Review originally posted here: http://thebookpushers.com/2012/12/11/review-the-billionaire-bad-boys-club-by-emma-holly/
Publisher: Self Published
Publish Date: Out Now
How I got this book: From the author
Successful businessmen Zane and Trey have been a club of two since they were eighteen. They’ve done everything together: play football, fall in love, even get smacked around by their dads. The only thing they haven’t tried is seducing the same woman.
Executive chef Rebecca learned early not to count on anyone. She raised her younger brothers by herself—with no adult being the wiser. Her knack for professional cooking kept the boys housed and fed. Now she’s damned if it won’t pay their way through Harvard as well. Add in running Trey’s new restaurant, and her plate is too full for romance.
That’s an attitude the bad boys intend to change. Zane and Trey have set their sights on the sexy chef, a female too tantalizing to be all work and no play. When their hearts enter the equation, and when they realize they’re both pursuing her, the committed twosome faces their hardest test of all . . .
This blurb came from the author’s website here.
I have been a fan of Holly’s for several years. She was my introduction to contemporary erotica and erotic romance and I have enjoyed reading her ever since. As a result, I eagerly accepted the review request and I am glad that I did. Holly provided a very intense m/m/f that actually dealt with some of the emotional issues I could imagine popping up that include jealousy, uncertainty about being loved, and the importance of privacy. Holly handled all of those with her usual deft ability drawing me into her characters and their struggles and providing a satisfying ending without cheapening what the characters have gone through.
Zane and Trey, next-door neighbors, don’t have the happiest of lives when the book opens. They both grew up with only their abusive fathers providing the initial thread that tied them together. The second thread was their individual bisexuality and the third thread was their mutual attraction and compatibility. From there they developed a strong friendship that included attending the same prestigious university and continuing their relationship. Both Zane and Trey enjoyed sexual encounters with women but they never developed a relationship with them and they never involved another man. As Zane and Trey approached college graduation over lunch one day they decided to go into business together as full partners in a venture called the Bad Boys Club that was going to start with a magazine and expand from there. Ten years later the Bad Boys Club had grown into a billion dollar enterprise.
Rebecca also grew up with a troubled home life. After her mother died when she was a teenager, her father walked out and told Rebecca to call the state so they could take her two younger brothers. Instead of doing that, she worked to keep her brothers so they could be a family without outside interference. One of the skills she learned she had one morning was the ability to create really good food, so she became a chef. She was working as a lunchtime waitress when she encountered Zane and Trey as they decided to start the Bad Boys Club. Both men were attracted to her but nothing went further than a very nice tip at the end of the meal. Ten years later Rebecca has quit her job and decided to apply as the head chef for Trey’s new restaurant.
I really enjoyed that Zane and Trey had a complete relationship together without Rebecca. Unlike other ménages that can give the impression that the couple isn’t complete without a third person they just haven’t met yet, Holly did not fall into that trap. Rebecca happened to be the perfect woman for both men but they did not need her to be complete. They had to decide to open their relationship, which meant they had to deal with being human. Zane and Trey had to learn how to be comfortable sexually with each other in Rebecca’s presence. Rebecca also had to learn that she wasn’t displacing or coming in between what the two men already had. They were not able to solve their issues overnight but had to actually work on it over time. To me, the gradual build-up of the emotional side of their relationship added credibility to their ménage.
Rebecca, Zane and Trey also had to deal with having their painful pasts brought up into the very public eye along with their current relationship. While I felt for the three of them and how their privacy was both invaded and violated, I absolutely loved how they got theirs back. It took a concerted effort from all three, plus Rebecca’s brothers and their friends. Those events also had the effect of solidifying their relationship and commitment to each other, which really made my heart melt.
I would be doing a disservice to this review if I did not mention the sexual side of the relationship. While I was not exactly happy with the timing and location of Rebecca’s first sexual encounter with Trey I do like how it was handled afterward. I also agreed with Rebecca’s logic about continuing anything with Trey. I was glad to see that Zane also had his chance with Rebecca so when they initiated their first threesome everyone was on the same level. Holly always does a good job with her descriptions not just of the actions but the emotions involved and conveyed. Even in their sexual encounters Holly ensured that the level of comfort and trust in their emotional relationship was also depicted before, during and after the physical actions. I think the best part of the sexual side is that Holly did not leave out m/m loving because Trey and Zane had a committed relationship before Rebecca. To have ended those encounters would have completely lost my buy-in for their relationship and the chance for a HEA.
As I said in my status update when I finished reading The Billionaire Bad Boys Club, Holly has done it again. She provided me with a very satisfying complete story that had damaged protagonists healing themselves over time. They dealt with their past and looked forward to their future. They also exhibited very human emotional concerns throughout their relationship that provided a solid ground to keep me invested. Holly continues to be one of my auto-buy authors.
I give The Billionaire Bad Boys Club an A