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Reviewed by Marta Tandori for Readers' Favorite
A deliciously delightful romp on the fun side, Marry Your Billionaire by C.J. Anaya takes its readers behind the scenes of a Hollywood reality TV show called Marry Your Billionaire – what else! – where 20 beautiful young women vie for the affections of one hunky billionaire. Actually, better make that 19 young women. Madelyn (Midge) Knightly has her own agenda for being on the show. Just one semester shy of graduating with a degree in English, her scholarship has lost its funding, forcing Midge to take her father, the legendary Hollywood producer of Marry Your Billionaire, up on his offer to reinstate her trust fund in exchange for becoming one of the contestants on the reality show for only 24 hours, after which she’ll be eliminated from the so-called competition. With absolutely no Plan B in sight and her dreams of graduating in serious jeopardy, Midge grudgingly agrees, but has an absolute panic attack when she learns that the billionaire heartthrob of the show is none other than Brody Prescott, CEO and owner of an online dating company, with whom she’s already engaged in some not-so-nice dialogue and a heated tongue-tango that’s currently going viral on YouTube. Things become even more complicated when Midge learns that one of the other contestants is the vindictive Felicia Davenport, Brody’s ex, who appears to want her man back and takes an intense disliking to Midge when Brody refuses to eliminate her. Felicia makes it known that she’ll stop at nothing to get her prize. Growing suspicious of Felicia’s motives, Midge unleashes her own secret weapon, her roommate Lisa, a gal with a weakness for men with money and a talented computer hack, ready to do her bidding.
While the hilarious premise behind Marry Your Billionaire is enough to make it worthy of a read, it’s the characters of Midge and Brody and how they play off each other that keep readers hooked. Midge grew up in the world of show business, isn’t impressed by it, and is as down to earth as they come, cheesy expressions and all. She’s smart and sassy, a lethal combination, and is fiercely independent, which she’s quick to point out to her father at every turn. However, there’s a core of vulnerability to her, thanks to her inability to believe that anyone would actually be interested in her for herself – and not because she’s the famous Corbin Knightly’s daughter. Brody, on the other hand, is dreamboat material, no two ways about it. He’s hot and he’s super rich – which is pretty much de rigueur in a romance book – but what sets Brody apart from the masses of other hunks in this genre is that he’s got heart by the bucket loads and a soft spot the size of Texas when it comes to his mother and the many charitable causes he supports. And just because he’s gorgeous doesn’t mean the man doesn’t have insecurities. His insecurities stem from the fact that, as the owner of an online dating company, he has been unable to find his own perfect soul mate. It’s these core vulnerabilities which give the two main protagonists their backbone, while their mutual attraction and constant sparring keep Marry Your Billionaire full-out engaging from first page until last.