Overnight billionaires, the Beaumont brothers are thrust into life in the fast lane with exotic cars, private jets . . . and sex and success on their minds.
A commanding presence in the boardroom and the bedroom, Deacon Beaumont has come to save the failing company French Kiss. He was born to be boss in this glamorous new world of lacy lingerie and stunning supermodels. But one bold and beautiful woman dares to question his authority.
Olivia Harrington has dedicated her life to the company's success. Just because Deacon is sexy as hell doesn't mean he'll make a better CEO. With a limitless supply of push-up bras and garter belts, Olivia turns her considerable feminine charms on Deacon to discover what makes him tick . . . and reveals instead the billion reasons why she wants him to stay.
Fun book and good start to the series. Olivia is the stepdaughter of the man who started French Kiss, a lingerie company. She grew up working for the company, being groomed by her stepfather to take it over. But when he died, he left the company to his three nephews instead. Olivia is determined to buy their shares and go back to what she was meant to do.
Deacon and his three brothers have grown up in Louisiana. There is bad blood between them and their uncle, so they are stunned to learn of their inheritance. Each has their own projects underway and could use the money that Olivia is offering. But Deacon has two things on his mind: First, a chance to get revenge on Olivia and his uncle for something that happened in the past, and second, a feeling that there is more going on than meets the eye. So he shows up in San Francisco, ready for battle.
The book started out fun and maintained the fun along with passion and a bit of mystery. The sparks flew between Olivia and Deacon from the moment she showed up in Louisiana, though neither is happy about it. Once Deacon arrives in San Francisco, he discovers that the company is actually in trouble, and his instinct to protect and rescue is awakened. He decides that he's not quite ready to sell out, and instead takes over the business side. Though initially ticked off by his actions, Olivia quickly discovers that Deacon knows what he's doing.
I liked both Deacon and Olivia. Olivia is stubborn, beautiful and creative. Though business isn't really her strong point, she wants to bring the company back from the brink of bankruptcy because of the wonderful memories of her time with her stepfather. Her first love is design, but she believes that she isn't good at it, so she has put those dreams aside. Deacon's arrival upends her plans, as she fights her attraction to him at the same time she has to try to work with him. Deacon is a smart, sexy and focused. He's got his own development company in Louisiana, but the challenge of saving French Kiss is too much to resist. He quickly loses his thirst for revenge, and instead finds his protective instincts roused by Olivia.
I enjoyed the development of their relationship. They butt heads a lot at the beginning, their antagonism fueled by an underlying attraction that both try to resist. Once they decided they were on the same side, their connection grew quickly. I especially loved seeing Deacon discover the woman underneath the business façade. From his support of her creative side to wanting to show her the world outside the company, he found himself wanting more than just the passion that flared between them. I also enjoyed seeing Olivia realize that there was much more to Deacon than the backwoods Louisiana hillbilly that she had believed him to be. But both also have a fair share of pride, and admitting to their feelings and accepting the vulnerability that means, is something that is hard to do. Some misunderstandings push them apart until each realizes the truth of what they want for their futures. I loved their big moments at the end, which were both funny (airport) and romantic (fashion show).
There was also some mystery behind the problems at French Kiss. Deacon stumbled upon one employee who appeared to be working with someone else to bring down the company. This would force Olivia to sell it for pennies on the dollar. With the help of Jason, company lawyer, and Kelli, Olivia's PA, Deacon also discovers that someone is skimming money from the company, adding to its problems. The resolutions of both these issues turned out to be different than I expected, adding an extra layer of enjoyment to the book.
The secondary characters all added extra fun to the story. Babette, the French designer that Olivia found to design a line of men's underwear, was hilarious with her over-the-top dramatics and her horrible designs. I loved Deacon's reactions to those. Olivia's PA, Kelli, was a hoot with her not quite office appropriate clothing and outspoken personal revelations. Her developing relationship with Jason was fun to see. I loved Olivia's aging hippie neighbors and their unique dress code. They were a little flaky, but also fond of Olivia and watched out for her. The juicer man and the seagull, Jonathan, turned out to be more important than I expected. But my favorites were Deacon's brothers, Nash and Grayson. Both are just as sexy as Deacon, and have more in the way of blatant charm. Though they don't always agree with Deacon, they support him anyway. I loved their part in discovering Olivia's talent. I can't wait to read their stories.