Title: The Buyout
Author: Bru Baker
Cover Artist: Lou Harper
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy Links: Buy Link Amazon, Publisher
Genre: m/m contemporary romance
Length: Novella (125 pages)
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by J.K. Hogan
Review Summary: A fun, fast paced novella with an adorable geeky hero. 🙂
All Parker Anderson has ever wanted is to take over as CEO of Anderson Industries when his father retires. But when his father is ready to leave the company, he doesn’t plan to pass the reins to Parker. Instead, he plans to sell the company, jeopardizing not only Parker’s job but hundreds of others.
Parker finds an unlikely ally in Mason Pike, the company’s resident IT guru. What starts as a flirtation takes them from coworkers to coconspirators in a plan to forcibly buy Anderson Industries out from under Parker’s father. While they focus on the buyout, their budding romance has to be put on hold, but that doesn’t stop them from flirting and teasing each other to distraction—and once their master plan comes to fruition, nothing and no one can keep them apart.
As I’ve said here before, I’m not generally a big fan of novellas because they always seem rushed to me. But I’ve heard good things about Bru Baker so I wanted to give this one a try. I’m certainly not sorry I did. This was a face paced story that packed a lot of stuff into a novella length, so I didn’t really feel like it was too short.
The story is centered on Parker Anderson, son of the CEO of Anderson industries. Despite being family, Parker has been trying to make his place in the company through his hard work and ingenuity. Although he obviously maintains a certain status because the head software engineer, Mason Pike, is summoned to fix his computer. Parker and Mason begin a hilarious online flirtation that consists of geeky pickup lines and bad computer puns that would make George Takei proud.
Meanwhile, through the office instant messenger and the interoffice gossip ring, Parker and his cousin Anna find out that Parker’s father is planning on selling off the company, basically leaving Parker without a job or a legacy. Parker, Mason, Anna, and their “inner circle” of friends come up with a crazy scheme to pool their assets, and buy the company out from under Richard Anderson and his potential buyer.
I loved the instant messenger exchanges between the different characters. It was a different way to present dialogue and relationships between the characters. The romance in this novella happened almost in spite of the plot. Every time Parker and Mason tried to be together, things related to work and the buyout kept getting in the way. The most they got were a few stolen kisses and gropes along the way.
Parker wasn’t as priggish as you would think a character in the role of the boss’s son would have been, probably because his father was so critical of him. I adored Mason. I love a good, geeky hero, especially a hot one! Once they’ve succeeded in their plan for buying out the company—which was pulled off in spectacular fashion—they are finally able to get together, and the chemistry between them explodes.
Really, my only wish is that we got more time to see Mason and Parker together. I loved the way their growing relationship took a back seat to the business plans, but once it was all over, I wish the HEA could have gotten just a little more page time.
Ms. Baker has a really nice writing style and a wonderful tongue-in-cheek humor. I look forward to her first full length novel. I can’t wait to read more from her, and I think she may be one to watch!