ARC Review: Stripped Bare by Heidi McLaughlin


Genre: Adult, Romance
Pages: Around 300
Series: Vegas Billionaire #1
Release Date: March 28, 2017

2.50 Stars


Stripped Bare is the first book in the Vegas Billionaire series (as mentioned above) and while I usually avoid novels with the word ‘billionaire’ in the name of the book or series (especially series), I gave this one a try because I’ve previously read and liked books by this author.

And though my experience with this book was better than the previous billionaire book, it wasn’t great. This wasn’t Heidi McLaughlin’s best work. For one, the male protagonist, Finn McCormick, was a total dick most of the time. And the female protagonist, Macey, didn’t have the best introduction either.

You see, Macey is a stripper. But she doesn’t want to be doing that her whole life and wants a good life for her daughter, so she goes to Vegas for a week because working there might help. And it helps. She earns a lot of money. And then she gambles it all away. Right then, I didn’t like her. And that was disregarding the fact that she’d been trying for a better life for ten years and accomplished absolutely nothing. She was right where she started. I really think that, if not for Finn, she would still be stripping and trying to save enough to move out of her mother’s apartment, ten years later.

As for Finn himself, his motivation for helping her was kinda weak. He was a millionaire, hotel owner and he got a bleeding heart over an old, not-so-memorable, one-night-stand? It was hard to believe. But since he did have other reasons, I’ll allow it.

What I won’t allow is him being a dick. Sure it made his character more believable, but he insulted Macey’s profession, had his foot in his mouth, a few too many time for it to be okay. So even though he had some moments where he was a decent guy, or even sweet, it was overtaken by me being driven to think, ‘Why are you such a dick?’ every few chapters.

The plot of the story wasn’t anything original. The characters being so flawed might have actually been the only thing that made it stand out from so many other similar novels. So even though I wasn’t particularly fond of either of the main characters, I find myself being okay with them because they felt more real than they would have if they’d been all polite acceptance and tragic backstories? The question mark, by the way, is because I’m still undecided on the whole thing.

Overall, this wasn’t a great read. The writing was fine but I’ve read better from Heidi. I liked some parts, disliked others. It was a readable book. And since I’m undecided on how I feel about it exactly, I can’t say whether or not I recommend it. Try it yourself? That’s all I can say.


Review copy provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


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