Book Review: Born of Greed by J.T. Baroni

couple heterosexual topless with jeans detail studio shotTitle: Born of Greed
Author: J.T. Baroni
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Adult (18+)
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon, Secret Cravings Publishing
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Jack Trotter and Amber Fontana enjoy a platonic relationship; that is until one fateful evening when they dine at Jimmie’s Crab Shack, a tiny bistro lying in seclusion off the coastal highway outside of Santa Monica. An out of the way place, Jimmie’s legendary seafood is as notorious as the movie stars and gangsters who have wined and dined here since the Roaring Twenties. It is here, in the aura of secrecy where clandestine meetings amongst lovers; deceitful schemes; and revenge riddled plots, have abounded for decades, where Amber reveals her intimacy problem, and Trotter finds courage to reveal his own disturbing dilemma.

Together, Jack and Amber overcome their sexual inhibitions and learn how to love. Then the two lovers mastermind a plan to take what they feel is rightfully Amber’s…forty million dollars from her greedy twin sister who became a sensational singing diva due mainly to Amber’s writing her twin’s hit songs, for little pay and no recognition.

Born of Greed is a fascinating epic fictional biography where greed, love, and revenge collide with sex, drugs and rock and roll.

Born of Greed starts out a little awkward, but luckily it picks up from there and really evolves into a beautiful story. Main character Jack Trottor is a fitness-enthusiast who’s more than a little obsessed with his own good looks, and who in general, isn’t the nicest person to be around. He’s full of himself, is continuously going on about how great he looks, and he’s basically using that to cover up for his own insecurities. What I thought was awkward in the first chapter, was how the POV switched from Jack to his fifty-something female neighbor who watches Jack walk by her window and masturbates at a fantasy involving him. It was odd, because she only appears a few times in the book, doesn’t play much of a role, and it’s kind of useless to switch from Jack’s POV to hers. Either way, as soon as the POV focused on Jack, and stayed there, the story started progressing.

I liked Amber a great deal more than I liked Jack. She’s less self-obsessed than he is, and she’s suffered a lot while growing up. Jack and Amber are involved in a scheme to get money from Amber’s extremely rich twin sister who made forty million singing songs Amber wrote. This may seem like a plot that’s been done a thousand times before, but author J.T. Baroni adds an original twist to it, making the plot sound new and refreshing. Jack and Amber’s relationship is platonic at first, but there’s always an underlying current of possible desire. When they open up to each other, it’s like the wall they’ve build around themselves explodes, revealing their true selves. I’ve read my fair share of contemporary romance novels where the hero and heroine jump in bed with each other five minutes after meeting and thankfully it wasn’t the case here. Insta-love is my worst pet peeve, and I always cross my fingers when reading adult romance novels that it won’t be the case, and it isn’t here. Instead, their relationship develops a lot slower as both of them learn how to love for the first time in their lives.

The book is well-written, and the author definitely has the writing part down. If he’d stayed with the main character’s POV a bit more, instead of focusing on other, less important POVs, every now and then, then I think the book would’ve been even stronger.

A good choice for fans of contemporary romance.

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