The writing combination of Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward have long been at the top of my New Adult, sexy romantic listen list. So when I saw they were releasing another collaboration, I jumped on board to review. While once again this writing duo has produced a romantic comedy and heat-filled romance that held my attention, I have to admit Mister Moneybags is not one of my top-favorites by these authors.
I think the main factor for this was the constant parade of horribles that occur as potential landmines to the budding romantic relationship between the hero and heroine. While I may have believed one or possibly two potential relationship busters – and let’s face it, we listen to romance for its entertainment factor, not necessarily its believability – the multiple episodes in this story just seemed a bit too far-fetched for me (particularly those that occur after the hero finally reveals his true identity to the heroine, which I thought was supposed to be the main theme of the story). All that said, I did enjoy the banter and chemistry between the couple and liked the main characters for the most part.
When Dex Truitt, a successful CEO, meets Bianca George, a financial reporter, in the elevator on the way up to his office he feels an instant attraction. Unfortunately for him though, Bianca makes it equally clear that she doesn’t like “rich” men, and that’s she on her way to meet the cocky CEO, “Dex Truitt” for an interview. Being a quick thinker, Dex, who is on the way back from the gym, invents a name for himself (Jay) and tells Bianca he’s a bike messenger. He also quickly asks his secretary to cancel the interview with Bianca, so she doesn’t discover his true identity.
Dex (acting as Jay) then goes on to start a relationship with Bianca. At the same time, he allows Bianca to interview him, as Dex, over email for the article she is writing. Quite surprisingly, while things are going well between “Jay” and Bianca, Dex soon finds himself jealous of his alter ego who seems to be hitting it off with Bianca (albeit in a less personal way). Moreover, the further he goes down the rabbit hole of impersonating Jay, the harder it becomes for him to reveal the truth, including correcting the various lies he has told along the way to make himself come across like the more average “Jay” that might appeal to Bianca. Can there possibly be a HEA under the circumstances (especially given that Bianca has had issues with lies in the past)?
One of the highlights of this story is the narration. As always, Andi Arndt and Sebastian York do a fabulous job, making it easy and enjoyable for the listener. As is typical in the contemporary romance genre, the narrators split the narration by chapter; Ms. Arndt narrates the chapters from Bianca’s perspective and Mr. York, the ones from Dex’s point of view. This approach works well to orient the listener to each character’s personality and true feelings as it relates to the various interactions between Dex and Bianca, and “Jay” and Bianca.
Mr. York’s baritone, sexy voice works great as that of Dex (and Jay). It’s easy to see Bianca falling for their charismatic personas. Ms. Arndt also does a great job with Bianca. And both narrators vary their pitch sufficiently when enacting the dialogues of the other characters to allow for easy differentiation among the speaker without the need to rely on dialogue tags.
All in all, if you’re looking for a light-hearted, romantic comedy to pass the time, then Mister Moneybags is likely to fill that need. Plus, the dynamic narration makes this a great title to enjoy in audio.
TITLE: Mister Moneybags
AUTHOR: Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward
NARRATED BY: Andi Arndt and Sebastian York
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
STEAM FACTOR: Glad I had my earbuds in
REVIEWER: BJBuy Mister Moneybags by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward on Amazon