Ted Arthur is a billionaire and reality show star. He’s a treasure hunter (thus the book title), and his adventures have all been captured for television. He’s on the trail of the Santa Ana, a shipwreck rumored to be worth a lot of money. However, Ted has competitors, particularly a young man who pretended to love him but who sold Ted out to the media for five million dollars. Ted was furious and brokenhearted. So, for this trip, he has decided he should hire a fake boyfriend to go on a fake ocean vacation in order to make is seem he’s just frolicking rather than searching for the wreck.
Peter Smart is a young student of marine archeology who needs money to finance his doctorate. When he’s hired by Ted, he thinks he’s there to be one of the crew of the yacht. He’s unaware he’s actually going to be playing Ted’s imaginary boyfriend. After an awkward meeting the night before the trip, Peter and Ted get off on the wrong foot, and Ted must convince Peter to go along with the plan.
Along the way, Ted and Peter develop real feelings for each other, but several situations come between them. Now it is a question of whether the men can get past these obstacles and find their way back to each other.
I freaking love billionaire stories. I’ve been hooked on this trope ever since I read a certain popular trilogy that’s since been made into a couple movies starring the adorable Jamie Dornan. Anyhoo…all it took to make me want to read this was the word billionaire. I jumped on it.
It started out ok. I would almost consider it “meet cute.” I don’t want to give anything away, but I’ll tell you there was a misunderstanding at a bar the night before the trip was expected to begin. Even though it might not be too original, I liked it, and I was hooked. I liked both Ted and Peter. Each man needed something from each other (fake boyfriend/money). Once they come to an understanding, they decide to enjoy their ruse. Their fall felt quick, and it was. This is a short novel. Once the preliminaries were set (looking for the wreck and throwing off the press and bad guy), the game was on. Their scenes were equally romantic and sexy. They were almost shy around each other at first, but by the time they were ready to have sex? WHOO! The chemistry was great, and the actual sex was written well. They were explicit, but not too explicit. There was dirty talk, but not too much dirty talk.
There were two major background characters who were important to the story, Jenny, Ted’s best friend and captain of the ship, and Garrett, the bad guy. I liked Jenny. She was no nonsense and also fiercely protective of Ted. Garrett was the perfect foil. He was so dastardly, I expected him to have a long mustache to twirl. They played their roles exactly as they should have and fit right into the plot.
Once again, there was a conflict between Ted and Peter. It had to do with differing opinions. That’s all I’m going to say. It was low angst and resolved itself quickly. The ending is my main issue here. I wasn’t paying attention to the progress percentage at the bottom of the page. One minute, it was getting really interesting and **BOOM** it was over. It was so sudden, and it felt so incomplete, I actually shouted “THAT’S IT????” Honestly, I wanted to cry. I wanted to know what happened next, and I didn’t want to use my imagination. I needed words on the page, and I didn’t get that. I was disappointed, and I’m not even shy about saying that. What had started out to be a decent book turned into a frustrating experience.
Now, after saying that, I’m still going to cautiously recommend His Treasure Hunting Billionaire, simply for the romance. Ted and Peter are adorable together, and I wish I could have more time to get to know them better.