Dark, tortured, and intimidating, these dominant billionaires will steal their innocent heroines' breath away. Overwhelmed by their desire to control their world, they push their heroines to explore their deepest desires. But even the most unworldly of heroines can unlock these billionaires' secrets.
Nero de Santis: Damaged. Bastard. Beast.
Nero hasn’t left his house in ten years—he demands the world come to him, and the world is only too happy to bend to the strong-willed billionaire. Ruthless, cold, and selfish, Nero wants for nothing and takes care of no one but himself. His last handful of assistants have left his house in tears, but the prim redhead applying for the job looks up to the task. Nero has spent his life shut within the walls he built, with no care to have more than a window to the outside world. But the fiery passion he senses beneath his reserved assistant’s exterior makes him want to break down the barriers he lives behind, and unleash the beast within.
Phoebe Taylor: Uptight. Misunderstood. Engaged.
Phoebe needs the obscene amount of money that comes with being Nero’s personal assistant for one thing, and one thing only—to pay for the mounting hospital costs that her fiancee’s two-year coma continues to incur. She’s heard rumors that the de Santis beast is a force that cannot be tamed—but even she isn’t prepared to handle the smoldering intensity simmering beneath his hard shell of feral dominance. Nero is hiding something, something he is fighting with every step he takes. Yet he can’t help but stake his claim on this woman who has shaken up his life, and Phoebe can’t believe this animal of a man is the one person to ever look into her eyes and see her soul. Nero wants to keep her. He wants to devour her. And Phoebe just might let him.
Caroline's Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Overall, I thought this was a good take on Beauty & the Beast.
“It wasn’t enough. It would never be enough. She was fire and she burned him alive and yet it was like he craved the pain. It was like he needed it.”
Nero de Santis’ childhood has left lasting damage on him as an adult. He suffers from a crippling ailment that has held him hostage in his own home for ten years. He is alpha, domineering, demanding, ruthless, and surly. He has the world at his fingertips, and he pays people to do his bidding. He believes that everyone has a price – that anyone can be bought. Unfortunately, he has a real issue with keeping personal assistants because they can’t cope with his, often unreasonable, demands 24/7. The new candidate intrigues him. Her stillness and impassivity draws him - challenges him.
“He would have been insufferable if she hadn’t found the energy he threw off so completely exciting.”
Phoebe Taylor needs money – a lot of money. This job seems too good to be true. And, she’s right. However, she needs money to keep on top of her prime obligation. She has a soft heart and is a natural people-pleaser. She’s spent her whole life being the dependable one, and pandering to other people’s needs, that she’s almost forgotten her own needs. She’s always been there for people, but no one seems to truly see her. Prim, proper and in control of her emotions, she presents a challenge to Nero. He’s a giant beast of a man, brimming with energy and power, yet her heart breaks for him when she realises his weakness. He, in turn, wants to push her buttons. He wants to own her. Most of all, he SEES her.
“What have you done to me, Phoebe? What the f*ck have you done?”
Their initial mutual attraction both repels and pulls Phoebe. Her obligations and her guilt keeps her pushing Nero away, but he is determined to have her. His obsession for her fuels his passion, but also pushes him out of his considerable comfort zone.
I thought this was a great story. I liked the overarching storyline and I must say that the conclusion was pretty emotional. Nero is a broken man living in denial. Phoebe is existing and not really living. I loved the sexual tension between them. I enjoyed Phoebe’s soft approach to taming the beast, who carried his pain deep inside. They brought each other to life and gave the other a reason to truly live.