Published by Self-Pubbed on January 20, 2015
Genres: NA Romance
Tina Chen just wants a degree and a job, so her parents never have to worry about making rent again. She has no time for Blake Reynolds, the sexy billionaire who stands to inherit Cyclone Technology. But when he makes an off-hand comment about what it means to be poor, she loses her cool and tells him he couldn’t last a month living her life.
To her shock, Blake offers her a trade: She’ll get his income, his house, his car. In exchange, he’ll work her hours and send money home to her family. No expectations; no future obligations.
But before long, they’re trading not just lives, but secrets, kisses, and heated nights together. No expectations might break Tina’s heart...but Blake’s secrets could ruin her life.
So, there I was, home sick, reading my Twitter feed when I saw people talking about the new Courtney Milan book. Like my dogs when I say the word, “Cookie”, I perked right up and zipped over to see what they were talking about because, well, Courtney Milan. New category for her — New Adult Contemporary Romance! Snapped that sucker up (only $3.99) and devoured it in an afternoon. Now, that’s the way to spend a sick day (even a non-fake one).
Now, before you think this is just another billionaire romance (boy, there’s certainly been a plethora of them lately, hasn’t there? Inflation and all.), well, yes. There’s a billionaire — two, actually, if you count Blake’s dad — but he’s just so adorable, you can’t help but fall for him. Blake comes off as an entitled rich kid (even though he’s been working for the company and his dad since he was two…literally) but Tina, who’s pretty much the opposite of him, rips him a new one in class during a discussion about food stamps and poverty. Blake rises to the challenge and convinces Tina to switch places — lives, pretty much — with him, so they can both see how the other half lives.
There’s so much more to this story than a social experiment. Tina’s shouldering way too much for someone her age: going to school, working, trying to support herself while also taking care of her socially-conscious yet less-than-money aware mother and the rest of her family. But she’s feisty and unwilling to let anyone walk over her. Blake’s also a college student while taking a little time away from running large chunks of his father’s tech company because, as he puts it, he has a problem, something that is whittling away at his confidence, at his life. He thinks that, by switching places with Tina, he might be able to fix his problem and go back to helping his dad.
I love the family elements in this story almost as much as I love Tina and Blake. Tina’s got her mom, dad and younger sister and Blake’s got his dad (mom’s not in the picture at all). In many of the NA books I’ve read, the parents are a distant memory, sometimes nonexistent. These parental figures are a lot more like it is in reality — they’re embarrassing, they’re intrusive, they’ve got their own issues (hey, just like real people!), and they have a lot of influence on their kids.
This whole story’s fantastic. I really enjoyed the dynamics and the passion and, of course, the writing. If you’re looking for a great read, pick up Courtney Milan’s Trade Me.
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