I love it when I try a new-to-me author and the vibe clicks immediately; I can already tell that I’m going to enjoy future books from Taylor. The second chance element of this romance wasn’t a perfect fit for me personally, but I really liked the writing style and I had no trouble flying through the pages. It’s low angst and easygoing, with rom com vibes and a lighthearted feel that keeps things upbeat. While I jumped into this series of interconnected standalones out of order, I didn’t feel lost – and I’m definitely looking forward to more from the author.
The story follows two strangers who meet while on vacation in Greece. “Wolf” is a SEAL on leave with some buddies, “Red” is a jilted bride drinking away her sorrows, and the two connect when Wolf comes to her rescue. After Wolf proves himself to be trustworthy, they decide to spend Red’s honeymoon together, then part ways without exchanging real names or phone numbers. Though both start to catch feelings during their fling, Wolf is called away on a mission and leaves without a word – so their fun comes to an abrupt halt with no way to get back in touch. When they run into each other again three years later, a lot has changed. Their time together was great, but Scarlett no longer trusts Gray, and she’s not sure of his intentions toward her wealthy grandmother. As the two spend time together once again, those old feelings come back to the surface.
I love a romance that plays on familiar fairytales, so I was excited to try this one out. And it was a lot of fun! It’s not overtly funny, but the light and sexy feel gives this rom com vibes, and the story remains low angst the whole way through. The relationship stayed a little more surface level than I’d like (and there are a few dropped threads), but I liked Gray and Scarlett together, and the story kept me entertained. It was both familiar and fresh, breathing life into A Little Red Riding Hood in a new way. I also think Taylor did a great job of navigating the second chance element. It’s a trope that can be tricky for me, and I liked how it was handled here. Yeah, I wish we’d seen more of their time during the honeymoon, but skipping that gave this fling to more romance a slow burn feel. This was solid enough that I’ll definitely be checking out more in the future.
In my expert opinion, every woman who’s been left at the altar should follow up that singularly humiliating experience by spending a week in paradise with a totally inappropriate—and totally sexy—stranger.
Even better if you meet him at the bar of the resort hotel where your destination wedding and honeymoon were supposed to take place.
Even even better if he’s hot and jacked and there are no names exchanged and zero chance of ever seeing him again afterward.
One week of no-holds-barred sex, sun, rum, and fun and your broken heart is on the road to recovery— or at least approaching the on-ramp.
Of course, the key to pulling off this surefire heartbreak cure is to make sure you don’t fall for him during that amazing week during which you lived out every fantasy you’ve ever had.
And whatever you do, don’t run into your non-honeymoon fling three years later—at your matchmaking grandma’s house.
SCARLETT AND THE BIG BAD BILLIONAIRE is a hot small-town rom com take on the Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf fairy tale. It’s a standalone enemies to lovers, mistaken identity, jilted bride romantic comedy filled with heart, heat, and billionaire romance fun!
“I hate him,” I said, not for the first time tonight. Wouldn’t be the last either.
“We all do, honey,” Maddie soothed. “He’s a cotton-headed ninny muggins, and you’re better off without him.”
Maddie had replaced all her favorite swear words with toddler-appropriate variations since becoming a mother, but I appreciated the furor and loyalty behind the silly phrase.
I rested my forehead against the cool surface of the outdoor bar. It smelled like beer and pineapple. “What I don’t understand is why he even flew here with me in the first place if he knew he wasn’t going to go through with it.”
“He told Joey he didn’t want to embarrass you since you’d already had your bridal shower. And he thought he could do it… up until this morning.”
“It’s like my dad and mom all over again.”
They were never married?” my younger half-sister asked, clearly shocked.
“No, no, they were, but he left. They all do eventually.”
“Not all of them,” she said. “Not Joey. He knows I’ll track him down and deep fry his Rocky Mountain oysters if he even thinks of leaving me alone with two kids under five.”
“You wouldn’t get the chance to mutilate him because I’d do it for you,” I vowed before slurping what remained of the brightly colored drink in my glass. “Besides, you can’t go to prison—you have to be there for the kids, whereas I will apparently never be having any.”
Maddie gave me a chiding glance as she offered me a sip of her club soda. “Last one, okay? You’re not used to drinking so much. You’re just piling misery on top of sorrow. Besides, I can’t stay awake much longer, and mom wants us to do brunch tomorrow morning before she and my dad leave.”
Unlike me, our mother had managed to find a great guy after her marriage to my father ended. A couple years after she’d married David, Maddie had been born, and my life had become infinitely better.
At the moment though, I didn’t want to face any of them—not even my sweet half-sister who wanted me to be sensible instead of ordering every umbrella drink on the bar menu.
“Nooooooooo,” I whined. “No brunch. No Eggs Benedict and sad eyes and ‘I’m sorry’s’ and ‘better luck next time, kiddos.’ I wish I could have gotten a flight out today. Then I wouldn’t have had to spend two hours at my ‘un-reception’ assuring everyone how okay I am and trying not to spill on this dress so I can re-sell it.”
My reception dress was a clingy red knit that matched the beautiful bougainvillea growing all around the property of the resort hotel. It was the only thing I’d packed for my destination wedding and honeymoon that wasn’t beachwear or resort casual.
Come to think of it, maybe I should have just changed into a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. It wasn’t like I was going to impress anyone at this point.
For some reason I’d had some thought of maintaining dignity or some such nonsense. That concern was long gone tonight, thanks to Captain Morgan and the crew.
Maddie patted my back. “Well, for what it’s worth, I think you should keep it. It looks amazing on you. Bryce didn’t deserve that dress, and he didn’t deserve you. He’s boring—and he smells like hot dog water.”
I lifted my head. “What?”
“He does. I didn’t want to say anything about it when I thought you’d be spending the rest of your life with him, but it’s true. I don’t know how you stood it. I’ll tell Mom and David you don’t feel up to brunch. You can just see them when everyone gets home.”
Ugh. I did not relish the thought of going back to face all my co-workers and friends who hadn’t gotten the word yet about my canceled wedding.
But I would. Because I had to.
What was the alternative? Spending my honeymoon here alone? Maddie and Joe had to go back home—they both had work, and Trina had school. Mom and David were scheduled to go off on an excursion to the Acropolis tomorrow, not that I’d want to spend my un-honeymoon with them.
“What you need now is a hot bath and a good night’s sleep,” Maddie said.
“What I need is another drink.” I raised my hand to get the attention of the young bartender who was looking more and more like Tom Cruise as the hours—and colorful drinks—added up.
He nodded at me and started mixing a replacement for my empty glass.
“Or maybe a lobotomy so I can’t think about it anymore,” I added.
“Or… a night with one of those guys,” Maddie said with waggling eyebrows. “I’ll bet you wouldn’t even remember Bryce’s name in the morning.”
I followed my sister’s pointed gaze to a group of guys on the other side of the bar. They were boisterous and loud as if maybe they’d started the party elsewhere and this was just one of many stops along their trail of debauchery tonight.
Every one of them was jacked, like they were bodybuilders—but then, no, they weren’t puffed up and slickly styled. Rather they were tough looking, their sinewy strength the kind that resulted from manual labor or old-fashioned bodyweight exercises. Several of them were tatted up
“Don’t be ridiculous. The last thing I’m interested in right now is men. You don’t cure a hangover with more alcohol.”
“Um… have you never heard of ‘hair of the dog that bit you?’” she asked.
“I’m not interested in dog hair, horsehair, or sexily scruffy dark hair with a golden auburn streak,” I said, checking out the attractive guy at the very end of the bar. He didn’t appear to be drinking like the rest of his posse. “And I’m definitely not interested in a military guy.”
“You think they’re military?” she asked, studying them more closely now. “What’s wrong with that?”
“My dad was a SEAL, remember? Ninety percent divorce rate?”
“Oh right. But how do you know these guys are military?”
“Don’t stare at them,” I hissed. “They’ll take it as an invitation.”
She grinned, talking through her teeth like a ventriloquist. “Too late. Incoming hottie alert. Look alive, solider.”
There’s more from the series!
All the books in the Eastport Bay Billionaires series can be read as standalones, but they’re interconnected in fun ways that make them even more fun when read together! Here’s the series so far:
Bookworm and the Beast- A Beauty and the Beast enemies to lovers story – Amazon: https://amzn.to/33q9cIH
Bargain with the Bachelor- A Snow White secret crush roommates romance story – Amazon: https://amzn.to/3LFvPdy
The Baby and the Blueblood- A Cinderella second chance, secret baby royal romance story – Amazon: https://amzn.to/3GXsFy2
The Baby-whisperer and the Brute- A Rapunzel nanny/single dad virgin heroine first love story – Amazon: https://amzn.to/3oU7SFo
The Bombshell and the Bodyguard- A Frog Prince celebrity/bodyguard ex-military hero best friend’s little sister story – Amazon: https://amzn.to/368kHFF
About the Author:
Award-winning romance author Tru Taylor writes romantic comedies to make you swoon, smile, and snort with laughter.
She runs on Coke Zero and dark chocolate, lives for lunches with her girlfriends, and drives to the town beach several times a week to watch the sun set over the water.
She loves LOVE and will attempt to turn any show or movie she’s watching into a romance whether it is one or not. Star Wars? A romance. Lord of the Rings? Clearly a romance. The Expendables? Okay, well not even Tru can redeem that one.
When she’s not writing, Tru enjoys watching movies and reading books with happy endings, spending time with her husband and two kids, and sneaking Hershey’s Kisses from the top shelf of the freezer throughout the day. (Top shelf because… two kids. Enough said.)
Tru is the author of the Eastport Bay small town rom com series and loves living in a small New England town where she’s surrounded every day by the beautiful coastal setting you see brought to life in her books.
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