Recommended Read, Review Revisited

Review Revisited: Erin’s Take on By a Thread by Lucy Score (2020)

In addition to her review, Ingrid has recommended this book in four other discussion posts or listicles. And also she tells us to read it in the group chat even more than that. And so, finally, I did. I actually listened to the audiobook, and Dominic’s POV is voiced by Sebastian York, who has what I consider this perfect, er, asshole voice (Sorry, Sebastian! You’re really fun to listen to!), so when Dominic is all up in his feelings but still going through with his, er, bad behavior anyway, it’s just perfection. Erin Mallon voices Ally’s chapters, and she’s also a great narrator. So easy to listen to. Great audio. 

Okay but the book.

My primary takeaway from this book is that it addresses the power dynamics of an employer/employee relationship better than any such romance I have ever read. And that is a trope I enjoy, even if it’s problematic. Fiction is great, right? Anyway, Ingrid definitely touches on this, too, in her review, but I think it should be said again. 

Because he’s lived through the repercussions of his father’s actions, Dominic is so fully against a workplace romance – for all the right reasons! – that he actually fails to see the difference between what his father did to the women in his employ and Dominic’s own relationship with Ally. There were actually times when I was frustrated with Ally, who got mad at Dominic for his refusal to engage with her even though she was very clearly consenting, because Dominic was so utterly clear that consent doesn’t work the same way when their workplace power dynamics were in play. And yet, because Score included the component of Dominic’s dad’s sexual assault and harassment, the reader is still able to see the difference between what Dominic’s going through and what his dad was doing. As the numerous harassment trainings I’ve attended have told me: sexual harassment is not about sex; it’s about power. And that’s exactly what Dominic’s dad very clearly illustrates, but what Dominic fails to see in his own feelings about Ally. 

(Also, once things pull together, they go straight to HR, which is great, although HR really shouldn’t have allowed Dominic in the room with Ally while they were discussing the relationship, because if she were being pressured, she couldn’t say so in front of Dominic – but hey, FICTION! There’s a beautiful hand-holding moment that we would have otherwise missed out on.)

The other thing I really liked was that Dominic knows he’s being so bad but just can’t help himself. I like a self-aware protagonist. Makes the naughty behavior less gross. But also Dominic is a big softie. He wants Ally to eat, but he knows it’s not appropriate to buy her food, so he buys food for the whole department. Still not entirely appropriate, and not very sustainable, but definitely shows his soft underbelly while he’s being a, um, little stinker. 

Anyway, it’s a long one, but very well thought out. Read on for Ingrid’s original glowing review.

Continue reading “Review Revisited: Erin’s Take on By a Thread by Lucy Score (2020)”
Recommended Read, Series Review

Review: The Executive Office Series by Tal Bauer (2016-2017)

Heat Factor: It is a not insubstantial amount of soul-searing lovemaking

Character Chemistry: OMG, I was so invested

Plot: There’s a global conspiracy to burn down the world, and the US president and his secret service detail lead find themselves right in the middle of it

Overall: The three primary books are a total of 52 hours and 48 minutes in audio plus there’s a 200 page holiday interlude story as well, and I devoured them all in 5 days. What even is sleep?

Continue reading “Review: The Executive Office Series by Tal Bauer (2016-2017)”
Rant, Review

Review: Figure of Speech by Kasha Thompson (2022)

Heat Factor: The whole middle of the book is pretty much sex.

Character Chemistry: feelings are annoying

Plot: The new White House Press Secretary worked with the president once many years ago. This time he’s not about to let her get away.

Overall: I was put off by the way the president was initially represented (it’s single POV from Clover), and that kind of snowballed with other things as I continued to read

Continue reading “Review: Figure of Speech by Kasha Thompson (2022)”
Review

Review: Secret Service by Tal Bauer (2022)

Heat Factor: I might go so far as to say lotsa sex, but it’s not lotsa super explicit sex, but also that first BJ will probably live rent free in my head for a while 

Character Chemistry: Love at first sight + so much angst

Plot: The president and his Secret Service detail lead are in love. Also the president has disappeared. Without his detail lead (in case that wasn’t obvious).

Overall: It’s present-past (roughly) alternating non-linear, so I was thrown for a minute…until I was totally sucked in

Continue reading “Review: Secret Service by Tal Bauer (2022)”
Recommended Read, Review

Review: The Romance Recipe by Ruby Barrett (2022)

Heat Factor: Sex, then denying it has any meaning.

Character Chemistry: They have alllllll the feelings.

Plot: Amy keeps making decisions for everyone else.

Overall: Look, this is a sexy, bi-awakening, f-f chef story. How could I not love it?

Continue reading “Review: The Romance Recipe by Ruby Barrett (2022)”