Friday 29 October 2021


Yes, am breaking my SpoOOoky Halloween reading month with a book review that I agreed to do back in... er... July and is in no way spooky. In fact, it's romantic. I know - another MM romance. WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO ME SINCE THE UK FIRST WENT INTO LOCKDOWN?! I SEEM TO BE HAPPY READING LOW TO NO ANGST MM ROMANCES WITH HUNKY COVERS ... for the story, never for the hunky model on the cover. Nope. Not for the cover model AT ALL! Just... don't look at my Kindle app on my iPhone - the samples I've downloaded would tell a totally different story. 

ANYWAY, moving on. So, back ground, I had an out-of-the-blue email from PR company, Social Butterfly, chatting that I read MM romance and wondered if I would be up for reading Lucy Lennox's upcoming standalone, Hostile Takeover. I was intrigued by the idea and I knew that I wanted to do an extract reveal, but it took me a little longer to say yes to reading I was in two minds over this one. Then I went "Barring the one or two moments in my first Lucy Lennox, Right As Raine, that upset and stressed me out no end, I really enjoyed myself so this should be fun" then dived in. 

Title And Author: Hostile Takeover by Lucy Lennox
Publisher: Self-Published [?]
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof gifted by PR company, Social Butterfly, for blog tour in exchange for honest review/reaction.

It was meant to be a prank. Only it's wasn't, not really. And now, years later, Grey Blackwood is out for revenge. That's what's made him an excellent billionaire venture capitalist. So when he does a hostile takeover on Ellison York's father's company, he wants the whole family to suffer. 

But he doesn't know that Ellison has regretted the fall out of what happened 15 years ago. That, though it was a dare, he wanted what happened with Grey to happen and the guilt of not speaking up sooner has haunted him. Plus, Ellison is trying get away from being a corporate lawyer and out from his father's manipulative clutches. So when Ellison's father phones and begs him to save the company, Ellison reluctantly goes to help and is shocked at seeing Grey again, hotter than ever. 

Two weeks. Ellison can work for Grey for two weeks and, somehow, figure out what to do about his father's company, right? But the lines between enemies to lovers is blurred and getting blurrier by the minute... 
So, as I said earlier, I only had read one Lucy Lennox book when I agreed to read this. Since then, I have read one short story/novella - Winter Waites (prequel to Right as Raine and its series, Aster Valley) - and one novel, Hijacked (the first in the Licking Thicket: Horn of Glory series that she co-authored with May Archer). So I know better now in what I'm getting from a Lucy Lennox, and I think it helps that this, my first real non-co-authored Lucy Lennox, is a book I read and not audiobook so I sank into as I read this fast. Like, four days fast (unheard of for me, but I was on holiday and on my last reading day, I was a bit blue due to me returning to work the following day). 

But this was a nice, fun read. And it had troupes I liked: it was low(ish) angst, enemies to lovers, a spark between that (after 15 years) hasn't gone away, kissing and sexy times. And a dash of angst near the end but, with this being a romance, we know we're getting a Happily Ever After ending. 

This was perfect holiday reading for me. I just enjoyed myself with Grey and Ellison as their relationship changed and grew from enemies with opinions on each other before getting to know each other, to lovers that realise that maybe they might have misjudged each other. 

I do get that some readers are going to struggle with the prologue. This is set 15 years before the story takes place and, oh, I didn't like this nor the side characters in this chapter. I get why it's here - we have to see The Moment when it all goes wrong and why the characters behave the way they do fifteen years later. But this chapter was rough and even I went "How is Lucy going to make both our leads likeable and, at the same time, make us understand their motivations?" but Lucy made it work. Plus, most/all the awful side characters in that chapter are never seen again so that's good. 

I did notice something that happened in this book, but I've seen a few times in my MM romance reading (and remember, I've only really been into this genre since the first UK lockdown as March/April 2020), but what is it was bad or manipulative/cruel parents, mainly fathers? I've seen this two or three times and I can feel my blood begin to boil when I do as I wonder how no other characters else sees it, or whether for a little to no angst romance is going to be touch gentle on parental abuse. 

But, I am quite surprised how much fun I had with this and these characters, and with a free prequel novella that shows how Grey's PA, Marcel, first met his husband, Luca, I know I'm going to get my hands on that. Maybe even be brave and preorder the fourth book in the Aster Valley series, Thick as Thieves...

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