ARC Review – His Heart’s Revenge by Jenny Holiday

Posted July 7, 2016 by smutmatters in ARC, Contemporary, M/M, Reviews / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from Entangled Publishing, Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Review – His Heart’s Revenge by Jenny HolidayHis Heart's Revenge by Jenny Holiday
Series: 49th Floor #4
Published by Entangled: Indulgence on June 20th, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 210
Format: eARC
Source: Entangled Publishing, Netgalley
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four-half-stars
four-flames

Twenty years ago, I was too smart and too poor to be cool. Now I’m laughing my way to the bank—the bank I’m CEO of. Nothing can touch me.

Except maybe him.

We met at summer camp. We made out under the stars. Then he stabbed me in the back.

They say revenge is a dish best served cold. But I’m gonna go with hot.

Alexander Evangelista is a millionaire with all the trappings: houses all over the world and hot guys lined up whenever he’s in need of some no-strings-attached company. He's on his way to world domination.
A CEO in his own right, Cary Bell is competing for a major client with his boyhood crush. He’s never forgiven himself for betraying Alex. But with his professional reputation on the line, he’s going to have to find his inner cutthroat if he wants his new company to succeed.
Alex isn’t about to let his nemesis steal a client out from under him. It’s time to break Cary’s company—and his heart.

Each book in the 49th Floor series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order. Series Order:Book #1 Saving the CEOBook #2 The Engagement GameBook #3 His Heart’s Revenge

Sometimes I read a book where one of the characters is still pissed about something the other did to them back in high school or at some other shared point in their history, long since passed, and all I can think is “It’s been twenty years. Get over it.”

This was not one of those books. Cary betrayed Alexander when they were teenagers, pretty badly. It was one incident, not a reign of terror or anything, but if I were Alexander, I may not still hold an active grudge, but I would have absolutely zero interest in reconnecting with Cary. Fortunately for Jenny Holiday, and for us, Alexander’s feelings for Cary still run white-hot. It’s the kind of grudge that’s half anger half something else, the kind of grudge you know will spill over at some point.

Frankly, I didn’t know if Cary would be able to win Alexander over. Not only do they have this history between them, but they’re now competing for a huge client. As we saw in Marcus’ book, The Engagement Game, Cary recently left the family’s financial firm and struck out on his own. He knows signing this client will cement his new firm’s credibility and prove to his family that he can do this. Alexander’s firm is much bigger and more established, and is clearly the better option on the surface, but Cary’s stakes are much higher, and he isn’t going to back down.

Problems in the personal sphere, problems in the professional sphere, I had no idea how Jenny Holiday was going to get these two together. Alex’s grudge against Cary was understandable, but they were both kids when everything happened. No one makes good decisions when they’re teenagers. And Cary was genuinely sorry for what he had done. He knew exactly how badly he’d hurt Alex, and he hadn’t forgiven himself any more than Alex forgave him. Even knowing all that, though, I didn’t know if it would work. The incident with Cary forged Alex into the man he was.  Alex changed his life’s focus, went into finance instead of majoring in science to be a teacher like he’d always wanted, walled his heart off, and steeled himself against any emotional entanglements. He was open and honest with the men he dated, making sure none of them expected more than a physical relationship from him, but he never even entertained the possibility of more. He never let any of them hang around long enough to even make it a possibility. He had cared for Carey all those summers at camp, and Cary betrayed him. Alex wasn’t going to let that happen again.

My faith in Jenny Holiday was not misplaced. This story was hot, sweet, and oh, so sexy. I could feel Alex’s inner conflict, knew how much he wanted to believe in Cary, but was terrified to open back up to him. Cary had never forgiven himself, and he wanted to win Alex over as much as he wanted to beat him in the weird competition their white whale had embroiled them in. The air between them positively crackled any time they were near each other. I don’t know how they thought they could possibly hide their feelings from anyone.

The only reason this one isn’t a full 5-stars from me is that I had a little trouble connecting with the characters. Alex, especially, was a little hard to read, a little hard to get to know, and hard to feel close to. I think that was intentional, after all, he had cultivated his entire life and personality to be exactly that, but it was a little difficult to get close to him.

I don’t know how many more books Jenny Holiday plans to do in this series, but I will read them all. I don’t think any of them will beat Sleeping With Her Enemy (oh, sweet, sweet Dax) but I love seeing that there’s a new one coming out, and it’s an automatic pre-order for me. Go get this one!

 

About Jenny Holiday

Jenny Holiday started writing at age nine when her awesome fourth grade teacher gave her a notebook and told her to start writing some stories. That first batch featured mass murderers on the loose, alien invasions, and hauntings. (Looking back, she’s amazed no one sent her to a kid-shrink.) She’s been writing ever since. After a brief detour to get a PhD in geography, she worked as a professional writer, producing everything from speeches to magazine articles. More recently, her tastes having evolved from alien invasions to happily-ever-afters, she tried her hand at romance. A lifelong city-lover, she lives in Toronto, Canada, with her family. She is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Greenburger Associates.