Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Tropes: Workplace romance; billionaire hero/MMC; undercover boss; resilient, tenacious heroine; found family
From its title, Annika Martin’s Butt-dialing the Billionaire (BtB) is fun. If you’ve read any of her Billionaire series, there is a common motif: grumpy or sullen billionaire who is fairly alone in the world meets a willful heroine who is out to “teach him a lesson” or challenge him to be a better person. Since the heroine belongs to a larger friend group, the anchor for this series, the billionaire finds a family. In BtB, Jaxon, the MMC, finds his family in the place he least expects, a crumbling company owned by his family where he has gone undercover to find out the identity of the person who he heard mocking him on a company conference call. It is here where he finds himself and his humanity. Here are the reasons you should grab this one quick:
- You’ll laugh at the banter between Jaxon and his FMC, Jada. From the moment they meet, even though they don’t care for the personality of the other, there is an instant attraction. Jaxon “Jack” loves to say the most unpopular thing to Jada simply to get a rise out of her, and it acts as kindling to the fire of their chemistry. Martin uses their love-hate attraction to build their allure. When it cannot build any further, an explosion of $exual attraction drops you into the middle of their story.
- Be ready to dislike Jaxon for most of the book. In fact, as far as first impressions of Martin’s billionaires (who are generally jerks) go, Jaxon aka Jack is a difficult one to like. It isn’t that he is simply grumpy or stubborn; he’s also entitled and somewhat spoiled. Thankfully, the space of the workplace as well as his connection to Jada humanize him. But it takes quite a bit of time and space in BtB for you to appreciate his characterization. Obviously, Jaxon’s background plays a large part in his character development, and Martin reveals it carefully, deftly developing his story arc. Simply know that by the end of the story, he will probably be one of your favorite Annika Martin billionaires.
- Obviously, Martin’s talent is crafting FMCs who are independent, decided, intelligent, and headstrong. Along with their friend group (one of my favorite aspects of her Billionaire series), a character such as Jada exists to showcase the power of women to change their worlds when those worlds aren’t positive. Even more, Jada is the emotionally mature character of BtB, so she carries the lion’s share of challenging Jaxon. She becomes the impetus for his evolution and reads as the strongest character in the story. Any time an author gives power to women in the story when their environment leaves them powerless is a boon for women.
- The ancillary characters simply add layers of humor and guidance for Jada and Jaxon as they fall in love. Annika Martin creates casts of characters that you can’t help but adore, and she’s done it again in BtB.
Annika Martin is a guaranteed rom-com read for me. Hands down. She writes MMCs who make it hard to love them at first, but by the story’s end, after the FMCs have done their job, they are the swoony heroic heartthrobs you were hoping for from the beginning. Butt-dialing the Billionaire is the perfect afternoon read to make you laugh and swoon.
In love and romance,