My Fair Billionaire

My Fair Billionaire

Book - 2014
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Henry Higgins she's not! 

Back in school, stuck-up Ava Brenner may have been Peyton Moss's personal mean girl by day, but different kinds of sparks flew at night. Now the tables have turned, and Peyton's about to make his first billion while Ava's living a bit more humbly--to put it mildly. He needs her to teach him how to pass in high society, if they can manage to put old rivalries to bed. Soon, that's exactly where they end up! But will Peyton still want her when he learns about the scandal that sent Ava from riches to rags?
Publisher: Don Mills, Ontario : Harlequin, ©2014.
ISBN: 9780373733187
Characteristics: 186 pages ;,17 cm.

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FindingJane Dec 23, 2016

I was initially excited at the idea of a high society woman taking a nouveau riche lower-class man and teaching him the ropes. A woman teaching a man to behave like a gentleman? What a novelty! But the situation is complicated by a previous sexual encounter and the fact that Peyton Moss has—let’s face it—the stubborn, mulish, willful charm of a sullen ten-year-old kid with a snot nose and scabby knees.

While the original Henry Higgins was able to wrestle Eliza Doolittle into a semblance of a lady, Ava Brenner is at a distinct physical disadvantage. When Peyton digs in his heels, he resorts to crude, nasty behavior that leaves her frustrated and in despair. He takes jejeune delight in swearing like a sailor, acting coarsely to people and needling her just to get a reaction out of her.

He also forces himself physically into her life. He follows her on the streets, yanks at her arm to get her to stop, refuses to leave her alone, forces his way into her apartment and refuses to leave when she indicates that she doesn’t want him.

I’ve noticed this type of behavior in other romances. When the man wants to restrain a woman physically, he does it, regardless of her uttered protests and struggles. It stops short of rape but it gives an ugly tinge to their encounters. If a man struts into a woman’s home and refuses to leave, she can’t force him. He can ignore her shouted protests and simply push himself unwanted into her life and bed.

Of course, by the time the romantic hero gets around to caressing instead of pulling at her, she’s melting into his arms and the ensuing sexual monkeyshines are supposed to make up for all his crass behavior. We’re supposed to find this seductive, tender and romantic.

How is this supposed to be romantic?! It’s vicious, awful and borders on abusive behavior. If a romance is supposed to be a story where all the answers are “yes”, in such stories it clearly means that a woman isn’t allowed a “no”.

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