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Lose yourself to the dark and glamorous underbelly of the Upper East Side in USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde’s new billionaire romance Cruel Trilogy.

She was supposed to be a one night stand.

A way to sate my sexual appetite.

I let her glimpse the man I am. The face that I hide behind my carefully cultivated life.

But she ripped open that divide–and there’s no going back.

Now, she’s here. In my city.

I don’t care that I’m Manhattan royalty and she’s the help.

Only that she’s living in my summer home. With me.

And I want more.

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Cruel Money (Cruel, #1)Cruel Money by K.A. Linde
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 out of 5 ‘High society drama’ Stars

If you’ve ever seen the movie Cruel Intentions from 1999 (dating myself) then this book had a lot of Cruel Intention-like vibes. This story has a high society guy, Penn, who has a group of friends that also run in that same upper echelon of society. They are tight-knit but in the most unhealthy of ways. They all have too much money and too much time on their hands and definitely feel like they are entitled to everything and anything. I think out of all of his friends I liked Katherine the least. She’s selfish, pampered, devious, cruel and just a plain bitch. It doesn’t help that she has her sights set on Penn throughout the whole book. Lark and Rowe seemed to be a little more low key than the rest of them. And Lewis is the fun-loving charmer of the group.

This is a story about a time when Penn met this girl, Natalie, one weekend in Paris. They had an instant connection and a heated night of passion. Penn leaves Natalie without an explanation and she’s devasted and heartbroken. She carries this with her throughout the next six years of her life, until she unexpectedly crosses paths with Penn again. And of course, Natalie doesn’t come from money. Or even have a lot of it now. She’s the hired help. Their worlds couldn’t be more different.

I have to say that I had a whole love/hate thing going on with Penn. While I loved him when he and Natalie were one on one…I truly hated him when he was around his friends. I felt like his friends all brought out the worst qualities in Penn. Having said that, you don’t make a bet with your crew that you could get Natalie to fall in love with you (easy peasy) if you don’t want Natalie to ever find out. Katherine was the competition in the bet and all the others were pretty much just witnesses. And throughout the book, you get more and more of an idea of how devious and horrible Katherine could be to get her way and attempt to win the bet. But what bothered me the most is that Penn never backed down from the bet. He tried to get Katherine to back out of it but would never just say ‘you know what? This is dumb. I like her and she’s worth more than this dumb bet.’ Buuuuuuuut he didn’t. And I thought that Penn was pretty dumb for this. All to save face for a bet. Shame really. He deserves that bitch, Katherine.

Natalie was a character that you could definitely love. She’s a writer, a dreamer but always says what’s on her mind; no filter necessary. A girl after my own heart! She made some poor decisions but I felt like she allowed herself to be a little blinded by her lust/love for Penn. She never knew of his untrustworthy ass!! And this type of event is the type to change a girl. She can either stay the same or level the playing field and beat them at their own game.

The end leaves you with a major cliffy and a little insight as to where the direction of the next book could possibly start out. I honestly don’t know if I’m even rooting for Penn. He’s kind of a douche when he’s around his friends. He has so many opportunities to come clean and he never did. Then towards the end of the story there also a little curve thrown in about Lewis possibly having feelings for Natalie. I was stunned!! I could see myself rooting for Team Lewis. Definitely stoked to see what happens next.

Happy Reading!!
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K.A. Linde is the USA Today bestselling author of more than fifteen novels including the Avoiding series and the Record series. She has a Masters degree in political science from the University of Georgia, was the head campaign worker for the 2012 presidential campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as the head coach of the Duke University dance team. She loves reading fantasy novels, geeking out over Star Wars, binge-watching Supernatural, and dancing in her spare time.

She currently lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband and two super adorable puppies.

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