REVIEW: Redemption of a Ruthless Billionaire by Lucy Ellis
A fun, warm, entertaining read with a likeable heroine, ruthless-at-times hero, and lovely English village setting.
Sybella is very easy to warm to. She’s a widow with a child who isn’t the hero’s, which is intriguing and conflictingly unusual for Harlequin Presents/Mills & Boon Modern. I didn't totally root for her at first because, whichever way it’s dressed, she still feels kind of culpable for taking advantage of the hero’s grandfather SPOILER opening up the hero's house to the public very big grin END OF SPOILER. But she does have everyone’s best interests at heart, including the grandfather’s (and her own) and it does make her everso slightly flawed.
Fun first meet. And I loved the continuing interaction. Some of it circles a bit, as a third of the way through they’re still levelling the same accusations at each other, when it’s definitely past time to move on, but it is very entertaining, like an extended first meet, and first meets are my favourite bit. I definitely got more than my money’s worth here.
The heroine and country house setting have a bit of a Kim Lawrence, Lynn Graham, India Grey feel. If you’re a fan of these authors’ heroines I think you’ll like this one.
Nik's lovely alpha protectiveness makes him softer around the edges in the way he interacts with Sybella, his grandfather and Sybella's daughter. His softer side, together with the setting, cast, and only a first impression of ruthlessness give this read a sort of hybrid Presents/Modern and Romance/True Love feel thru the beginning and middle.
Sybella's conflict is very easy to relate to. Presents’ angst levels are lower during the book’s first two thirds than I like, but she is 3D and I liked how she’d obviously dealt with her emotional conflict roots herself.
Nik's internal conflict sits in the background so you almost forget it's there. Perhaps it's a bit too much in the background? It’s not a straightforward conflict thread/character arc to track; the fuses (did I mention he owns a mine) leading to the black moment are perhaps not all in place and a bit too well buried? Lulling me into a false sense of security. I couldn't predict how and where it was going to impact the black moment, which is great from a not-being-able-to-work out what’s going to happen point of view, but does dissipate the tension, and there’s less angst, passion and drama than I like, again feeding into that hybrid Presents-Romance feel.
The first sucker-punch Black Moment impacts how the heroine feels about him, closely followed by the real thing. Sybella's fallen for Nik's softer side and then has to confront the product of his conflict, unburied ruthlessness. Which she does. Brilliantly. There’s quite a lot of conflict to resolve for him and Ellis drills down into character and conflict leading nicely to a lovely, satisfying ending and Happily-Ever-After epilogue.