Trade Me by Courtney Milan
Series: Cyclone #1
Also in this series: Hold Me, Trade Me
Publication Date: January 20th 2015
Genres: New Adult
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Tina Chen just wants a degree and a job, so her parents never have to worry about making rent again. She has no time for Blake Reynolds, the sexy billionaire who stands to inherit Cyclone Systems. But when he makes an off-hand comment about what it means to be poor, she loses her cool and tells him he couldn’t last a month living her life.
To her shock, Blake offers her a trade: She’ll get his income, his house, his car. In exchange, he’ll work her hours and send money home to her family. No expectations; no future obligations.
But before long, they’re trading not just lives, but secrets, kisses, and heated nights together. No expectations might break Tina’s heart...but Blake’s secrets could ruin her life.
Tina works hard to provide for herself and for her family. That’s difficult when she has to pay rent, go to college (pre-med) and work on top of that. It’s doubly frustrating when her mother tends to give away the money Tina sends because she feels that the other people are in greater need. Tina is attracted to Blake but is a bit disgusted with him and what she thinks of as his lavish and lazy lifestyle. Blake starts a conversation with Tina after a “discussion” in one of their classes takes place and as much as she doesn’t want to admit she’s starting to like the billionaire, she does have a crush on him.
Blake has a problem that he’s unwilling to share with his father. He loves his father dearly but he feels like he can’t share this particular problem with him. Blake is afraid of disappointing his father and ends up trying to fix it himself by trading lives with Tina. He thinks if he gets out of the billionaire lifestyle that will help him. Tina doesn’t think that Blake is serious but he definitely is. She quits her job and stays at Blake’s place along with “earning” the money he normally spends in a months time. She also has to help write a script for an upcoming release of an item that Blake’s dads company is coming out with – easier said than done. While working on the script and communicating about their lives, the pair actually end up becoming friends and then so much more.
I really enjoyed this contemporary book by Milan. She had me pulled into the story from almost minute one and I couldn’t put the book down. There were so many things that I liked about the book – from the writing to the relationship Blake had with his father…strange as it was. I thought Blake was a really good guy and loved his personality. My heart broke for him and the problem that he focused so much of his life on.
Tina was a bit harder for me to warm up to. I think because she had her hackles up so much that she just seemed prickly – even after her and Blake became friends. I did enjoy the times they spent as lovers but I definitely felt that the relationship was heavier on Blake’s side than Tina’s. I believe she was still in the he’s-so-hot-I-can’t-believe-he-wants-to-even-talk-to-me stage even at the end of the book – after they’d become lovers. I just wanted her to accept Blake for the wonderful guy he was and get past her preconceived notion of who Blake was on the inside.
Overall this was a very good New Adult book and I’m looking forward to reading more in this series.
Rating: 4 out of 5