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How to Bang a Billionaire

Arden St. Ives, Book 1
Narrated by: Joel Leslie
Series: Arden St. Ives, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs
Categories: Romance, LGBT
4.5 out of 5 stars (324 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Rules are made to be broken....

If England had yearbooks, I'd probably be "Arden St. Ives: Man Least Likely to Set the World on Fire." So far, I haven't. I've no idea what I'm doing at Oxford, no idea what I'm going to do next and, until a week ago, I had no idea who Caspian Hart was. Turns out, he's brilliant, beautiful...oh yeah, and a billionaire.

It's impossible not to be captivated by someone like that. But Caspian Hart makes his own rules. And he has a lot of them. About when I can be with him. What I can do with him. And when he'll be through with me.

I'm good at doing what I'm told in the bedroom. The rest of the time, not so much. And now that Caspian's shown me glimpses of the man behind the billionaire I know it's him I want. Not his wealth, not his status. Him. Except that might be the one thing he doesn't have the power to give me.

Arden and Caspian's love story continues in How to Blow It with a Billionaire, coming fall 2017.

©2017 Alexis Hall (P)2018 Hachette Audio

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  • Mo Sytsma
  • Philadelphia, PA United States
  • 02-01-18

A stunning performance of an amazing book

How to Bang a Billionaire was a top read of 2017 for me, and while this was my first read from author Alexis Hall, he quickly became one of my favorite authors as I worked my way through his backlist. When I learned that this book would be coming to audio, I was excited but wary. While I have been quite impressed with all of Alexis’ audiobooks thus far, I have been let down by m/m novels with a single narrator in the past. Some performers don’t have a distinctive enough voice for each character, and I’ve been left confused as to whose perspective I’m listening to at any given time.

This was not at all the case when it came to the performance of Joel Leslie. Joel did not merely narrate this book; he brought these characters to life. He portrayed Arden so well, his humor, his quirkiness that I love so much came through so beautifully. Arden is brave and bold and not afraid to be vulnerable, and Joel captured everything I love about Arden and somehow elevated his character to new heights for me.

Likewise, his portrayal of Caspian is eloquent and striking. I felt like he was letting the listener in on a secret, revealing Caspian to us chapter by chapter. The secondary characters are so distinctive, you’d be hard-pressed to even tell that they were all voiced by the same person. Joel is incredibly expressive and really shone in emotional scenes, at times he even evoked a physical reaction from me. I had already read this book twice before listening to the audio, but this version opened up new facets of this story for me and made me love it all the more. Joel doesn’t just tell you a story; he makes you feel it.

My fangirl switch has been flipped, and I’ve added Joel Leslie to my personal Narrator Hall of Fame. (It’s a very prestigious honor, I assure you). I’ve since listened to a few of his other books and purchased several more. My preorder for the sequel, How to Blow It with a Billionaire, is already in, and I’m counting the days until that release.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Leigh
  • Taylor, Texas, United States
  • 02-09-18

Funnest Listen EVER!

This was so much fun I truly did NOT want it to end. The story is funny and interesting, nothing is predictable. Oh, and I love the main character, Arden, so much. He was a breath of fresh air. I never knew what he was going to say or do next, which is wonderful. I want more!

And Joel Leslie, as always, did a great job. He said something once about not being an actor. I think he is one. Better, even, because he only has his voice to work with and he always comes through. I stayed up way too late listening to it. I think this might be my favorite of his narrations. At least until the next one comes out!

Truly, listen to this one. It made me go to Hall's other books. I bought another one and it was completely wonderful in a completely different way. Which is what I want in a writer. Something different every time.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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WOW

What made the experience of listening to How to Bang a Billionaire the most enjoyable?

Let me just say Joel Leslie can read the phonebook and I would buy the audiobook. Arden is is a emotion hurricane and Capian is controlled simmer. I literally laughed loudly at some bits. Looking forward to the continuation of the story.

What was one of the most memorable moments of How to Bang a Billionaire?

Probably the phone call at the beginning. It sets the tone of the story to me.

Which character – as performed by Joel Leslie – was your favorite?

CASPIAN of course.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

I can't think of one at this moment.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing

Superb narration by Joel Leslie. An Engrossing delicious story and loveable beautifully flawed main characters. I thoroughly enjoyed and I can't wait for the next installment
Charo

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant

a LOL experience. The characters were exceptional and brought to life by a great storyteller!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Funny with Great Narration

This is the story of funny but flailing Oxford student, Arden St. Ives, and the enigmatic billionaire he falls in love with...but will closed off Caspian Hart be able to return Arden's love? With some (I think) tongue in cheek nods to Fifty Shades of Grey, although thankfully much better written, this has plenty of laughs, mostly at Arden's expense, without becoming silly about it.

While I found it funny, certainly witty, and I appreciated even though Arden was head over heels with Caspian he didn't just let Caspian walk all over him, I struggled to get through the story. Because it's told entirely from Arden's POV it unfortunately provided little insight into Caspian's mind or motivations. Also, the tentative HFN ending about killed me.

The real gem I found here is Joel Leslie's narration. He perfectly captures how out-of-his-depth Arden is, how Arden grows, and conveys the brilliant-yet-tragic tones of Caspian beautifully. Leslie's voice was so rife with humor and emotion...he just keeps getting better in his character voices and performances.

Truthfully, the story wasn't for me but the audio kept me going throughout and I found it to be a delightful listen.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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okay wow OMG just wow!!!!

seriously ,when I heard about this book... I wasn't that flared, but I was so damn wrong!!!
I won't even suggest, to compare this book to Fifty Shades.. it's much more better, much more everything!!! I don't even know how to explain this!! it's like you know the story, because you read the books (the original books I mean) but you don't know ....because the characters are the same but not!!! I can't even describe how I enjoyed this book !!! and how in shock I was !! and that I even did!! I know what will happened! I know what will be the next move ...or maybe I don't anymore ...because I was expecting a kind of copy of the original book... but it wasn't a copy!!!!!
so much feelings!!! so much hurt!!! everything I expected from the original books and I didn't get I got here!! and much more !!!!
the understanding of Arden!! he knows that Caspian is struggling.. he wants to understand . it's much more than the s*x for him, he wants to understand but he doesn't know he wants it himself ....I don't even know who I'm right now!!!!!
I'm serious!!! and let's talk about Joel!!! oh! my! God!!! this man!!!!
I don't even know how to describe he's perfect and absolutely incredible narration!!! he's absolutely one of the best narrators I have ever heard!! (nevermind the genre) his special voice, his special introduction, the moaning ,the suffering, the joking, everything! is alive in your head!!! and you can see Caspian ,you can see Arden, and it's incredible ..absolutely fascinating!!!
I really think everybody should listen to this book...
and I'm sorry for Fifty Shades of Grey but this book was better!( as a book not as a copy it's not a copy not at all) I can't wait enough to the second book I have it in Kindle but I won't read it I will never manage to make those voices in my own imogenation it will never be like this...

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • April
  • L.A., CA USA
  • 06-12-18

Fifty Shades, but Rainbow -- and well-written!

The writing is amazing. There are just beautifully sweet, funny and moving passages. Arden is young and goofy and apparently just right to catch the eye of the mysterious billionaire. Joel Leslie manages to bring out the beauty of the words as well as the humor and the light but sometimes desperate sexiness.

I've never read Fifty Shades of Gray, but I can pretty much guess that this is similar, but better! Not in storyline, but in the writing. Seriously--it's beautiful and hilarious, things that ought not to really go together. It's not har-har hilarious, really, although things can get a bit slap-stick.

At any rate, the narrator is brilliant.

I'm not enamored of the story all that much... I mean, it's good. But it's slow and we still don't know much about Caspian's deep secrets. And Arden is known because he's the POV character, but he's still just a young and aimless college grad who just knows his billionaire is out of his league but wants him anyway, but still has some kind of spine, only it pops up at all the wrong moments, even if that IS his character.

But it's SO WORTH THE LISTEN! I could listen to this all the time, any time. I don't care if the story is going anywhere... it's just so bloody amazing...

Thankfully the sequel is out on Audible. I'm downloading it immediately.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Good Read

I found the beginning both gripping and enjoyable. Throughout the book my attention was grabbed by the different events and the tention between the two main characters. Overall a good read and an interesting story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Wow!

Hall's masterful words provide another tour de force by Joel Leslie. Bravo, well done!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Book addict
  • 02-21-18

Really good book

Alexis Hall is a really good writer. Listened to a few of their books and I’m always so utterly drawn in and absorbed, and love how you become a part of the character’s world. They are always so real and you fall in love with them. This is a rare writing skill in all the books I have listen to (and I have listened to way over 1000 in many genres), but practically unheard of in the m/m romance genre. Listened to the whole book pretty much in one go, and eagerly about to start on the next book of the trilogy.

I’d say this book is similar to the 50 shades type trilogy romance, with a tortured love interest and gradually revealing more about them and developing the relationship. However, the big difference with this book is that it’s really good! And m/m, obviously. So many of those types of books are mediocre. It’s not really a BDSM book, but the urges are there and it could easily go that way in the other books in the trilogy - but if it does I imagine it will be pretty light stuff. It’s more about emotional, intimacy and control issues.

Although it’s all from one character’s point of view, you still feel like you are getting to know both of them and its done really well.

Joel Leslie is a fantastic narrator too and you can tell he really knows the story and is being the character as he speaks, and feels what they feel - rather than just reading the words with voices like so many other narrators.

Just realised that the final book won’t be out for a few months which is a great shame as I usually don’t get books until they’re all available. Will be keeping an eye out for that one for sure! In the meantime, on to book number 2...

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Wendy Loveridge
  • 04-05-18

Superb writing and superb narrating

I think what struck me most about this story was the authors deeply empathetic understanding of human nature. Alexis Hall is fast becoming one of my auto-buy authors.

He writes with humour, wit and emotion all of which had me laughing and crying in turn. I didn’t think it possible for him to top Glitterland (which I adored) but he may well have done - I’m not sure. In any case I’ve immediately downloaded the next in this series as I cannot wait to see how the delightful Arden redeems Caspian. A beautiful love story and one I highly recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Stephen, liverpool
  • 03-20-18

Great story

loved the story, great narration by Joel Leslie as he alwsys gets into the character. The story was believable and kept you going with the plot.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • MaryD
  • 01-28-18

Set my imagination on fire

Even if Arden St Ives thinks he is the least likeliest person to set the world on fire Alexis Hall with Joel Leslie’s superb narration certainly have for me. I have a serious case of book hangover after finishing listening to this excellent story. It is so much more than 50 shades could ever hope to be. Roll on the next audiobook. Joel’s voice in my imagination as I read How to Blow it with a Billionaire is a poor substitute for the real thing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Becky L
  • 01-20-18

Aural perfection in both story and narration

So, I read and loved this book, but I'm a bit in love with the audio. Yes, it has parallels with 50 shades, but it is so much better - it focuses on Caspian and Arden and they are truly front and centre here. The story takes you through Arden's journey from his POV but we also get to see Caspian's struggles with wanting to both protect and love Arden and also see him suffer.

And that's where this narration really comes alive. This is a book you live through, not listen to - it felt like I 'was' Arden - when he suffered, I suffered. The audio added that realistic dimension so rarely achieved for other books, by bringing each character to life in their own unique and distinct way. Both Arden and Caspian were the voices in my head, and the people I imagined when I read the book.

I could rave about this all day, and any review would feel woefully inadequate - and honestly, this has kind of recalibrated my rating as 5 stars just doesn't seem enough.

The next book I listen to has big, big shoes to fill.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • flutterbybaby
  • 09-20-19

Funny and Romantic

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. The funny parts had me laughing out loud, and the story had good pace. the narration was so good and really brought the story alive for me.

So excited to have found a new author and off to find the next in the series.

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  • Mama H
  • 09-09-19

Perfection

I love this book. The strory, the characters, the writing and of course the narration. It is just perfect.

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  • HyperLittleNori
  • 03-29-19

One of the best audio performances ever!

The story is like a male/male version of Fifty Shades except BETTER. Better characters, better plot, better interaction. There is more story and emotions rather than meaningless smut (although the sex scenes are very steamy). The main protagonist was flawed and real and so witty and I loved him. I was hesitant about Joel Leslie as a reader first as I disliked one of his performances but so glad I gave this a chance as his performance here is flawless. The best reading I have ever heard. The accents and emotions, the clear distinction between the different characters was just perfection. He brought emotion to Arden and Caspian without being over the top. I finished it and then listened to it all over again I loved it so much. A real joy to listen to. On to part 2!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-11-18

Very funny

A lot of rediculous situations and opinions by Arden. Well read. But Caspian is a big cliché.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-07-19

OMG Amazing

Loved the story very much just amazing love it so much I hope more books keeps coming out of this

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  • Ev
  • 12-21-18

Loved it

Well written. Narration was brilliant. I laughed through out the whole book. Enjoyed this too the very end.