Title: Due Diligence (Takeover #3)
Author: Anna Zabo
Release Date: June 21st 2016
Page Count: 277
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.3 stars out of 5
A business trip leads to a surprise encounter with an old flame in this sexy romance from the author of Just Business.
After Fazil Kurt breaks up with his girlfriend, a business trip to Seattle offers some much-needed time away. Sent by S.R. Anderson Consulting, Fazil is there to help audit Singularity Storage, a company they are trying to save. His first discovery is intriguing to say the least: One of Singularity’s engineers is Todd Douglas, Fazil’s first love.
He knows better than to get personally involved on a job like this. Back in high school, Todd broke Fazil’s heart more times than he could count, but both men have grown so much since then—and Fazil never could say no to Todd…
I really struggled with my rating for this one. I absolutely love Anna Zabo’s Takeover series but Due Diligence didn’t work all that well for me. I’ll settle with 3.25 stars, because the story had a lot of heart and emotion, and the writing is stellar, as always.
To begin with, I really dislike the misunderstanding/miscommunication trope. Even though I’m very forgiving and understanding when the MCs are teenagers, I had a hard time buying that Fazil acted so foolishly 15 years ago, no matter how insecure he was! This is the MOTHER of all misunderstandings!
- He believed rumors about Todd, cheated on him, never even thought of asking him if the rumors were true, and on top of that, he left him without even saying goodbye! And never spoke to him for the next 15 years!
Things felt rushed. The misunderstanding clears up early on, but where is the slow burn? I loved how forgiving and confident Todd was, but how could he forget 15 years of heartbreak in a matter of minutes and jump in a “relationship” with Fazil?
Fazil’s insecurities were understandable and I actually get why he couldn’t stop feeling guilty. But after a while it got old and it seemed like he was moving in circles. Maybe because the book was pretty long. I think I would have liked it more if the plot was more tightened up.
Todd’s workplace was Islamaphobia, anti-Semitism and bigotry central. My jaw dropped, not just with the nasty comments and actions (like burning a Quran!!!) towards Eli, Fazil, and Todd (Lord knows that the world is brimming with racist douchebags), but with the lack of repercussions for the perpetrators. Even a threat for a lawsuit would have made me feel better. It just felt OTT. Why would Fazil ever want to go to work in a place like this? Todd was unreasonable on this.
Despite my issues, the story kept me engaged and there was real chemistry between the MCs. There is plenty of smex and the ending was perfect for the story. I really liked it.
I’m still looking forward to the fourth book, Brian’s story.