Review: Due South by Tamsen Parker

Reviewed by Shelly

This is a tricky one for me. I liked the characters. I enjoyed the storyline. I even liked the idea that India, who I can’t stand, seems to be a bit more well-mannered. But something felt off and I don’t know if it was the plethora of sexual escapades for Lucy and Evans or if it was something else. I just can’t put my finger on the culprit.

I didn’t see anything suggesting that this can be, or not, read as a standalone. As I’m very familiar with the previous 4 books, I think it would be beneficial to have read them in light of India Burke’s almost harsh personality and how that might or might not have influenced Lucy and Evan’s decisions. The thing about it is that we all have choices, and both Lucy and Evans for whatever reason enjoy the experiences they have working with India’s company and have worked for her the past six years.

After moving from a small conservative community where she grew up, Lucy finds herself in CA pursuing an acting career. That’s a bust and she ends up in San Diego working as a secretary for India to support herself. Chanoch Evans is India’s right hand guy. She depends, it seems, on both of these employees tremendously. So it’s no surprise that during the Christmas break when Lucy’s getting ready to go and be with the family she loves yet hates, that she’s called into India’s office for a last minute assignment that will disrupt her plans.

Chanoch, who prefers going by Evans because no one (me included) can pronounce his name correctly, doesn’t care about the holiday season. He’s Jewish and doesn’t practice any part of his religion and he’s convinced, with valid reason, that his family doesn’t like him. So the team is formed – India, Lucy and Evans, all working 18 – 20 hour days to get a project up to speed.

India’s husband, Cris, makes a few appearances and one of the first ones is the first night of the project. Lucy and Evans are in the office, specifically the break room, when India rushes back into the office looking for some file that’s she’s misplaced. Some where along the line, Lucy and Evans are witnesses to Cris and India having sex with a little something extra, just the way India likes it. Lucy and Evans can’t help but be turned on and must have sex right away to quench that thirst. This, their first sexual interlude threw me, because it was like, seriously? We’re going to do this here and now?

Lucy and Evans are both very shy people – rather they’re easily embarrassed and as they’re both fair-skinned, the flushes really show. This is a frequent thing between them. The story is told from both POVs and that made it interesting. Lucy is a worrier and even answering the phone can set her off. A lot of her woes and insecurities can be traced back to her childhood. You see, Lucy’s got big breasts and during her upbringing when she attended church the pastor suggested that her presence in the congregation will set the young boys to sinning. This made me chuckle, but it was brought up several times so I don’t think I was supposed to laugh.

Evans is a thin, pale, seemingly soft man who is a nerd. He doesn’t just come off as one, he is one. He’s smart but his social skills are minimal and his chat up skills are…poor; maybe abysmal is a better word. He’s had a thing for Lucy since she started working with the company, and in all that time he’s never said anything relating to that to her. But when this opportunity for the project comes up, he jumps at the chance to have sex with Lucy.

There’s a ton of internal dialogue, about they want to do, when they aren’t having sex. There’s very little substantive conversations held between them outside of the sexual moments. Speaking of sex, there’s a lot. I could have actually done without quite a bit of it. The chemistry between Lucy and Evans was okay. She thought he was smart and sweet and he thought she was pretty (he was duly impressed with the size of her chest) and made him feel good about himself. Sounds like a match made in heaven to me.

The thing about Parker’s writing is that it’s always good. I can’t say that I’ve read a not worthwhile story penned by her. I just don’t always like the content or the characters. This is one where I’m still trying to figure out what was off about it.

Happy Reading folks!

Rating: B-/C+

*Book provided by author

Click to purchase: Amazon

Due South
by Tamsen Parker
Release Date: December 12, 2016

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