

Mind you, it’s made easy for him. Aneesa feels guilty about landing herself on him, but she doesn’t try to make money for herself so she can move out. She leans on him. Although her traditional Indian background might have lent itself to that attitude, her career would not have done. If her agent was as useless as he seemed to be, she could have done well in London, as is demonstrated on her one, foolish jaunt to Brick Lane, where there is a vibrant Indian community in London. Sebastian rescues her (again) from the inevitable mobbing by fans. I find it hard to believe that she didn’t realize what would happen if she went into an area like that. She just lies around feeling sorry for herself. I find it hard to like Aneesa, although I’d more than welcome other Bollywood heroines in Modern/Presents books. Give me someone more like Silpa Setty and I’m so there.

But as I’ve said elsewhere, one of the worst mistakes is in the cover, something the author has no control over. A Bollywood heroine depicted as a blonde on the cover of the book? Sorry, Mills and Boon, but that’s a big mistake.

I guess these two deserve each other, and when their happy ending comes, I can only sigh in relief.

LynneCs iconGrade: C-


Sebastian…Sharp. Cool. Controlled.
Ruthless in business, Sebastian is at the top of his game professionally. Emotionally he keeps himself alone, aloof and almost untouchable. Escaping her wedding, it takes one look at ice-cool Sebastian for Bollywood star Aneesa Adani to be hooked! Letting Aneesa in could ignite the fire that melts even the hardest of hearts…

Read an excerpt.