How to Bang a Billionaire

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 18 Nov 2019

Member Reviews

I didn't have time to read this book before release so I will not be leaving a review. If I choose to read this book at some point I will grab a finished copy from my public library and post a review to my Goodreads account.
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A lot of my friends recommend this book to me. I didn't know what to expect.
I'm a massive fan of Alexis Hall's 'Spire Series' and reading the blurb, this book was definitely NOT those.

But I loved it. 

There's banter, hot sexy times, a grumpy broody guy, a sweet fun guy . . . and well, things happen that had me devouring the book and ready for the next.
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when arden st. ives randomly cold calls billionaire caspian hart to fundraise for their shared alma mater, he has no idea where the simple phone call will lead. caspian is a mystery but his pull is magnetic and ardy can't stay away.

but caspian has demons. so many demons. he's hurt and scared. he loves ardy but doesn't believe he knows how to love. he needs ardy but everything he touches turns to ash. and it's possible that the only thing that can happen between them is hurt. and also sex, which there is plenty of in how to bang a billionaire.

there's a power dynamic between them, and ardy is a true submissive, just as caspian is a natural dom. but the really fascinating thing about them, the one truth that people sometimes lose sight of in some bdsm relationships, is that in the ones that work, the person who actually holds the real power is the sub. because the truth is, caspian is more fragile and more likely to hurt than ardy will at the end of this. somehow they manage to flay each other open, and try to stitch those wounds close. but can it last?

**how to bang a billionaire published on april 16, 2017. i received a digital copy from netgalley/grand central publishing (forever) in exchange for my honest review.
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How to Bang a Billionaire by Alexis Hall is book One in the Arden St. Ives Series.  This is the story of Arden and Caspian.
Arden is a young 20 year old Oxford student who is somewhat awkward.  Caspian was a slightly older billionaire who is hard and harsh.  They are so different but their attraction was there and hard to avoid. 
Excited for more from this series and author.
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Intriguing start to the series.

Content warnings include: sex on-page, class difference, drugs and alcohol consumption, lots of jumping to conclusions; mentions of abusive relationship, death of a parent.

How to Bang a Billionaire is definitely not a standalone. It really feels like the first third of a bigger book, though due to its length I can see why it was split into a trilogy.

Arden was a wonderful main character. He's shamelessly himself, and I loved that about him. He's pansexual, though he talks about being gay a lot too.

The main relationship... I wasn't entirely sure what to make of it. Caspian is rather closed off, and Arden reacts very strongly to... pretty much anything, which was a loaded combination. Since this felt so much like only the beginning of the story, I'm still waiting to make up my mind about the two of them together, but I can already tell it's very, very messy.
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Before I start this review I need to make a few facts clear. I don’t venture much into gay romance  not because I don’t like them but because for some reasons when I read one I have higher expectations. And the culprit  may just be Alexis Hall. A couple of years ago I read ‘for real’. That book shattered me and put me back together better than before I started reading it. I didn’t have the courage to read another of his books. One can not top perfection. Or can he?
This being said I caved when given the opportunity to review ‘how to bang a billionaire’ before the release of the third book in the trilogy about Arden St. Yves. 
So you have it: Arden, the Oxford graduate and Caspian Hart the billionaire. Sprinkle some power play. And what could have been another clichéd story turns into a beautiful and complicated love story. They are strong, they are weak. They are bold, they are shy. They are sad, they are happy. They have doubt and they have convictions. They are imperfectly perfect men. And we get to live it through the flourished style and the humor of Alexis Hall. We get to dive head first in lots of raw emotions. I am just glad that I can carry on into ‘how to blow it with a billionaire’. Waiting between books would have been a real PITA (pun intended). On a side note I really enjoyed all the pop cultures references.   Read at your own risk. 

Honest review in exchange of a copy on netgalley.
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Content Warnings: Use of the world “nazi”, sexual assault and almost-rape, victim-blaming.

I had heard many people talk about how amazing this series was on Twitter and was excited that it was a “Read Now” option on Netgalley. It was an instant “Who-Cares-How-Many-ARCs-I-Have” request. And I don’t get to read many mlm written by men, so this was an even bigger plus.

However, I’m not one for very clingy main characters which is exactly what Arden is.

How to Bang a Billionaire is about Arden St. Ives, a pansexual Oxford college student trying to go into English and journalism. He’s very disorganized, not getting a job soon after he graduates because he forgot to intern, and very messy. When he first meets Caspian, he falls flat on his face. Big mood. His best friend, Nik, the token straight character, is very supportive, helping him out by letting him borrow a suit and always being there for him when asked.

Caspian Hart is the type of billionaire that comes off as very stoic. He clearly cares for Arden when they’re around other people and looks out for him and doesn’t mind that he’s such a wreck, but it’s difficult when he has to work and travel for his job so often. He doesn’t allow himself to show much emotion because he ended a relationship by allowing himself to be free with who he is and what he likes. He’s always worried after they have sex if he was too rough, which Arden is always there to say that he doesn’t mind if it is.

I wasn’t exactly rooting for these two to get together? Which makes me sad. Arden knew what he was getting into when he not-dates a billionaire. He expects Caspian to ask like any other boyfriend and gets upset when he has to work. Caspian doesn’t try very hard to understand why Arden acts the way he does, but expects him to always have his schedule open. In fact, Caspian only wants sex and none of the aspects that comes with a relationship. When he tells Arden this, he does not listen and feels like he’s not good enough.

Honestly, my favorite part of the story was when Arden left Caspian to go back home. There are some funny parts, but I’m too frustrated with Arden to remember any of them.

There were a few problems with the book. In one scene, Arden calls a girl a “Nazi” when all she was being was a bitch and in another scene before that, he makes a rape joke. In a later scene, Caspian asks when Arden was tested and Arden makes a big deal about it when STD testing should be commonplace when entering into new relationships.
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This book was a lot of fun and very unexpected. The chemistry between the two leads is explosive. I felt like the book ended in a happy place, but there is definitely room for more of their story.
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This ARC was courtesy of netgalley - all thoughts and opinions are mine and unbiased
I also post on Amazon, Goodreads, B&N and Kobo

This is the first part of a series and includes the usual cliffhanger at the end to make you want to read the second part

This is quite enjoyable - I found it a little derivative - a little bit to fifty shades and the littered references to Pretty Woman became a bit irritating if I'm honest.

I really don't like being negative as someone has worked really hard at this and I like to see the good side of things - so on the positive side, the character of Arden is, I think, well written and the character development is good 

If you are into that kind of thing - this could be for you
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This review covers the first two books in the Arden St Ives series. 
I love Alexis Hall’s writing but I’m always a little wary when romances involve billionaires and BDSM. Of course, I should’ve trusted Hall without question. He’s created believable characters and it’s easy suspend disbelief belief about the world these characters live in. I love Arden and his witty remarks. I love the glimpses we get of the real Caspian underneath the cold billionaire façade. 

These books do not work as standalones. The first book just ends in the middle of a scene and the second book has some sort of cliff hanger. So I’m glad I didn’t start these series when the first two books came out, because I would have hated waiting for the final instalment so long. Now it’s only a few days and even that feels too long. I want to know how everything gets resolved. I want to see the HEA (or HFN) for these characters.
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E-galley provided by Netgalley and Forever Publishing in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and quotations are based off an uncorrected proof. This book came out a while ago, but was provided due to the upcoming conclusion to the trilogy, How to Belong to a Billionaire.

"A laugh, quiet and almost shy, ghosted down the phone to me, and I felt it like fingers against my spine."

I would like to start by saying that this book is essentially a queer Fifty Shades of Grey. If you didn't like Fifty Shades, this is a good thing. If you did like Fifty Shades, it a good thing. It has the fun stuff without some of the not so great stuff.

For starters, Arden St. Ives is no virgin. He is very aware of what he loves sexually and holds no shame for any of it. He is incredibly charming and funny. I really loved him and he's pretty much what made this book for me. Compassionate and 100% pansexual, he just had this really adorable and relatable spirit that really pulled me through the book.

On the other hand, I couldn't quite put my finger on Caspian. The elusive Caspian Hart. I didn't quite understand his inner conflict. His backstory makes sense (view spoiler), but I didn't understand his reactions in relation to Arden. I still moderately liked him, but I wasn't head over heels with him. I guess he just lacked a spark for me. He was, however, somehow more boy-ish than I expected? It's a good thing.

A lot of this plot seemed to surround Arden's inner narrative of feeling like he has no directions after college. Relatable to say the least. It is him getting tossed around from here to there, which did make me feel lost at times. I didn't feel like there was a lot to work towards. The book is very insta-love, which wasn't my favorite, but it was more or less acceptable. Also, while I liked most of the side characters, I had trouble connecting with Caspian's sister, Ellery. She has some really hard edges, which is definitely part of her character, but made her really hard to like.

TL;DR A really solid quick romance, definitely excited to read what's next. This story is far from over.
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I'm a fan of Alexis Hall's writing, and though I'm VERY skeptical of billionaire romances, thought I'd give this one a shot.

Arden is a great character and an engaging narrator. He somehow toes the line between disaffected university student and manic pixie dream boy. He's sincere and eager and it's easy to see why Caspian is drawn to him.

Caspian is an enigma, but is meant to be. I've never read 50 Shades, but I imagine this is a slightly elevated version of the reclusive/emotionally distant Christian Grey. We get hints about his appetites and need for control, but this is an egg that has not been cracked.

As well-drawn as Arden is, there are only a few other characters in this cold and glittering world of more money than God. A cynical drug-addict sister of Caspian, a best friend/casual crush of Arden's, an arrogant assistant, and a glimpse at Arden's family. Which means that the book feels both insular and spare; however, Arden is bubbly and entertaining enough to keep my interest.

I also have the second book in the series from NetGalley, and am reading that now. The first book leaves us on a high note, but it is by no means resolved. The writing is compelling, even though the subject matter isn't what I usually gravitate towards. 

Recommended with reservations, as I'm not entirely sure where all this is going, but I'm cautiously enjoying the journey.
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Arden St. Ives is about to finish at Oxford and is trying to figure out his life. He connects with billionaire Caspian Hart while doing tele-fundraising for his school. They have immediate chemistry.

Caspian is a tortured guy - he hates what he wants and doesn't know how to be a person. Arden would very much like him to be a person. 

This book does a good job of building the characters, especially Arden, and establishing the BDSM is a power exchange, where power is given, not taken away. But it's just not the series for me at this time. I'm tired of tortured billionaires who really need to spend time in therapy. At another time, I could see enjoying it a lot more. But now, for me, it's not what I want.
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so i think this was making fun of the billionaire romance trope but ended up taking itself too seriously.

arden was a sweetheart, but caspian is so unlikable, he really minimized my enjoyment of this book. he's so cold and characterless.

compared to hall's other works, the writing isn't very inspiring, but is easy to read.

i think i went into this book expecting too much. this also isn't typically the kind of book i would read, but Waiting for the Flood was phenomenal, so i thought i'd give this one a go.
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Content warnings: [suicidal ideation (side character), drug use (on-page), domestic violent (side character, in the past, off-page)]

I always say that I’m not particularly a fan of new adult or billionaire romance, but somehow when you combine the two I’m completely enchanted. So when I had the chance to get ARCs of the first two books in the Arden St. Ives series by Alexis Hall (of the quirky and wonderfully horrific The Affair of the Mysterious Letter), I jumped on it.

“I have to tell you, I don’t do relationships.”
“Oh, that’s fine.” I hooked a leg across his hip. “Let’s just have sex.”

The book is told from Arden’s point of view, and he’s delightfully funny. It’s a very effective choice, as it really shows how moth-to-flame drawn he is to Caspian. Though, honestly, Arden’s the one who’s so delightfully humorous and alive, so perhaps he’s the flame. Caspian’s the epitome of the tortured broody Heathcliff, the whole emotionally repressed, ice cold billionaire dom stereotype, and he spends most of the book coming off objectively as an absolute jerk. Normally I’d be completely out because of that, but we get to see him through Arden’s eyes. Arden manages to pry open a few cracks in Caspian’s armor, and it does appear that, underneath, he’s exactly the kind of person Arden thinks he is. There is an obvious power imbalance that Arden acknowledges and then deals with in his own (very Arden) way. Arden, despite his insecurities, knows who he is and is very comfortable with himself, in contrast with Caspian, who seems to have attempted to scour himself of anything but ambition. Not, of course, that Arden is going to let him continue to do that…

This is the first in a series, so it’s not a complete HEA, but it ends on a satisfactorily HFN note. Overall, while the basic storyline sounds pretty been-there-done-that, Arden’s POV is hilarious and insightful and makes this a very enjoyable read.

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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I enjoyed this! The writing style is SO addictive. But it is a re-imagining of 50 shades, so it's a very polarizing book. I liked that it didn't mock 50 Shades. My only issue is that I didn't love Caspian. I don't think readers are supposed to like Caspian but still. I shall reserve judgement for book 2 to see if he becomes better.
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I will not mark this book as read because I wasn't able to finish it. I stopped at 40%. I just couldn't read anymore. It was a pure torture. Arden has cried more times in this book than the average pregnant woman who cries at commercials. Arden's character was one of the worst I have ever read. I wasn't able to relate to him at all and I just wanted him to shut it. For me, the whole series is a huge NO. I have also read the second book and it's not much better.
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This was definitely giving me 50 Shades vibes and I loved every minute of it!
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When Arden finds himself being conned into helping out a friend and taking over as a phone operator for the schools annual fundraiser he has no idea that one phone call is about to change his life is so many wonderful ways. He dials a number on his list and is connected to a call with an attractive billionaire named Caspian Hart. The man is a little crass, but he is also so damn captivating that Arden can't seem to walk away...

Caspian Hart is a man of may talents, and when he wants something, he gets it no if's, and's or but's... and he wants to know everything there is to know about the enchanting man on the other end of the phone line. So much so he agrees to attend the alumni fundraising dinner, and the moment they meet  Caspian is intrigued, but also wary of getting involved, so he walks away... but Arden decides to make him a deal he can't refuse...and he doesn't stay away for long!

How To Bang A Billionaire was an erotic and enthralling little tale that I just couldn't seem to put down... I devoured every word of it in one sitting!! While I normally steer clear of M/M tales (their normally not my cup of tea), I decided to be brave and embrace this one because something about the synopsis lured me in...and I have to say I am glad I took a walk outside of my norm... it was a refreshing change of pace for me!! The story line was intriguing and kept me flying through the pages and the characters were easy to love, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them! Now I am anxious to explore the next installment, and see what this author has in-store for these wonderful characters!! Highly recommend you meet these two, they are sure to keep you entertained!!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this title.
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When expectations for a book lead to feelings of anxiousness, I tend to end up either really loving a it, or really hating it. When I’m stuck somewhere in the middle, I never know what to say about it.

How to Bang a Billionaire left me sort of in the middle. Stuck.

On the one hand, the prose is beautiful, typical and expected from this author. Lyrical passages that, on their own, are wonderful and can leave a reader breathless. On the other hand, much of the book read as condescending and so high brow that it left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

This is basically a retelling of another book. A parody of 50 Shades. Having read the 50 Shades series, I know this. It’s plain as day. This one does have some elements that leave it standing on it’s own, but the similarities are numerous and at around 60% I found myself not very amused anymore.

The characters themselves left little for me to love. Caspian Hart is a jerk and horrible communicator. He’s uptight, overbearing, and a complete ass. He’s the kind of character I love to hate. Except he’s not the kind of character, like Christian Grey, that I end up loving in the end of the series because of the changes he makes in his life… at least not yet. And Arden? He’s Anastasia Steele in male form. Clumsy, wildly naive, and totally over the top when it comes to his inner monologue. I wanted to throttle them both for a while, but in the end, I didn’t really care about either of them at all anymore. It was like I went from caring a lot, to not giving a damn what happened.

I don’t know if I can say that I won’t continue to read the rest of the series. This is the first time I’ve read a book by Hall that I didn’t absolutely love, so I want to give it a chance.  I might just wait until the last book is out to take the leap.
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