Hostile Takeover by Lucy Lennox: A Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Source: Goodreads.
Hostile Takeover by Lucy Lennox

Pros

  • Incredible Chemistry/Sexual Tension
  • Great Characterizations
  • Fun Tropes: Enemies to Lovers + Fake Relationship
  • Incredibly Entertaining

Cons

  • Cringey Dialogue
  • Infodumps
  • Ending Feels Rushed
  • Predictable

Recommended for: The biggest draw is the tropes. If you like a sexy enemies-to-lovers story with a dash of fake relationships turning real, then this is an awesome book to try.

As I neared the 95% mark on this ebook, my thoughts drifted to how I was going to write this review. What was I going to prioritize? How would I put words to the conflicted feelings I was having, because the simple truth of the matter is that there was a lot I didn’t like about this book, and yet… I fucking loved it.

It’s strange how one element of a story can be so powerful it eclipses the vast majority of flaws. For Hostile Takeover, By Lucy Lennox, that element was character chemistry.

I went into this story warily. It started with a promising concept—enemies to lovers is my all-time favourite trope, so even though the beginning chugged along with heaps of exposition, passive voice, and endless infodumps, there was enough charm to the characters, and it had been a while since I’ve read a proper representation of that trope, that I was willing to give it a chance.

And then I got pulled in. Pretty damn quick too, because I read this damn book in a little over a day, because every time I put it down, I couldn’t wait to pick it up again. It was weird. I mean, the dialogue was cringey and terribly unnatural at times. It completely broke my immersion by going a little too over the top or characters would say things that didn’t sound real to me, and yet, I fucking fell in love with these people.

Case in point: Ellison, one of the two main characters, was sweet and sassy and had this tendency to blurt out outrageous lies in the middle of conversations to punish his love interest, Grey. And in theory, it was fucking adorable. In theory, it was amusing, and a great way to add to the conflict against them, especially when Grey started catching on and taking it in sexy stride. But in reality, the dialogue was just so stiff and unnatural that most of those moments missed the mark and gave me a moment where I just winced and squinted at the page. I even said “Nope” out loud at the book a couple times. And yet, I still remember those moments fondly because the theory of what they were meant to do still somehow worked? (Insert baffled shrug here)

This story is about misunderstandings. Grey and Ellison had a heated moment in a country club closet that resulted in Grey’s entire future getting destroyed. He lost his scholarship, his job prospects, his reputation. He was forced to put himself through university. He clawed his way through the venture capital world and turned himself into a billionaire fuelled by revenge fantasies against Ellison and Ellison’s old money family who he viewed as holding the most blame for everything that went wrong in his life. Then he gets what he wants, and finds out that Ellison isn’t the spoiled pompous asshole he expected him to be.

What followed was an adventure of mixed emotions and inner conflicts. Grey was unwilling to let go of his anger through most of the book, because of course he was—that anger fuelled him. It made him the highly successful corporate raider he was. It wove into his very identity. Even his moments of kindness were carefully guarded and swaddled in that deep trauma. Through the book, he was understandably cruel. Even when they started getting closer, there were moments when he was a downright prick in order to protect himself and who he thought he needed to be.

But it made sense. His character motivations were solid. His attraction to Ellison was palpable. Ellison’s deep remorse for the part he played in Grey’s trauma sprang leaks all over the place, and he was endlessly sweet and apologetic about it even if he didn’t always understand exactly how bad what happened was, because he came from a different world than Grey did.

Even thinking about the characters and their actions now, I’m struck by how much sense it all made. And combine that with the crackling sexual tension that permeated nearly every damn page of this book (save for the ones drowning in info dumps) it made for an amazing page-turner.

So you know what? I fucking recommend it. If you can get past info dumps and terrible dialogue, which I normally can’t so I get it if that’s a deal breaker for you. it is definitely worth the read.


Other Book Reviews by Sam Clover

Books I Read in 2022 (pt. 1)

So in 2022, I have taken on the yearly Goodreads Reading Challenge. For me, part of the challenge was to get back into reading for fun. I’ve been beta reading and volunteer-editing for friends and other writers for so long exclusively instead of reading things I can get absorbed in and enjoy that for a … More Books I Read in 2022 (pt. 1)


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