Published by: Amazon Digital Services
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Order at: Amazon
Reviewed by: Erin
What to Expect: Sweet, adorable, funny, filthy, dirty fun. This book has everything you want!
Lucy Miller has worked her way up from coffee-fetcher and copy-maker to invaluable assistant. She’s proud of her accomplishments, but she’s looking forward to a break from her demanding boss; a visit home is just the Christmas treat she needs.
Diligent and unassuming, Chanoch Evans has avoided relationships not just out of shyness, but because he doesn’t feel like he has anything to offer—most of his resources are devoted to his war-veteran younger brother.
When a desperate plea from their boss ruins their holiday plans, Lucy and Evans are stuck in an otherwise empty office with only each other for company. After catching their boss in flagrante, they start to see that each other’s mild workplace personas might be just the tip of the iceberg. Despite the prohibition against fraternization between employees, there may be more than kissing going on underneath this mistletoe…
This is my new go-to book to recommend to anyone who needs a smile. I’m going to be pushing it on people, like, “Hey, Happy New Year, have you read Due South? Nice weather we’re having, but did you read Due South yet? So really, you should just buy it to shut me up.
What makes this book so special? For one thing, it’s just so damn fun. This book features Lucy, a fiercely competent administrative assistant, and Evans, the dorky guy in the office who’s more than a little in lust with her. They are forced to stay in the office together to work on an urgent project for the week leading up to Christmas and…well, it’s an erotic romance. You know what happens. Except, instead of suave, physically flawless sexperts, we get Evans almost clocking himself senseless in his mad dash to buy condoms and giggly, messy, sometimes embarrassing sex.
Of course, Lucy and Evans have lives outside the office as well. Lucy’s family doesn’t understand why she’s not married, not having babies, and is somehow content to be “just a secretary.” They’re religious and from a small town, and their subtle invalidation of her body, her personality, and her choices has eroded her self-esteem. Evans’ family is even less functional: His parents are caregivers for Evans’ war vet brother, who is drowning in substance abuse and suffering from PTSD. Evans is financially supporting the entire family, and yet his family has no respect for him and pours on the guilt. These backgrounds aren’t sketched in, they’re integral to who Lucy and Evans are, and how they react to life and each other.
(This may seem like Characterization 101. It’s not. This level of good character work seamlessly in with all the banging and all the humor? Don’t try this at home, kids.)
One of the things I love about this book is that it’s the anti-cupcake book. And what I mean is that this book is the opposite of those twee contemporaries where the heroine goes to start a cupcake shop/used bookstore/artisanal cheese nook and improbably, effortlessly manages to buy a quirky old Victorian and redecorate it, while wearing $500 heels. I get the appeal of the fantasy, but this book’s thesis is that body-insecure office drones who stress about making car payments can have hot, messy, toe-curling, filthy dirty, utterly blistering sex anywhere they want, anytime they want.
And the sex is…*sweats* It’s uh. Real good. You’re just gonna have to uh. *pulls at collar* Just. Go read it for yourself. You’ll see what I mean.
This is a book I’m going to read again and again. I’m going to read it when I want a smile, and when I want something steamy, and when I need a break from all those cupcake shops. If you need a smile, you’ll want to pick this up too.
What you might not like: If you get bad second-hand embarrassment, the first two chapters might be tough for you.
What you’ll love: Sweaty, messy, hands-fisted-in-clothes sex, an adorkable couple, deep and affecting characterization, and did I mention the sex? I’m half in lust with Lucy myself.
Erin is a full time contributor to Binge on Books. She is a voracious reader and reviewer who has been been reading romances since she stole them from under her neighbor’s mom’s bed while she was at work. You can read all her reviews here.
Connect with Erin on Twitter: @booksandjoe