The Dangerous Billionaire
The dedication at the beginning of Jackie Ashenden’s new Tate Brothers series starter, The Dangerous Billionaire reads:
To the person who picked this up and thought: “Billionaire Navy SEAL? HELL YEAH.” You’re my people.
Personally, I love a good billionaire romance, and novels with military heroes are always on my to-read list, so combining the two definitely works for me. However, there are those who’ll read this and think another billionaire? Another navy SEAL hero? Aren’t we done with these romance trends yet? To you I say, never mind about that, it’s a Jackie Ashenden title! This means you’re in for a sexy treat with a bit of suspense and drama thrown into the mix, regardless of the characters involved. Plus, it takes on a forbidden romance theme. The result is an entertaining and steamy read that introduces the three Tate brothers and delivers a satisfying romance.
Noah Tate, Montana oil tycoon has died. He’d never had children of his own but had fostered three orphaned boys; Van (short for Sullivan), Lucas and Wolf. At eighteen, all three were shipped off to the military and are now active Navy SEALs, but have taken leave to consign their father’s ashes to the East River in New York City as requested in his will. The will has given Noah’s fortune and Tate Oil (headquartered in NYC) to Van and a seat on the board of directors to each of the three men. None of them are happy at the prospect of having to leave military life. Each son has also been given a letter, contents unknown. Van’s letter has to do with their younger foster sister Chloe.
Chloe Tate has been coping with the death of her foster father by throwing herself into her work at their family ranch in Montana until she’s summoned by Van to New York. Expecting the ranch – a place she’s expended blood, sweat and tears on over the last decade – to be left to her, she’s stunned to discover that Van has been received everything. Van, who hasn’t stepped foot on the ranch in eight years since Chloe was seventeen. Van who, ten years Chloe’s senior, was someone she’d looked up to, someone who’d paid attention to her as a child, unlike her cold and distant foster father. Van, whom Chloe had developed a crush on as an older teenager only to have him disappear for years. Her memories of Van don’t prepare her for the hard, dangerous man that he has become, or for the adult sexual attraction that flares to life between them. Van has been charged with keeping Chloe safe as family secrets and a plot of revenge threaten them both. Will he be able to keep her at arm’s length while protecting her, or will they both succumb to temptation? After all, forbidden fruit always tastes the sweetest…
So how forbidden is this fruit anyway? Well, to be honest, I don’t think it’s as big a deal as Van makes it out to be. For the first half or so of the story, he really gets hung up on the idea that it’s wrong for him to be attracted to Chloe. It’s natural for him to think this, as he’s the elder by ten years, and his memories of Chloe are from when she was much younger. But it’s clear that there was nothing inappropriate in any of their interactions when they were younger, and they don’t share the same biological parents so they aren’t siblings. Part of Van’s conflicted feelings for Chloe stem from an incident that happened in his military career where he was unable to successfully complete a mission that involved a young woman. It’s colored his relationships since then, and when Chloe appears to be in danger from an unexpected source, he worries that he won’t be able to protect her – and that includes protecting her from him and his desires, too.
Chloe comes off as somewhat intimidated and hesitant at first, having just lost her father, lost her ranch, and been summoned to New York to be under Van’s protection while he deals with threats that are shocking and unsuspected. I liked how her character gets bolder and more determined as the story progresses, standing up to Van and his alpha male protective ways when needed. Chloe isn’t a virgin, but she’s not overly experienced. When she makes the first move on Van, he’s quick to take control of the situation and the result is a super steamy sex scene, but one they both agree is a one-time thing. Of course, that doesn’t last long and things get hot and heavy time and again, even as outside forces are closing in on them.
There are some great scenes between the three brothers that reveal details of their individual characters as well as the complicated relationships they have with each other. Plus, we never find out what’s in the notes given to Lucas and Wolf, a tease to make sure readers want to pick up the next two books in the series. There’s a little bit of everything in The Dangerous Billionaire – drama, suspense, action, sex, and a hefty dose of romance as Van realizes just how deep his feelings for Chloe are, and vice versa. If you’ve read Jackie Ashenden before, you’ll be satisfied with how this story plays out. If you’re new to the author, this is as good a place as any to start.