Review ~ EXES – Aria Hawthorne

4-stars

 

 

 

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exesWhen Chicago real estate tycoon Harvey Zale pings a “friend of a friend” with a flirtatious text, he never expects to start an addictive sexting affair with a complete stranger. He’s a billionaire who can get any woman he wants, but he can’t have her–his mysterious, sultry Contessa, who inspires his nightly confessions and soothes more than just his conscience from the consequences of his own shallow ambitions.

He’s determined to build the tallest towers in the world and he needs to sell his Chicago riverfront property to finance it. But when Alma Castillo, the Lara Croft of antique hunters, shows up on his land, claiming the existence of a priceless Tiffany stained-glass window and doing everything in her power to muck up his deal, he knows he’s got more than a stray cat to collar and tame. She’s not only on a mission to save long-lost antiques; she’s also on a personal crusade to hate his guts.

He would know. She served him divorce papers a year ago, just to prove it.

And he’d care a helluva lot more if his ex-wife’s sassy tongue and wicked intelligence didn’t turn him on every time she called him “a**hole” and if she didn’t look so damn cute in those baggy overalls, disguising her affinity for being naughty as much as being nice.

Perhaps even as naughty as his Contessa, who unlike Alma, doesn’t know anything about his real identity or flawed, billionaire reputation, which flames his desires to escalate their fantasy relationship into the reality of one scorching night of mindblowing…

If he could only get his mind off his ex-wife–the only woman he’s ever truly loved. God, woman…if she would just let him pleasure her scornful frown and turn it oh, oh, oooohhhh so upside down, maybe he could convince her to marry him again.

But no one ever said it was easy being a greedy opportunistic billionaire bastard, especially one who happens to know there’s nothing better than make-up sex with an ex…

~~~~~~~~~~REVIEW~~~~~~~~~~

This book had me at treasure hunt. Add in some downright steamy sexting, heaps of dirty talk and a big ass money-making man child and Aria Hawthorne’s Exes had me more than a little bit hooked.

It did start off slow to me thought. Harvey is a real estate tycoon, and I do mean tycoon. The man was so focused on making money and being the best that he ignored his marriage and his now ex-wife Alma, antiques expert. Fast forward a bit and the two are reunited…though not for love.

Harvey wants to buy some land on which a building sits but, and it’s a big one, Alma is called into evaluate the windows on said building which—may or may not—be the “Eternal Love” Tiffany window with which she’s been professionally obsessed. This was my favorite part of the story, figuring it out and exploring like an honest to goodness treasure hunt.

And it presented some of the right kind of drama. Sure Harvey is pissed that he can’t just demolish the building but it also puts him and Alma together again and he’s never stopped loving her. So he says but I’m of the mind that you don’t treat someone you care about the way he did. There isn’t just the tension between Harvey and Alma but there’s the almost-triangle with Jacques who seems to have a more than professional interest in Alma.

Then there’s Alma’s family who are firmly on team get Harvey & Alma back together. And that’s where the other, sexier part of the story comes in. A scheming sister, Conchita, hooks Alma up with a number of a gentleman friend with whom she texts, sexts and flirts like crazy. The catch? No names, no job talk and no meeting in real life.

Sounds like a fun, non-committal way to pass the time, right?

I thought so too. But…guess who?

I was reluctant to read this at first because sometimes I get so sick of asshole billionaires being passed of as ‘alpha’ when they are really bullies. But I got this from NetGalley and I figured it was worth a read. And I’m happy I did. I didn’t like Harvey or Alma that much at first but I quickly warmed up to each of them as I learned more about them. I began to understand them.

This is one of those stories that has everything; a bit of adventure, tons of steam, love and some funny family members to break up the drama.

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