Today I’m reviewing Takeover by Anna Zabo. I liked this book a lot and I picked it because I was in the mood for a certain type of read: Namely, a read with business men in it, and that’s what I got. It was fun, steady paced, and had just enough intrigue that I was interested in the plot as well as the sex. There are a couple of warnings about this book that some people might like to be aware of. There’s a bit of remembered violence, not overly detailed, but it’s a bashing. There’s also SURPISE BDSM. It’s like a delicious glitterbomb of spankings and lust, but not exactly light play.
Let’s take a look at the blurb.
An exciting new voice in romance proves that giving in can be the best way to let go…
Michael Sebastian thought Curacao would be the perfect place to have a little fun in the sun–and between the sheets. So far, no one has struck his interest, until Sam Anderson walks into the bar. With one look at his tense body and expensive suit, Michael knows that this is a man in need of release. And Michael is more than willing to lend a hand.
Shattered by the most intense sex he’s ever had, Sam has to face the facts–one night with a handsome, dominating stranger is all he gets before returning to the closet he’s been suffocating in for years. But when Sam starts his new job as the CEO of a failing technology company, he discovers that Michael is one of his new employees.
While Michael is desperate for another night with Sam, he knows he shouldn’t get involved with his boss, let alone another man who can’t accept who he is. But as they’re forced to work together to save the company, the desire sparking between them becomes impossible to ignore…
I heartily enjoyed that this book took place predominantly in Pittsburgh because I’ve spent a good deal of time in that city. It was the first major cities I travelled to as a skyscraper adoring child from the country and as such will always hold a fond and infamous place in my memories. The details in the book were researched well enough that the author at least visited or spent a good many hours researching the city. None of the “Pittsburgh” details were wrong. I can almost see the bridges over the rivers and savor the graffiti.
The BDSM in this book was well done. A little bit of fantasy and a little bit of nearly extreme play, with pain play scenes that maybe weren’t that exceptionally out of the ordinary, but where ripe with the emotional highs of the play and the interactions of the characters. It was really well done. One of the few problems I could forsee with the BDSM play in this book is that it isn’t hinted at even the slightest bit in the blurb, which is guaranteed to be off putting to some people. It wasn’t for me! Surprise kink is kind of like finding a fifty dollar bill in an old jacket you’re trying on before you donate it to Goodwill. Win/win.
I sort of fell a bit in love with Sam. I liked how much he wanted to do the right thing with Mike, and I liked how much he just really fucking wanted to have the kinky hot sex that he’d been denying himself for years. That made for some explosive sex scenes, and it also made for some lovely tension in the rest of the book. I think I ended up liking Sam more than Mike, because in the end, of the two, Sam was the more romantic because he just couldn’t stand to let Mike go without giving him something to remember him by.
I’m a real sucker for this type of book. You know the type. Where the jargon is just a little this side of too thick and there are vague things going on in boardrooms, but you really don’t care because all you want to know is whether or not the characters are going to fuck. I actually picked it because I was in the mood for something that would remind me of a show I recently binge watched several (out of order) episodes of, Suits. I wanted something about business people “businessing” and that’s exactly what I got. There was business! There were suits! And, oh, goodness, the suit porn was wonderful. Hot men wearing suits to do important business stuff then getting stripped out of them. Yowser. It happens in the first few pages of the book. (It starts with a BANG! Loved it.)
The overall plot of the book was interesting, but in the end wasn’t that enthralling for me. It was extremely clear from the beginning that William was going to be the bad guy, and then he was. Meh. That wasn’t honestly what the story was about to me, it was more character driven in my opinion, but it just wasn’t enough to sink my teeth into. The climax with the “businessing” wasn’t that great and didn’t make all the build up seem worth it. It was actually sort of anti-climactic. Nothing bad really happened. At all. Not even a little. And, by all rights, it probably should have. I’m not saying I wanted their lives destroyed, but they should have been thrown into some sort of actual tailspin after that huge build up. As it was it was more William was an ass, everyone knows it, and then William gets screwed, mostly because he’s an ass and everyone knows it.
A character flaw that was mentioned and ignored bothered me. Michael in one scene is out exercising, taking a walk when he’d rather be running, but he has a leg brace on and can’t do serious running because of it. At no point in the internal dialogue does he ever notice or mention the pain from his leg or is he ever otherwise physically inhibited by this injury. He even holds Sam up and fucks him against a wall at one point. That just doesn’t jive. I’m mildly neurotic, so I noticed that and kept picking at it in my brain. It’s not really something I think a normal person would fixate on, but I kept coming back to it over and over again as I read, thinking to myself, should he be able to do that?
Also, this book involves engaging my “we’re in fantasy mode” filter, which actually doesn’t bother me that much, but still bugs me a wee bit because I have to actively do it. It’s like I have to call from the front of my mind down to Scotty in Engineering and be like, “Engage that damned filter!” Mike meets Sam and they have kinky fun times. Mike loves being a Dom. Sam loves getting his ass owned. They meet in a hotel room bar and are magically perfect for each other in and out of the bedroom. I’m not saying that never happens, but someone’s Fairy Godmother is pulling double duty whenever it does, and they better be damned grateful for it.
One of the few things that I noticed about this book that actually bugged me was the rather large number of editing errors. Just grammar things here and there and other small blips that pulled me a bit out of the story every time I noticed one. I think every book has one or three in it, but it was something I remembered at the end of the book, which makes me believe there were a lot more than that. The infamous to instead of too happened, which is a personal pet peeve of mine, and something Word, bitch that it is, doesn’t always automatically correct.
So, my conclusions on this book? I’d say buy it. Read it. Enjoy the kinky goodness and the naughtiness of mutually desirable workplace sexy shenanigans. And men in suits. And did I mention kinky sex? This is one you may want to re-read at some point, so you won’t be deleting it from the e-reader once you’re finished.
Check out my book Threefold Love!