Endeared by J.S. Scott

ARC Review

Series: The Accidental Billionaires #5
Warnings: Suicide
Publication date: 6 October 2020

J.S. Scott is one of my favourite authors, and once again she hasn’t left me disappointed. Endeared is book #5 of The Accidental Billionaires series, but it can easily be read as a stand-alone. (I’m tipping though that if you start here, you’ll be going back and reading the others.)

I was lucky enough to be given an advanced reader copy of this book by the author, in exchange for an honest review.

The story begins with us looking back ten years at Layla and Owen, best friends, preparing to graduate and go off to college. Owen will be leaving to study in a different city, while Layla will be going to the local college. They are both nervous about what the future holds for them, as well as what the future will hold for their friendship. And both are worried, as they each face as uncertain financial future.

When we move forward to today, we are gradually shown that their friendship didn’t last. Layla is angry over a betrayal by Owen, but we don’t find out at first what he did. Owen, on the other hand, isn’t angry – he’s just baffled about what happened and what has made Layla feel this way.

There have been significant changes in both their lives in the last ten years, as well. Layla has gone from a difficult home life and having no money, to having a good job, enough money to “splurge”occasionally and her dream in sight of one day owning her own home. While Owen has graduated medical school and is a doctor with his own practice, as well as having inherited a fortune and now being a bonafide billionaire.

And to make things harder on them both, Owen is now also Layla’s boss! Layla is a nurse practitioner and Owen, coincidentally, is the doctor who bought the clinic that Layla works for. They have been managing to work together well enough for a few months now, but that’s not enough for Owen – he wants to know what went wrong.

After some effort on Owen’s part, Layla finally explains what happened all those years ago, and why she has remained mad. And once the truth is out in the open, they find that they can finally move forward and start to rebuild their friendship.

Owen comes up with a plan for Layla to ‘help’ him, which involves them spending a lot of time together, under the guise of friendship. (Its a ruse – Owen is hoping it will become more.) Layla accepts, as she wants to rebuild their friendship. (Plus, she also is hoping it will become more.)

So begins the building of their romance. The two characters are both relatable as well as likeable and I found myself cheering for both of them.

Owen is a strong man, but I liked that we also saw his insecurities. And Layla’s internal dialogue also gave us a glimpse into her softer side as well.

I liked how the book made use of the opportunity to have the main characters take turns at leading the reader, each from their own perspectives, as they took turns at giving us the story from their point of view. I enjoyed the insights into the motivations of each characters.

And there is one other character in this book that I can’t conclude my review without mentioning. And that is Brutus, the flatulent bulldog. He may not have done much (he’s a tad lazy), but if you’re anything like me, your nose will be twitching as you read about him! Good boy, Brutus.

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