|(This is the contemporary version of The Wicked Wallflower)|
With his hard partying, playboy reputation jeopardizing a fifty million dollar investment deal, Duke realizes an engagement with the hot but oh-so-proper librarian could be just the thing to repair his reputation. This good girl tempts him to be very wicked…but just with her. It’s unprecedented. Inconceivable. Totally alluring.
As the unlikely match of librarian and tech entrepreneur set out to convince the world—and the internet—that their love is real, something unexpected happens: they start falling for each other. But Jane is secretly writing a historical romance novel that could expose their carefully constructed romance…unless two perfect strangers are content to be perfectly scandalous together.
|(This is the contemporary version of The Wallflower Gone Wild)|
Duke Austen always admired Jane's poise and perfectly demure behavior … qualities that seemed to have vanished once she helped him land a big investment deal. But now that his company is on the verge of a 20-billion-dollar IPO, the stakes have never been higher—and Jane has never been more shocking, provocative, or wickedly irresistible. She's not at all the woman he bargained for, yet she's the only one he wants.
Duke is determined to woo his girl gone wild. She's determined to keep him guessing. But Jane is discovering that there's nothing so appealing as a billionaire who's mad, bad, and dangerously seductive …
|(This is the contemporary version of What a Wallflower Wants)|
Everyone knew that Jane Sparks had been dumped by her high school sweetheart and fired from her job, which is why she was really looking forward to attending her high school reunion as a successful romance novelist—with her hot billionaire boyfriend as a date. But a violent encounter with her ex-boyfriend changed everything.
Duke Austen was the luckiest guy in town … almost.
Duke Austen is a blue-eyed charmer with a bad-boy reputation and ambitious plans for his future—after two failed startups, this tech entrepreneur is about to celebrate the 20-billion-dollar IPO of his company—but it no longer matters when the woman he loves has been hurt. Stranded in his apartment during a hurricane, without power, they must rebuild their trust … and fall in love all over again.
Just when they have it all figured out, Jane and Duke are forced to decide what matters more: facing her past or celebrating his successful future.
First - this is about as meta as you can get. I mean that in the best possible way. See if you're going to self-insert yourself do it with class and style like Rodale has done with this trio of novellas that connect (thematically) to her longer historical romances. Jane is a romance novelist who, after starting the charade with Duke is inspired to write Rodale's real life BAD BOYS AND WALLFLOWERS trilogy.
Each part of this "Bad Boy Billionaire" novella trilogy reflects a contemporary version of the historical romance its set after just with Jane and Duke's courtship rather then the three separate ones for the three friends (Emma, Prue and Olivia). Some of the tribulations that Jane and Duke have are reflected in the problems the "Wallflowers" face. Prue's story for instance came from a desperately awful circumstance that Jane had to endure (Jane even says she's so very sorry for what is about to happen to her while typing up the manuscript...seriously this is meta.)
I'd be really interested to know how Rodale wrote these - did she write each novella as she wrote the historical novel? Did she write all three novels and then all three novellas? Vice Versa? Some hodge podge of the two? Certain beats work better in these contemporary stories then in the historicals as well.
The Difference Engine, which connects the three heroes in the historicals, was far more intriguing to me then Duke's techie company for instance. And as individual characters in their own novels the girls worked fine, but they didn't feel "right" in each other's novels while Jane flowed through each novella perfectly well.
There was also a lot of Rodale's humor in these novellas that was strangely absent in two of the three historicals. Maybe because Jane had a quick wit and Duke was up to the challenge of trading barbs with her, but I enjoyed many of their interactions separate from their romance.
In short this was an interesting and fun experiment that I wouldn't mind seeing happen again. I recommend these in you are a fan of Rodale's or if you'd like to contrast them to the historicals, they work well together, though I do caution they are unsatisfying if you don't read the historcal counterparts. Jane makes a big deal of talking about the books she's "writing" and if you don't go read them, you lose something.