The Billionaire and the Virgin is the first book in the Billionaires and Bridesmaids series by Jessica Clare, and it is also my first book from her. Jessica Clare also writes under the names Jill Myles and Jessica Sims. This new series is a spin-off of her Billionaire Boys Club series, but these books can be read as standalones. While I enjoyed this book and liked parts of it, I also had a few things that didn't work for me. But this book was short and sweet, and a good way to get lost for a few hours.
After her parents died. Marjorie was raised by her grandparents. She has always preferred to hang out with the elderly and spend her spare time doing crosswords or playing bingo than going out with her peers and partying. When one of her friends gets engaged to a billionaire, they pay for all the bridesmaids to go on vacation to the island where they met for the wedding and a week of fun in the sun. When Marjorie rescues a handsome stranger from drowning, they hit it off and he asks her out to dinner to thank her. Marjorie feels drawn to Rob, and they start spending more time together. Though things get off to a rough start, they both find themselves wanting more. But Marjorie doesn't know everything about Rob, and he is afraid that once the truth comes out she will want nothing to do with him.
Marjorie and Rob were both characters that I liked, but didn't really feel like I could connect with. Marjorie was extremely naive and I just wasn't really able to buy exactly how sheltered she was. I understand some of it because of how she was raised, but I didn't see how anyone living and working in the real world would have been able to remain so disconnected from media and pop culture. She seemed to be completely clueless about most things, and I just didn't quite understand it. Rob came off as a douche for a lot of this book, and I would really dislike things he would think or do. But then he would have moments that made up for those, and it was hard to reconcile the two different personalities. It seemed almost bi-polar at times and just didn't mesh as far as his character went. I saw that he was used to dating and sleeping with a certain type of girl and that he wanted more, but then he would turn around and basically want to act like he would treat Marjorie the same way while also wanting to treat her better because she was different. It was just a lot of contradictions, and was kind of confusing. I wanted these characters to make up their minds and stick with it. I did like them together though, and I thought that they had some really sweet and sexy moments.
Overall, this was an enjoyable book and I did like it. But while I liked it, I didn't love it. It was predictable and didn't really break any new ground, but if you are looking for a sweet contemporary read you might like this one. I really wanted to see more depth and evolution for the characters though, and this one fell flat for me. We didn't really get to see anything beyond the surface, and it just felt like something was missing. If you like billionaire romance stories though you might give this one a chance.
**ARC Provided by Penguin Group Berkley**