Reviewed By Tori
Favorite Quote: “I want to completely give in to sin and not worry about the consequences.”
Marina Knight came to this party for one thing only: to slap Gage Emerson in the face. Poised to snatch up her family’s real estate empire, the sexy tycoon is on the verge of making an enemy for life—even if he can make her melt with a single kiss …
When Gage discovers that the alluring woman before him is the key to his latest acquisition, claiming her as his suddenly doesn’t seem quite so cut-and-dried. To get what he wants, he must get to know the fierce woman willing to face him down—as she steadily steals his heart.
Gage’s persistence and intense passion war with Marina’s determination to protect her family. As they delve deeper into an affair they didn’t see coming, Marina’s torn: Will she lose her heart to Gage—or everything she holds dear? (Goodreads)
Monica Murphy’s Billionaire Bachelor Club trilogy is based on a trio of commitment shy billionaires who make a million dollar bet. The last man standing wins one million dollars. Crave, book one, is Archer Bancroft’s story. He is the first to lose the bet but his loss is really his gain in the form of Ivy Emerson, his soon to be wife.
Torn, second in the Billionaire Bachelors Club series, is an enemies to lovers trope. Gage Emerson, Ivy’s brother, is a successful real estate tycoon and he has been steadily buying up Napa Valley. He has his eye on some some prime real estate that the Molina family owns and isn’t above using their money issues against them to get it. The Molina’s are considered royalty in Napa Valley but certain bad investments have made them land rich but cash poor. Marina Knight, a Molina on her mother’s side, runs an organic bakery and wants, no, needs to prove to her family and herself that she can make it a success. Unfortunately, the bakery is one of the key pieces of property Gage wants. When these two hard working driven characters come together, it’s a stunning explosion fueled by lust and hate.
If we didn’t hate each other so much, I’d believe she was made just for me.
Gage is a playboy of the worse kind though he has sworn off ladies at the moment. A workaholic; some past nasty relationships and the need to expand his empire has him placing his business first and foremost. Charming though abrupt and not the best at small talk, he has what I like to refer to as foot in mouth syndrome. Especially when he meets Marina Knight. She comes to a party looking to confront him once she learns he is the one looking to buy up her bakery and the surrounding properties. One look at her and he’s a goner. Especially when she doesn’t play hard to get. In fact, she doesn’t make a play for him at all. As he’s making small talk with her, attempting to get to know her better, he makes the mistake of talking business and inadvertently insults her family. Marina gets angry, storms away, and Gage begins the chase.
I’m the idiot who’s drawn to her despite her obvious hate-or at the very least, disinterest in me.
Not one for over dramatizing or creating overy angst driven storylines, Murphy creates dynamic characters who love, laugh, fight, and experience life to the fullest. Torn hit some of my buttons. Its fast pacing, engaging dialogue, and super steamy love scenes made for enjoyable reading.
Gage and Marina were like oil and water but that only made watching their journey from enemy to lovers more entertaining. There is a lot of friction between them and it heats up more than just the sheets. Gage wants the Knight properties but he wants Marina too. Marina is equally attracted to Gage but she wants to make her bakery a success and protect her family’s legacy. Gage tries to work the alpha dominant mojo in here but it won’t work on Marina. She is independent, stubborn, loyal, and extremely snarky. Gage can’t control or anticipate her and that drives him insane. Gage’s inability to think before he speaks will leave you laughing as he puts his foot in his mouth repeatedly throughout the book. I think everyone winces when he opens his mouth around Marina.
“…I hold my breath, afraid he might say something to ruin the moment. Thank god he keeps his big mouth shut.”
A lot of antagonism ramps up the sexual tension to unbelievable levels as Gage and Marina begin their dance. Their chemistry is off the charts as this couple can only seem to fit when they are making love. There they can forget they are on opposites sides and give in to the craving that consumes them both.
I want to undo those bows and watch her panties fall away from her body. Then I want to get down on my knees and bury my mouth between her legs. I know she’ll taste hot and wild. I wonder how many flicks of my tongue will make her come.
Fuck, I’m beyond eager to find out.
Gage has a hard time understanding what drives Marina. His money and power means nothing to her. She just wants someone to appreciate her for who she is. We watch as they each had to learn to give in order to make their relationship work. Gage had to learn to stop working so hard and just live. He also needed to consider other people’s happiness before his own. Marina needed to learn to let down her walls and trust her own judgment.
Though I enjoyed Torn overall, I would have liked seeing more of them when they weren’t fighting. Their chemistry is HAWT but the emotional side was harder to buy into. This story moves fast and we didn’t have the background that Archer and Ivy did so it felt a little less developed than book one. Plus the misunderstanding the forces them to really look into their feelings for one another was a bit silly to me. Both were wrong but the crimes didn’t warrant the punishment in my opinion. Lack of communication was a huge problem in this couple. The ending is dramatic and resolves into a happy for now for Gage and Marina and clues are given to how our last bachelor will fall and to whom.