Reviewed By Tori
Favorite Quote: “Most women hate me once they get to know me.”
Billionaire Archer Bancroft always gets what he wants—and he’s wanted Ivy Emerson, his best friend’s sister, for far too long. Being forbidden and untouchable only makes her more tempting. When a million-dollar bet with his friends throws down a challenge—last bachelor standing takes all—Archer knows he can win. That is, until one enchanted evening with Ivy takes his heart for a ride.
Ivy knows Archer is nothing but bad news: Infuriating, arrogant…and completely intoxicating. But despite her best efforts, she can’t seem to keep away. When a stolen kiss leads to a night of heated passion, Ivy realizes she’s in trouble and in head over heels.
But in the light of day, everything seems clearer and Archer’s not so sure a one-night stand is all he wants. Concocting a plan to keep Ivy by his side, Archer might just be willing to lose this bet…and win the jackpot instead. (Goodreads)
Archer Bancroft has always been a love ‘em and leave ‘em man. The ultimate sexy bad boy. No woman has ever been able to hold his heart because it has always belong to one woman-Ivy Emerson. Ivy is his best friends little sister and technically off limits to a player like Archer. When Ivy and her brother take up Archer’s offer of a place to stay after leaving a wedding, He and Ivy can no longer deny the strong attraction between them and act upon it. After one night of incredible passion, Ivy has trouble reconciling the Archer she knows with the Archer who showed her a night she will never forget. Ivy gets scared and decides she and Archer should go their separate ways and chalk this up to mistake.
Archer doesn’t want to forget Ivy or their night yet he respects her wishes and doesn’t contact her for months. When he is unable to get her off his mind, he concocts a plan that will put them into close contact for a month. Archer hopes that Ivy will give him a chance to show her that he has changed and the only woman for him in her life is her.
Monica Murphy’s Crave is the the first book in her Billionaire Bet trilogy that follows a trio of commitment shy best friends who would rather win a million dollar bet then get married. I first stumbled on to Murphy’s writing with her One Week Girlfriend. An emotional new adult that follows a Cinderella theme with a unique and heartbreaking twist. Murphy has a gift for dialogue and creating engaging three dimensional characters. Crave also shines in this aspect. Though the story is predictable, the characters emotional grids light up the storyline. We get a ringside seat to Ivy and Archer’s confusion, pain, and fear as they struggle to find a way to get what they want without hurting each other, themselves, and anyone else.
Archer Bancroft is a player of the worst kind. He is rich, driven, and always gets what he wants-regardless of the consequences. He has always wanted Ivy and like a man, choose insults and teasing as his way to cope with not being able to have her. With a father who has no respect for him and expects failure with everything Archer does, Archer keeps his emotions and heart locked behind a thick barricade. His one night with Ivy blows all that open. He no longer has his shields and he has no idea what to do. I have to admit, I preferred Archer to Ivy. Archer can be an arse but you know right off that bat it’s because he doesn’t want to ruin his and Ivy’s relationship. He’d rather have her as only his friend then lose her because he pushed the issue. Ivy is young and it shows. She is also a bit of drama queen. One of those who everything that is said and done ends in exclamation points. When she tells Archer that they need to forget their one night together, she then gets depressed and angry with him because he doesn’t call her. She threw out a lot of mixed signals and that bothered me.
The sexual play is HOT with nothing left to the imagination. Archer and Ivy have extremely steamy chemistry together that scorches the pages. Add in the fact that they have loved one another for a long time and you have some heavy emotional smexytimes that will definitely leave you wanting to find your own billionaire. *waggles eyebrows* And window.
“I can imagine his big hand sliding down my back, pushing gently so I have no choice but to bend forward. Hearing his dark, sexy voice commanding me to brace my hands on the shockingly cool glass. [...] Those assured fingers would slip beneath my thin panties to find me already soaking wet for him…”
I admired the plan Archer concocts to get them together. In one swoop he gets her in his bed and shows his admiration and respect for her skills as a designer. Though the bet comes back to bite him in the arse, Murphy does a fine job of resolving it in a realistic fashion.
I would have enjoyed a more in-depth look into their relationship when they worked together though. Because of the time frame, Murphy tells us what’s happened but we are not able to see the little things. Regardless, the ending is dramatic and sweet with a verified happy for now for Archer and Ivy and clues to the next bachelor to fall.