Executive Jeff Wallace has lusted after Evan Hawthorne since the moment his new employee first stepped into his office for a job interview. Evan is almost ten years Jeff’s junior, fresh out of grad school, and one of the best salesmen in the office. Jeff thinks he’s hot as hell, and as luck would have it, he knows Evan is just as interested.
The only problem? There’s a sticky little paragraph in the employee handbook that keeps Jeff from doing anything more than fantasizing about his new employee. The clause that states, in plain English, that managers and their immediate employees cannot fraternize. They can’t get together, not even outside the office, just because Jeff’s the boss.
Jeff has pleaded with his own supervisor, Kirk Morris, to change the rules. Why shouldn’t he? Kirk owns the company and spends most of his time bonking Jeff’s secretary. But it’s a no go…until Jeff finds himself working late one evening with no one left in the office but Evan, who decides to take matters into his own hands regardless of what the employee manual might say…
I read this book twice to double check whether I was being unfair in my assessment when I read the story the first time, and the second time I didn’t like it any better. The thrust of the story is that Jeff wants to get into the pants of his new employee Evan and he spends the entire book figuring out how to do so, without contravening company policy. He admits that he hired Evan because of his looks not his resume, even though he is a good salesman, and he spends his working hours mooning over Evan, thinking about what it would be like to do the horizontal mambo with him “and when he bends over, his pants pull taut across round buttocks I want to sink my teeth into like twin melons“. Jeff is also mad at the boss, the CEO of the company, Kirk, who is doing exactly what Jeff wants to do; Kirk is getting it on with Jeff’s secretary, Amber, during office hours. Kirk is smart enough to have Amber report to Jeff which gives him the “out” he needs from the rules in the employee manual. Obviously Kirk feels that he is above company regulations but he makes sure that everyone else toes the line. The company’s name is “Lick em and Weep” and I suppose Kirk sees no harm in emulating this tag line. I guess an important question is, how does the company make money if the two senior executives use most of their time either thinking about or actually having sex in the office?
This story is what would probably be referred to as a puff piece because the plot was almost non existent, unless you believe that spending an entire book thinking up ways to have sex with your employee without contravening company policy is a good plot. The characterizations were no better. I thought that Jeff’s character was one dimensional and he also didn’t come across as a typical executive (certainly not any that I know) if he spends most of his time ogling Evan, who was no better. The two female employees reminded me of the stereotypical way that many women in M/M books are characterized – bitches, tramps or something in between. Amber, Jeff’s secretary, who is “double D’s, long blonde hair, and legs that stretch for miles” who Kirk calls “sugar,” at work, is the tramp and she fritters away most of her time in Kirk’s office, presumably having sex with him since her clothes are usually in disarray whenever she comes up for air. The other female employee, Charity (what a misnomer) is your typical female bitch in these stories who is totally uncooperative to everyone else in the office and tries to get out of her responsibilities at every turn by delegating them to either Amber or Evan. On the upside Evan was quite likable and pleasant, even if he comes across as a little dumb, but he was quite hot under the sheets or whatever one uses for sheets in an office. Kirk is almost a caricature, not doing his job but having a great time doing Amber in the office.
I have read and reviewed many books by this author and in most cases I have liked her writing, however, Double Standard was not a high point for me but I’m sure that some readers will love the book. As usual, reviews are only one person’s opinion and others may not agree.
This book would be of interest to readers of the genre.