Workplace romances

Astrid Amara’s Holiday Outing was one of the better m/m romances I read last year, and I was pleased to see that she has new Hanukkah-themed release at Loose Id. But now that I’ve read the blurb, I’m feeling a bit ambivalent.

Paralegal Seth Bellski is tired of being the secret lover of his boss, Lars Varga, founding partner of Finch & Varga Law. So when he asks Lars to spend Hanukkah with Seth’s family at their kosher B and B in Whistler, B.C., and Lars refuses, Seth realizes he will never get his self-conscious boss out of the closet.

So Seth prepares to spend his Hanukkah holiday alone in the B and B. Instead he finds himself running the place, as his aunt and uncle are missing, and seven demanding, peculiar, and danger-prone guests have arrived. To make matters worse, Lars shows up, begging forgiveness. Lars’s touches remind Seth of why he put up with his boss’s behavior in the first place. If only the words that came out of that beautiful mouth were as sweet as his kisses.

But how can Seth find time to fix his broken relationship when the guests are demanding kosher, gluten-free diets, losing their pet terriers, and hitting their heads on the ice? Seth and Lars find themselves put through the paces of being a married couple, all while still broken up. But then again, if they can survive this Hanukah, maybe they’ll be singing a carol of the Bellskis.

Generally, I avoid legal settings, but this looks as if it takes place outside the office, so that isn’t the problem. But the partner/paralegal closeted relationship makes me really uncomfortable. I have the same problem with boss/secretary romances, primarily because they scream EEO/HR problems at me. In this case, the employer/employee aspect is magnified by the out/not out tension between the two characters.

I’ll probably buy a copy, but it’s not the autobuy I was expecting.

Also, Charlie Cochrane’s Lessons in Temptation was released today. About half way through, I’m pleased with the book, although a bit irritated by Jonty Stewart, who needs a head-slap or suspender-snap to bring him to his senses.


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