Wednesday, January 18, 2017

ARC Review: Dirty Money by Jessica Clare

Series:     Roughneck Billionaires #1
Pub. Date:Jan. 17, 2017
Publisher:Intermix/Berkley
Length:198 pages
Source:NetGalley

I am totally excited about this new series from Jessica Clare. I don't read a ton of contemporary romance, but this one piqued my interest. Roughneck Billionaires, y'all! Not the polished hoity toity money bags born with silver spoons in their mouth... but good ol' country boys that work hard and play hard and aren't afraid to get down and dirty in the boardroom or the bedroom. Yes, please!

Boone Price (great name) is our first Roughneck Billionaire, the oldest of five brothers who hit it big in the oil business in West Texas. Boone is a man's man and he doesn't let his big ol' pile of money stop him from getting his hands dirty. You are more likely to find Boone covered in dust than in an expensive suit, and that's just the way he likes it. What he doesn't like is all the rich snobs looking down on him and not taking him seriously because of the way he looks. And he doesn't just get mad, he gets even! So Boone decides that he wants to change his image a bit and his solution is to find him a classy lady to go on his arm... and he picks her right out of a marketing brochure! I just loved this no-nonsense hero. He is my kind of people, and I was definitely on Team Boone throughout this book and, at time, to the detriment of our heroine.


So our heroine is Ivy Smithfield, a struggling real estate agent. Ivy has done her best to class herself up and disguise her real identity - the girl that lives in a trailer park and had a crappy life due to neglectful and criminal parents. Ivy is killing herself to try to make a career in real estate while taking care of her younger sister, and this dirty roughneck walks into her real estate office at just the right time. She isn't quite sure what to make of Boone Price... and the things coming out of his mouth. He comes on strong and doesn't let up, and it slowly chips away at Ivy's resistance. Knowing that Boone wants a class act, she keeps her real self hidden away from him, afraid of how he will react if he finds out. I'm not a big fan of deception in my romance, so Ivy's omissions and misdirections bothered me sometimes. I think she was selling Boone short, believing that Boone would care more for her social status than he would for her as a person. But I give her props for the lengths she went to for her sister, Wynonna, while trying to shield her from the harsh reality of their financial situation.

Boone is like a bull in a china shop. He goes after what he wants and doesn't take no for an answer. So the relationship between Boone and Ivy was a bit of him being a bulldozer and slowly chipping away at her resistance. But he was a charming bulldozer and I couldn't get mad at him for it. Plus we know that Ivy really needs someone like Boone in her life, if only to rescue her from herself. And once they do come together... yowza! They had some great chemistry and I didn't mind Boone's rough and tumble ways AT ALL. 

I am really looking forward to the remaining Price brothers in this series, but I don't know if any of them will top Boone. As the head of the family, he seems to be the most serious one and has his stuff more together than the others. But I think the remaining brothers will be good fun and entertainment and I can't wait to see how alike and different they are.

I do wish the cover would have matched the storyline a bit more. Our hero is a roughneck, usually covered in dust, with scraggly hair and a beard to match. So I think the guy on this cover is a little to polished and tidy to represent the Boone Price we came to love while reading Dirty Money.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from the publisher, Intermix/Berkley.