Reviewed by JustJen
Title: Life Under New Management
Author: Jane Davitt
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 280 Pages
Publisher: Totally Bound
Release Date: March 6, 2015
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Working for a perfectionist like strict, sexy-as-hell Ethan isn’t easy. Falling in love with him? No problem at all.
Taking a bar job in an exclusive hotel is a stopgap for Andy. He’s an actor and his big break is coming soon—he knows it. His hot new boss Ethan is strict, demanding and totally off-limits but Andy can’t stop thinking about him.
When Andy learns of Ethan’s need to be in control of his partner—in bed and out of it—he’s stunned by the intensity of his reaction. He wants Ethan guiding him, bringing order to his chaotic life. And he sees that Ethan needs him too, though they can’t be open about their feelings.
Ethan deals out deliciously perverse consequences for misbehaving, but when it comes to incentives, he knows just what to offer to have Andy on his knees begging for more.
But some secrets can’t stay that way for long. And when difficult choices arise, for once Andy can’t turn to Ethan for guidance. This time, he’s on his own.
Review: This book is part of the Totally Five Stars series written by various authors. The only connection they have is that they all center around five-star hotels in various locations around the world. I am a big fan of Ms. Davitt, which is what lured me to this story.
First, we have Andy, a struggling actor who needs to find another job until he makes his big break. With very little actual skills, he relies on his acting ability to win him a job as a bartender at a big hotel. He gets off to a rocky start, but eventually convinces his potential boss, Ethan, to give him a chance to prove himself. It doesn’t take long before Andy is interested in more than the job. Ethan quickly shows Andy that he has some pretty high standards and expects them to be met. He’s all business, much to Andy’s disappointment and attempts otherwise.
Again, Andy’s persistence pays off, though not quite in the way he was thinking. Andy’s life is one disorganized mess. Ethan is an organizer and manager, in every sense. There is attraction on both sides, but Ethan isn’t looking for just sex – he isn’t a dom looking for a sub. He is a perfectionist looking for someone to manage, organize and mold into a better person. Andy seizes the opportunity, knowing his life is in pretty big shambles at the moment, and hands the reins over to Ethan, who controls everything from Andy’s diet and exercise, to grooming and to exactly what goes on sexually.
The sex is often quite hot, though there are some more mundane clinical type activities as well. Ethan likes doling out the “s” in various ways, and Andy finds he enjoys the “m” enough to make it work. He does struggle with the roles every now and then, which was totally to be expected given the drastic change Andy made in his life, so this totally worked for me. He’s a bit bratty, but not overly so. Ethan is strong and a bit bull-headed at times, but you can see through most of that to his true feelings about Andy.
My only real niggle with this story was that we didn’t really get to know these guys very well. It felt superficial or in the moment. I think this mostly involved Ethan, as I found I wanted to know more about his past, wanted to see more interaction with him maybe meeting Andy’s friends, etc. He was the bigger mystery for me, as I had many unanswered questions regarding him.
But, all in all, I really enjoyed this. It was a quick, easy read that, while not on the beginner BDSM (or, more accurately, S/M) level, I didn’t find it overly dark in that respect, though it is different than the usual. I really enjoyed not reading the same old, same old, and this certainly delivers in that respect. If you’re looking for something a bit different, definitely give this one a try.
Overall Impression: I really liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*