Member Reviews

While this book wasn't for me personally, I can see the appeal for certain romance readers and will recommend it to customers (and other LJ Shen titles as well).

My main critiques of this book are ultimately down to personal taste. I found the plot a little too out there, and the protagonists annoying.

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"Sorry to disappoint, ladies, but I'm about to become a taken man." Taken hostage, more like.

Cold Hearted Casanova is an angsty romance by L.J. Shen. It features Duffy and Riggs, which are briefly mentioned in the previous two books. This book can easily be read as a standalone, I jumped in and had no difficulty reading it. First off, I loved Duffy and Riggs, their characters were witty and super entertaining to read. Also, I absolutely adore how L.J. Shen does the alternating chapters between the fmc and mmc! I stayed up until 3am binge reading this book, I couldn't put it down. The hospital scene had tears streaming down my face, but then like 2 pages later I was laughing. Quite the emotional turmoil but I loved every second of it. If you enjoy angsty romances, this is just the book for you!

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Well, its in the title...

Riggs is certainly no hero. More villain than not, he is bound to have an STI/STD, as he lacks any discernment in his hook ups. In fact, the whole premise of this book is he is caught banging a married news presenter. Her assistant catches them in the act (ew).

Duffy has the balls to blackmail the billionaire with the S addiction.
Props for that. Her motivations are questionable: to marry well and to stay in the states. So, whatever it takes. Who ever it takes? Her taste in men are definitely questionable.
But a deal is struck and you know these two are gonna race to the bedroom.
They kind of are a match.

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Absolutely adored this marriage of convenience ! The blurb is pretty self explanatory but when you read the pages of this book and get to know the characters you’ll root for them both! I loved the was the story evolved and even the little shocker ( for me, anyways) I was not expecting that.. I loved the way the author described the last moments. Thank you to NetGalley , the author and publisher for the opportunity to read and express my thoughts on this book. I’ll definitely be re-reading this

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This has been one of my favorite Shen series and Riggs & Daphne OWN my heart!
Their chemistry SPARKED like something akin to a sparkler LOL I love them so much!

I cannot wait to listen to this story via audio!!

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I've been waiting for Riggs' book, and it really lived up to all of my expectations! The idea of a convenient marriage between two people so that one can stay in the country is one that I've always loved watching in movies (think The Proposal or The Green Card) and now I know that it works even better in book form.

Duffy is one of those characters that you aren't sure if you like or not. She is looking to marry well and to stay in the US and has now gotten to the point that she's desperate. Learning more about Duffy and the things that have happened in her life were what changed my mind about her, and I love those kind of transformations that happen. Riggs is in his element quibbling back and forth with Duffy, and their chemistry are out of this world!

Couldn't be a more perfect ending to this series, and it's just another amazing read from LJ Shen!

Thank you to NetGalley and to Montlake for providing me with an ARC of this book.

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When Duffy Markham meets Riggs Bates, it's not love at first sight. He's sleeping with her married boss. Who's desperate for Duffy to keep quiet about what she saw. And who begs Riggs to help.

When Duffy realizes this is a man who can help her out of her dilemma (she can't stay in the states, her job is ending and her boyfriend has flown to Nepal to "find himself"). So she blackmails him. Riggs needs a wife for reasons of his own, so he agrees.

Riggs, though, is keeping a very big secret from Duffy. He's a billionaire. He knows she only wants to marry someone who can take care of her. The last thing he wants is for her to find out she did marry someone rich. The lengths he goes to keep her in the dark!

These two were just... like a cat and dog. They did not perfectly match up, and the sniping between the two was so funny. Duffy cares about looks, station. Riggs could care less. I enjoyed them both. Duffy knew what she wanted, and honestly, good for her. I loved watching the change in both.

This was a slow burn, the two of them definitely not seeing eye to eye. When they slowly came to respect and care for each other, I loved it.

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I love billionaire marriage of convenience books, they hit every time. I also love the twists of Riggs hiding his wealth, it makes the story more emotional and you know that there will be heartbreak. However, where the heartbreak comes from was left field and had me crying multiple times. Riggs and Duffy have an amazing friendship/early marriage, they quickly connect and fall in love fast, but everything else takes a little more time and honesty for them to work long term.

The 3rd party relationships really make this story amazing, they help you feel immersed in the world and you develop feeling and connects with every character not just the main two. I devoured the entire last third of this book so much happens and I just wanted to know more constantly!

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When I saw a new book by LJ Shen was coming I immediately wanted it! As per usual, this one features another great book boyfriend you’ll love and a heroine you can’t help but root for! I very much enjoyed the story of Riggs and Duffy - sweet, angsty, fun, and of course some steam! I very much recommend!

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Both Duffy and Riggs find themselves in a difficult situation. Riggs has been found doing something he should not be doing, and Duffy must marry in order to remain in the United States. Duffy is set on escaping her childhood poverty and marrying into a wealthy family, so when the chance presents itself, she uses blackmail to get what she wants. Riggs is not what I expected. He is loaded. Damn rich, but he doesn't brag about it. In fact, he goes to great lengths to hide the fact that he is made of money.

Forced to spend so much time together, their hatred for each other slowly grows into heated chemistry and intense sexual tension, and they can't help but let those feelings consume them both.

The way he gradually becomes more and more involved with Duffy was amazing. His emotional growth was brilliantly written and explained. This book was a complete package of humorous, spicy and emotional. I loved Riggs's connection with Duffy; he's such a complicated guy. I also didn’t expect to have tears in my eyes during the end! It was an emotional rollercoaster.

Thank you to NetGalley and Montlake for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Cold Hearted Casanova took a while for me to really get into. The first 25% was slow. I’m not a huge fan of marriage of convenience or gold digger plots. But LJ Shen has a way of making you love her couples that she writes about. I’ve only read the first book of this interconnected standalone series. I don’t think they need to be read in order without receiving spoilers. Overall I did enjoy cold hearted Casanova

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Riggs and Duffy= swoon! I will admit that in the beginning Duffy was hard to connect with as she was portrayed as such an outward gold digger. Even the acknowledgment from Riggs that said she was a gold digger made their connection hard to believe at times. However, Riggs also fought his own demons, and together the two of them broke all the rules and found partnership.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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•LJ you dropped this 👑 ,here’s to the queen of enemies to lovers
•Duffy and Riggs banter is GOLDEN
•”I forgive you,” IFYKYK my soul. Literal tears.

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This is hands down my favorite in the Cruel Castaways series. I didn’t expect all the different emotions that I had throughout it. Riggs is a photographer that travels for long periods of time. Not wanting to settle. Duffy is in New York working as assistant. She’s ready for her wealthy boyfriend to propose. Especially since her work visa is expiring and she would be able to stay if she gets married. Then her boyfriend tells her he wants to take a six month break to go overseas and teach. And then her boss, is leaving to take a job in Washington. Leaving her jobless. Having nothing to lose, when she walks in on her married boss with Riggs she lets them know she’ll keep her mouth shut if Riggs marries her. Riggs thinks the idea is crazy, and there’s no way he will. Until he’s willing to, to get out of an assignment that he can’t take. And the only way he’d be off the hook is if he had someone. I had a love/hate relationship with Riggs. He was a complete jerk in the beginning. But redeems himself. I laughed throughout the book. I loved Duffy. This was an entertaining read!

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Duffy has just had her heart broken but she has to forge ahead. She is also about to lose her job, but she has to forge ahead. She has worked for so long to get her green card so she can stay in the United States that she is driven to find a way to make it happen even though the deadline in looming. Riggs keeps his life simple. He doesn’t own a home. He sleeps on his friends’ sofas when he’s in town. He likes his job as a photographer. The last thing he wants to do is settle down. Then circumstances bring Duffy and Riggs together and they end up married so that they can both stay in New York. But will this lead to love? Will they find a path they can travel together?

The author created two characters that needed a LOT of growth to be functioning adults. I had been waiting for Riggs’ story, so I went into the book with a lot of anticipation. I wasn’t disappointed. There are some twists and turns. There are some obvious moments and some genuine surprises. There is genuine humor and actual tears. The author did not bother to try to make his friends suddenly nice and lovey because they already have their HEA and I appreciated that a lot. There are some side characters that are very frustrating, and I kept wanting them to get their due because I’m a little blood thirsty. I mean, Riggs is an undercover billionaire so some of these side characters would have been floored to learn that. Just saying.

My one complaint is that this is the end of the road for this group of friends and I kind of wanted a big send-off. I don’t know what I wanted to happen because everyone got the HEA but maybe a peak 10 years into the future or something? I just don’t know.

This is a contemporary romance that takes place in New York and London. Both characters are adults with demanding careers. I will read more from this author in the future. (Duh since I’m a serious fangirl.)

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A big thank you to NetGalley and Montlake for the eARC. I am voluntarily reviewing this book. Fist time reading this author. Well this surprised me! I first thought Riggs was just a horn dog! But I grew to really like him. Lol I did like Duffy as well. Interesting to see them change and grow. Gretchen I just never liked. The characters definitely have flaws but that made them more real. Enjoyable I want to explore this author! 4 stars

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Cold Hearted Casanova is the third and final installment in the Cruel Castaways series. It follows Riggs and Daphne “Duffy” who meet in the most unconventional way.

From the very first page of this book I knew I was in for a treat and honestly Duffy blackmailing Riggs to get a green card was so freaking smart it had me screaming “GET IT DUFFY”.

The banter in this book had me crying from laughing so hard but I also ended up crying because there were some really freaking sad parts. So get your tissues ready. There were several times I said “I knew it” but also a couple times where I screamed “WHAT?!”.

I liked both of the main characters at the end but I actually disliked both of them in the beginning. Duffy was cold and a bit annoying with the whole “I need to marry up”. Riggs was too much of a man child and was way too old to be couch surfing. Over the course of the book both of them grew so much and it made them much more relatable which had me falling in love with them.

The ending of this book was an absolutely perfect way to end the series but I honestly wish there was more!

You will love this book if you love age gaps, slow burn, enemies to lovers, marriage of confidence, my wife, billionaire romance, forced proximity and so much more.

Cold Hearted Casanova can be read as a standalone or as part of the series. I highly recommend reading the entire series! You will not regret picking up this book!

Thank you so much to L.J. Shen, Montlake & Netgalley for the gifted copy!

* Please note, this has been posted on story graph, goodreads and instagram. Links provided. This review will be posted to Amazon after the book releases.

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I've read so many of LJ's books, she is almost always a hit for me!
What to expect:
-age gap
-billionaire romance
-marriage of convenience
-fake relationship/real feelings
-slow burn
-found family

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Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
Spice: 🌶️.5/5

So it seems my recent M.O is going into books blind... And right here is another one. I absolutely LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this series finale, featuring Duffy and Riggs 💖 Leigh always has a way with words and this book was nothing short of phenomenal!! ❤️

So Duffy needs a visa stat in order to stay in the US. When her American BF goes back on his word and decides to "find himself" in Nepal, the wedding and plan she had all along goes down the pan, thus struggling to find a solution from getting deported back to the UK.

Enter Riggs, who she finds in a very compromising position with her high powered 'married' boss. Duffy finds herself desperate and strikes a deal... If Riggs marries her so she can obtain a green card, she will refrain from going to the media to reveal the scandalous affair her boss is having.

Riggs thinks Duffy is crazy and shoots her down straight away. He is not one for commitment - never has been and never will be. Despite being a billionaire he lives a nomad lifestyle, believing money changes people. However, his boss assigns him a job in Alaska for 8 months, which he can't get out of. That is unless he conveniently has a "wife"... *Ahem* hello Duffy 👋🏻

Initially, I didn't like Duffy or Riggs characters, but as we delved deeper into their past traumas and experiences, and another side of them was revealed, that all simply changed! I could really sympathise the person who they've grown up to become and I could not love them more! They definitely became a better person by being together and their love... ❤️ It was just too cute!!

P.s make sure to have some tissues ready... You'll need it at some point 🥹

Thank you to Netgalley and Montlake for the eARC in exchange for an honest review 🫶🏻

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I gave the book a four star in an attempt to be generous but honestly it was closer to a three star. Honestly, at one point in the first 50% I questioned if I was going to have to DNF the book. After the 50% mark things started to pick up a little and I chose to stick it out.

Storyline: We start the book out with Daphne she is the assistant to Gretchen who is leaving NYC to work for the white house. Not only is she leaving Daphne jobless but she is also leaving her without somebody to sponsor her work visa. Daphne is from London. One day Daphne walks in on something she shouldn't have and is given the perfect plan to stay in the US. Marry someone (via blackmail) to obtain a green card. Riggs the MMC (who is linked to Gretchen I am trying not to spoil it) moves in with Daphne and they get to the task of getting her a green card. They get married, and start to build a relationship of sorts in the hope that they can convince the immigration office what they have is real. Over time they both develop feelings for the other but when shit hits the fan, Riggs decides that things have gone too far and leaves. He agrees to still go through with relationship for her green card but doesn't want to carry on their actual relationship. Things work out in the end and they get their HEA.

Thoughts: This book was stock full of stereotypes. Daphne was a legit self proclaimed gold digger, on the search for "security" because she grew up in poverty. Riggs was the frugal billionaire...shoot me now. While I liked their banter and a lot of the time when Daphne was rude it was funny she was also extremely shallow and the shit with her ex drove me up a wall. Like everyone is different but I grew up poor and would legit never want to be someones doormat in exchange for financial security. No thanks. Riggs was supposed to be a "casanova" but really he was just a 37 year old man child with daddy and mommy issues. They were both so annoying that honestly they fit together. The first 50% of the book was so hard to get into I legit almost didn't finish it. I honestly didn't real feel their chemistry at all and when Riggs friends would roast him I was like bro that is a sign to GROW TF UP.

This one was honestly just not for me. The marrying for a green card bit was boring and I felt like the overall plot was just sort of bleh. The spice was limited and some of the dialogue was weird as well.

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