Tempted by the Billionaire Next Door by Therese Beharrie
Released: May 1, 2018
Reviewed by Mandi
I’ve read two of Therese Beharrie’s books recently United by Their Royal Baby and Falling for his Convenient Queen, and I really enjoyed them. This one didn’t quite live up to the others I’ve read, but I found the premise interesting.
Set in Cape Town, South Africa, Jess is having a good time while staying at Anja’s house – her best friend, and boss. Her next door neighbor has been chopping wood, shirtless all week. She gets her chips, a chair and feels maybe a tiny bit of guilt while she stares out the window. But she is having a good time. Jess is staying at her Anja’s house while she and her husband are out of the country setting up a new yoga studio. Jess works as a personal assistant for her best friend and happens to have one other job – she is Anja’s surrogate. Unable to have kids, Jess offered to carry the baby. She is very happy to be able to help her friends in this venture.
Her next door neighbor is super sexy and when Jess finally makes it over to introduce herself, she gets a surprise! Her neighbor is Dylan, who happens to be Anja’s brother. They have fun banter and good chemistry – but there are three things that present conflict to their relationship. First, Jess grew up as an only child to parents who really didn’t want kids. They rarely gave her attention and never tried to be a part of her life. She feels great abandonment by them, and it’s hard for her to get close with someone without that fear of leaving, hanging over her head.
Second, Dylan’s father was an addict who left the family when he was a teenager. Dylan and Anja spent their years consoling their mother, until his death – and it was revealed that their mother knew before she was even married to him how great an addict he was. This angers Dylan, who leaves for the UK – abandoning his sister. When he meets Jess, his sister and him are still at odds.
And third, Jess is pregnant with Anja’s baby. Dylan is not aware that it’s his sister’s baby at first – as he has been living in the UK, not in contact with Anja. When he finds out, after he has feelings for Jess, it’s hard for him to deal with it all.
One thing that Therese Beharrie does well is show her characters communicating. They talk – they talk some more – and they keep talking. I appreciate this – everything is shown (not just told as we see in other books). I don’t mind all of the talking, although I think this book is a little slower than her others. And with both Jess and Dylan’s past – it’s a more sad book. They are both struggling with their parental issues and it’s more of a heavy topic. Not all books have to be funny and silly obviously, but this one definitely has a bit of a grey cloud hanging over it.
I liked the bond that Dylan and Jess form over hurt from their past, and how they help and cheer each other on in the present. They give each other hope that they can have a brighter future together.
Can I also mention that while Dylan is a billionaire, it’s not really a part of the story. I liked that!!