5 Stars / Contemporary / Review / Romantic Comedy

Review: The Grumpy Billionaire by Annika Martin

I’m the most feared man on Wall Street…unfortunately, my best friend’s little sister hasn’t gotten the memo.

I brandish equations like lightning bolts and shatter fortunes with mere scribbles on a whiteboard. People up and down Wall Street steer clear of me—or come to regret it.

My walls are impenetrable as Alcatraz, and my self-control? Rock solid, my friend.

Except when it comes to her.

The woman I’ve secretly longed for. The only woman I can never have.

My best friend’s little sister, Stella.

Growing up, she saw me as a heartless robot. It couldn’t be further from the truth, but a promise I made to her brother binds me, and my code of honor is as rigid as my isosceles triangle.

I hadn’t laid eyes on her for years, but now she’s in the heart of Manhattan, and I’ve unintentionally sent her career into a nosedive. My solution? Offer her a job at my hedge fund.

Suddenly I’m the boss of her, faced daily with her sparkling eyes and gummy worm obsession–and her infuriating refusal to stay away from me.

Well, I buried my feelings for her once before. I’ll do it again—to the nth degree.

Title:The Grumpy Billionaire
Author:Annika Martin
Series:Billionaires of Manhattan (Book 8)
Romantic Comedy
Trope(s):Billionaire Romance
Grumpy Sunshine
Best Friend’s Sister / Brother’s Best Friend
Point of View:First Person, Present Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)
Location:Manhattan, NYC, US
Release Date:16th November, 2023
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Fun, fresh, sexy and happy romance

I’ve read most – but not all – of the Billionaires of Manhattan series of which this is the eighth book, and I would definitely say this was classic Annika Martin – hot, hilarious and wholly enjoyable. I did spot a few cameos from previous characters in the series but they were so subtle that it was easy to miss. So this book more than stands alone and you won’t feel you’re missing out if this is your first foray into the Manhattan Billionaires series.

Stella isn’t having the best time. She’s just moved to New York to take on her dream job – except she’s just been fired before she even started. Now she, a creative and free soul, is stuck working at a stuffy hedge fund with the rigid, grumpy Hugo Jones – her brother’s best friend and the frustrating, annoying man that she’s loved since she was a girl.

I’m always nervous about these ‘quirky’ heroines as I’m not a fan when they get overly silly or irresponsible. Luckily, Stella is very much a real, layered character. She’s definitely more free-spirited than the uptight, nerdy Hugo, but she came across as a normal, fun and hugely likeable girl. Her struggles with self-worth and her feelings of whether she was good enough were so relatable and it made me love her all the more. I rooted for her – despite her penchant for eating cheeseballs with a spoon. And I admit I’m not even sure I know what a cheeseball is.

“…I’m not even sure I know what a cheeseball is.”

Hugo was a grumpy, singular, uptight, nerdy maths whizz turned hedge fund wunderkind. Strange then that, like Stella, I liked him immediately. I couldn’t necessarily relate to him but I loved the way he tried to deal with Stella, how he changed as he spent more time with her and the kind of man he really was. I also love that he never lost his nerdiness or his grumpiness.

Stella and Hugo were about as opposite as a pair could get and yet they were the perfect pairing. They struck sparks off each other – first in annoyance and anger, then in hunger and lust and finally in the way that only a perfectly compatible couple can. They didn’t want to change each other but the way they saw the other made them better people. But don’t discount that lust. Oooft – I was fanning myself. There’s an extra naughtiness that they’re sneaking around in the office. Mmmmm.

I’ll admit that I felt that the book slowed down a touch once Stella and Hugo really got together. Not in a bad way but after the excitement, heat and tension of the first part of the book, it definitely moved into a different phase. It was hear that we also got a bit more interaction with other characters – mostly Stella and Hugo’s friends. Again, not a bad thing – especially since I’m not hoping for future books with these side characters.

I always love a fun, sexy and heartwarming romance that makes you feel uplifted at the end. Add in Ms Martin’s smart and sassy storytelling and ability to make me laugh and you have a book that is sheer joy to read from beginning to end. It’s a great addition to the Billionaires of Manhattan and it’s a book I would recommend if you’re looking for something fun and fresh to lose yourself in. 5 stars.

*I received this book in exchange for my honest review*

Annika Martin loves fun, dirty stories, hot heroes, and wild, dramatic everything. She enjoys hanging out in Minneapolis coffee shops with her writer husband, and also likes birdwatching at her bird feeder alongside her two stunningly photogenic cats, especially when she should be writing. She’s heavy into running, music, saving the planet, taking long baths, and consuming chocolate suckers. 

She’s worked a surprisingly large number of waitressing jobs, and has also worked in a plastics factory and the advertising trenches; her garden is total bee-friendly madness and her most unfavorite word is nosh or possibly fob. A NYT bestselling author, she has also written as RITA award-winning author Carolyn Crane.

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Billionaires of Manhattan Series:

Return Billionaire to Sender by Annika Martin
Just Not That Into Billionaires Annika Martin

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