Author: Victoria Purman
The CEO is the second in the Millionaire Malones series and takes us back into the world of the super sexy Malone brothers at a time of great sadness, and great change for all of them.
We pick up at the funeral of William James Malone, father of the Malone brothers. It is the first time they have all come together in a while and they haven’t always seen eye to eye. The relationships are still strained but they come together to farewell their larger-than-life father and finalise his affairs.
My only real issue with this book, apart from the fact that it’s a novella and way too short, is I found it really hard to get my head around the fact that Callum’s ex-wife came to the funeral, and dragged her sister with her. I understand that even after couples separate you sometimes get the ex coming to pay their respects, usually after they have been together for a long time and shared a bond with the deceased and that just didn’t seem to be the case here. We soon discover that there is a lot more than meets the eye here; and besides they needed to attend for the rest of the story to play out.
Callum is the CEO of the family’s multi-national business, and recent owner of a gorgeous beachside house. But not any old beach, the views from his balcony are of a secluded beach with limited access. Being at the helm of Malone Enterprises has meant he hasn’t spent a lot of time in the new house and he hasn’t made it homey. Discovering that Ava Gibson, his ex-sister-in-law, is a talented landscape designer prompts him to hire her for his multi-level garden; as a distraction but not the way you might think.
Callum is scarred by the failure of his marriage and a little bitter about being the brother shouldering the responsibility for Malone Enterprises, and his life revolves around his work. He seems to be one of the good guys, trying to live a quiet laid-back life in spite of his wealth.
There is more to this story than meets the eye and it isn’t until near the end that the pieces come together.
The chemistry between Callum and Ava is palpable but one of them runs as soon as things start to look a little real. Ava couldn’t possibly allow anything to happen, he’s her sister’s ex-husband and that is totally wrong; and Callum isn’t going to risk giving his heart to another woman after the devastation he felt in the wake of his divorce.
We, of course, see more of Chris and Cooper, the other two Malone brothers and spend a little time catching up on their lives. Chris and Ellie have married and are expecting their first child and are ecstatically living their happily ever after. Cooper is still an enigma but from the beginning I just knew that all would be revealed in a third Millionaire Malones story.
Hands down I think the house was the element of the story that affected me the most. The Meadows is the Malone family home, William Malone was born in that house, and it has been bequeathed to all three Malone brothers with nothing being said about what their father would have liked done with it. Of course none of the brothers want to live in it; Cooper is itching to get back to California, Chris was never happy with the opulence and Callum loves his new beach-side escape so they decide to sell. It is a decision that takes them about five minutes to make and I was devastated. I understood none of them wanting to live there but I was heartbroken at the thought of all that family history being sold off to strangers. I’m very much a sentimentalist in that respect and I just couldn’t bear the thought, none of them needed the money so surely they could keep it just to keep it in the family….
Sweet and romantic with a little bit of sass The CEO is a great read. It’s light, it’s fun and it’s brimming with masculine millionaire Malones.
I am really looking forward to reading Cooper’s story and am so glad it’s due for release in August, I think I can even manage to wait that long. I love Purman’s writing style and always find myself completely immersed so her novella’s are a little disappointing only in that they are over so quick.
The CEO is book #34 for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2015.