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)”
Review

Review: Intelligence Check by Katherine McIntyre (2022)

Dungeons and Dating, #3

Reviews Dungeons and Dating, Book #1 & Book #2

Heat Factor: Three detailed encounters in the last chunk of the book—they have a lot of pining to get through first

Character Chemistry: “I think this person is so great, but there’s no way they like me”

Plot: Mason and Hunter start carpooling to work together, and that push is just what they need to open up to each other

Overall: There’s a lot to like

Continue reading “Review: Intelligence Check by Katherine McIntyre (2022)”
Review

Review: The Emma Project by Sonali Dev (2021)

The Rajes, #4

Reviews of The Rajes, Book #1, Book #2, and Book #3

Heat Factor: They have a lot of sex, but it’s almost entirely fade to black. 

Character Chemistry: They critique each other out of love.

Plot: They’re working together to make the world a better place, but their families would have a conniption if they dated.

Overall: A nice finish to a solid series.

Continue reading “Review: The Emma Project by Sonali Dev (2021)”
Review

Review: Release by Suzanne Clay (2022)

Heat Factor: Chapter 1: Glory Hole. Chapter 2: Phone sex. Chapter 3: Banging on his desk. 

Character Chemistry: She takes care of him, he takes care of her.

Plot: Danielle uses anonymous sex as a stress release. Except this time, it wasn’t anonymous. It was her boss.

Overall: Very sexy with a nice message, but you must be prepared for a heroine with baggage to work through

Continue reading “Review: Release by Suzanne Clay (2022)”
Review

Review: A Match Made in Lipa by Carla de Guzman (2022)

The Laneways, Book #2

Heat Factor: In the first chunk, there’s one chaste kiss and one toe-curling kiss

Character Chemistry: Butterflies

Plot: Toxic Family + Corporate Shenanigans + Astrology + Chocolate

Overall: I struggled through the first third before giving up

Continue reading “Review: A Match Made in Lipa by Carla de Guzman (2022)”