Hello and welcome to Day 13 of the June A to Z spanking blog hop. Today I’m doing M, which in my view must mean MM, because two Ms are better than one. Right?
A few months ago I was asked to write a peer review for a title coming up in the Totally Five Star series. Life Under New Management by Jane Davitt is a seriously hot MM story, set in Vancouver. Here’s my review…
Wow! This one is a real sizzler. Pygmalion, with attitude.
Life Under New Management opens with a job interview, and it’s not going well. Andy’s heart isn’t in it, he fancies himself an actor, and working in a bar, even in a place as prestigious as a Totally Five Star hotel, is just a stop gap until something better comes along. Ethan, his soon-to-be new boss is less than impressed and Andy has to plead to land the job.
He spends a lot of the book pleading with Ethan. And loving every moment of it. Andy gets off on pain, and Ethan likes to hand it out. Should be simple, but it isn’t. Ethan insists that Andy has to earn his jollies, and he’s eager to agree to put his life under new management. Ethan’s management. Ethan is determined to shape him into the man he, Andy, wants to be. I loved the way Andy’s goals for pleasing Ethan are based around his own New Year resolutions, sort of a Pygmalion scenario
I liked Andy from the off. He’s ambitious, but laid back, comfortable in his own skin. He has a heart of gold, and he wears that heart on his sleeve as far as Ethan is concerned – he simply adores the man from the start. But Ethan is a tough nut, distant, cool, professional to the core. His standards are exacting to say the least and Andy doesn’t measure up. Yet.
I was slower to warm to Ethan. He’s complicated, very reserved, and doesn’t give much of himself away. As his character unfolds through the story though I grew to love him. Once he commits he’s one seriously strict sir. He expects results, and Andy has to work hard to earn his respect.
The sex scenes are hot, and explicit. Expect an education – I certainly got one. The emotional connection between these two is exquisitely described, and it grows, strengthens with each encounter. We know from the off that Andy is smitten, but Ethan’s true feelings are harder to grasp. When the chips are down though, he is devoted to Andy. I sent up a silent cheer when he demonstrates that at a time when it matters.
Although much of the action in this story takes place away from the hotel itself, the Totally Five Star is always the backdrop, the context in which their relationship develops. The hotel brought them together, and Ethan’s meticulous standards in his personal life reflect the perfection of the place where they both work. I liked the way Ms Davitt give walk-on parts to other characters, who might (I hope) be featured in future books in the Totally Five Star series.
Life Under New Management is a sensuous, complex contribution to the series. I loved it. If you like your MM action hot and sexy, with a strong emotional undercurrent, this one is for you. Five well-deserved stars from me.
I hope you enjoyed this snippet, and that you’re having as much fun with the Spanking A to Z as I am. Don’t forget to check out some of the other A-Z blog-hoppers. To find the list Click here