Thursday, May 9, 2024

Cold Hearted Casanova by L.J. Shen

Available Now.

From USA Today bestselling author L.J. Shen comes a witty romance about a woman desperate to marry into money… and her fake marriage to a (real) billionaire reluctant to commit even to a zip code.

Riggs Bates may be a billionaire, but he knows money can’t buy happiness. He keeps his financial status a secret and takes his women the same way he takes his meals—a different one three times a day. That’s until he’s caught sleeping with a married newswoman by none other than her ambitious assistant.

Daphne “Duffy” Markham wants two things in life: marry well and stay in the States. So when her almost-fiancé takes off to “find himself” and her work visa approaches expiration, Duffy resorts to the only thing she has left—blackmail. Luckily, Riggs needs an excuse to stay in New York as badly as she does, so their first meeting quickly leads to a begrudging engagement.

Armed with strict house rules and their mutual distaste for one another, Riggs and Duffy soon find there’s no denying the spark between them… or the fact that this fake marriage is starting to feel a little too real.

Don’t miss our reviews of other books in the Cruel Castaways series!
For book one, Ruthless Rival, click HERE.


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Cold Hearted Casanova by L.J. Shen

Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Paperback (US)

Audiobook (US)
Narrated by Heather Long & Tor Thom
~ Also Available to Read & Listen with KindleUnlimited ~



She was tiny and furious, just like Tinkerbell, I’d have loved to smack her ass and watch her fairy dust fall.



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Cold Hearted Casanova is the third and final installment in the Cruel Castaways series.

Can the novel be read as a standalone? Yes

Should the novel be read as a standalone? No.

While no confusion would be had for a new reader, you'd miss out on the backstory of our three cruel castaways and their cameos in each other's novels.

Having read and listened to the previous installments, Ruthless Rival (Christian) was a hook for me, while Fallen Foe (Arsene) wasn't my cuppa. I was on the fence about Cold Hearted Casanova because of the previous installment.

From page one, I was hooked. This novel could have been read in one sitting, but life called me back to reality. That being said, I'm glad, as I was able to stretch out the delightful escape for three days.

Riggs is different from his Alpha-Hole friends. Riggs brought levity to every page, no matter the content. No hard edges. No cruelty. This made for a warmer, fluffier, sweeter yet more emotionally impacting read. Hyper-realistic.

Fake marriage for a visa. Duffy, the self-proclaimed gold digger. Riggs, the vagabond billionaire.

While Duffy and Riggs appear to be opposites attract or opposite personalities balance, I didn't see it that way. They had similar personalities, similar traumas, and they reacted differently. Riggs was breezy while Duffy was regimented but their core personalities were similar.

The story was delightful, humorous, yet evocative. The humor didn't lessen the deeper emotions, but it did bring much-needed levity to brighten the darkness.

The family interactions shined brightly. Particularly Riggs and Duffy's twin. Heartwarming and hilarious. Riggs engaging in text battles with his boss. Just as I said aloud, are we ever going to see this man... all of this created a well-rounded reading experience.

I am beyond curious to listen to the audiobook to hear Riggs and Duffy's interactions.

Highly recommend this trilogy. Books one and three will be on my reread and re-listen list.

I loved Cold Hearted Casanova. Duffy and Christian’s first meeting had me laughing out loud. Christian’s laid-back confidence is sexy and the way Duffy deals with a very embarrassing situation was so impressive. The banter between Duffy and Christian is clever and cheeky right from the beginning and it only gets better as the story progresses.

I’m not a huge fan of fake relationships in books but I think part of the reason that it works so well here is because Duffy and Christian come from very different worlds. She comes from a loving family where money was scarce, whereas he has no family and more money than he could ever need (even though Duffy thinks he is flat broke). I loved seeing Christian and Duffy learn from each other, and this leads to personal growth for both of them.

Parts of Cold Hearted Casanova were amusing and thoroughly entertaining, other parts romantic and sexy, and as we get deep into the book, heartbreaking events lead to many, many tears. The ending was wonderful and I was left feeling incredibly happy. Cold Hearted Casanova is a brilliant romance and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

This is the third book in the series – and we do meet up with earlier protagonists, so I think I would recommend that you read them in order, but it stands alone too.

The really fun thing about this book is that you know you will love them both by the end, but as you begin the book, you may wonder how that is going to happen! Really and truthfully, they both have their faults – although Riggs’ judgmental behaviour before he knows the facts may be the least tasteful, we soon understand what is behind his assumptions about Duffy.

As the chemistry is clear, even if they don't like what each other appears to represent, it is inevitable that they will engage in some off the charts fun... but when Duffy makes some really caring and generous gestures, Riggs is flummoxed and touched.

Lots of subplots and twists which make this book all the richer – L.J. Shen can be counted upon to deliver a strong story, a clever message, and a fabulous love story. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.



I didn’t even fancy attractive men. Studs like him were so inaccessible, so out of reach, I regarded them like aliens. With a huh, so you exist approach.


Author Bio

L.J. Shen is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Post, and #1 Amazon bestselling author of contemporary, new adult, and young adult romance. Her books have been sold in twenty different countries, and she hopes to visit all of them.

She lives in Florida with her husband, three rowdy sons, and rowdier pets and enjoys good wine, bad reality TV shows, and reading to her heart’s content.

Connect with L.J. Shen!

Facebook  ~  Instagram  ~  Twitter  ~  TikTok  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: LJ's Sassy Sparrows



He had the thoughtless, hedonistic air of a villain, and the moral code of a hero.


ARC provided by


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided with a free copy of Cold Hearted Casanova (Cruel Castaways #3) by L.J. Shen to read and review.

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