Invitation from the Venetian Billionaire by Lucy King

Invitation from the Venetian Billionaire (Lost Sons of Argentina #2)
By Lucy King
June 2021
★★★ 3 stars

PR expert Carla wants to help her best friend’s husband Finn find and reunite with his long-lost brothers. So, when she finds one of his brothers named Rico, Carla is determined to bring the brothers together. Rico, a Venetian billionaire, is used to being by himself and has no intention of meeting with family, let alone with a persistent stranger like Carla. Can Carla convince Rico and Finn to meet and break through Rico’s walls?

I was intrigued by the blurb and the fun plot but I wasn't a big fan of King's writing style.

King’s writing style is more tell than show. She plainly tells us how everything – how the characters are feeling, their motivations, their backstories, etc. It’s nice that all the cards of the plot are laid out on the table, but it doesn’t add a lot of depth to the characters either. For example, the book is a dual POV romance with Rico and Carla getting their own POVs, but their POVs had very similar voices. Maybe this is a style other readers might enjoy, but I personally found the prose too plain for my liking. I think it contributed to the book feeling less romantic than it could’ve been.

However, I think King did a good job of grounding the novel. Yes, it’s a fun escapist billionaire romance, but it’s also a romance with some drama. Our two protagonists both had interesting, yet difficult pasts and work on addressing these issues in healthier ways.

Despite some of the issues I had with the characterization, the book was pretty entertaining and I wanted to see how it ended. This was the first book I’ve read from Harlequin, which is a hugely romance publisher. This particular read is from their Harlequin Presents line. It wasn’t bad, but I’m hoping that I’ll enjoy other Harlequin books more. ★★★ 3 stars.

The book is steamy with a couple of open-door scenes, but those scenes aren’t particularly long or explicit. Several difficult topics are discussed in relation to the backstories of the characters, but they were not very graphic and all were handled in a respectful manner.