The Applicant (CP’s Review)

Title: The Applicant (Busted Labs series #1)
Author: Aidee Ladnier
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: January 11, 2017
Genre(s): Time Travel
Page Count: 47
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

How can something so cuddly and adorable be so destructive? The teddy bear robot decimating his lab is only the first disaster of the day for roboticist Forbes Pohle. If he can figure out how to end its rampage, he still has to interview applicants for the position of research assistant and convince the time traveler on his doorstop that they should be making their future right now.

Oliver Lennox didn’t travel back in time to have a quickie in the blast chamber—but it certainly is fun. This younger Forbes is a sweeter, more innocent version of his lover. And it will be hard to leave him behind in the past.

If you like sexy nerds, humor, plenty of action, and a love story not even time can disrupt, this romantic adventure has the perfect credentials for the job.

Second Edition. First Edition published as The Applicant (or Virgins, Robot Bears, and Other Disasters) by Torquere Press, 2012.

Churchill’s famous quip about Russia – “It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma” – could be used to describe The Applicant … if the riddle is Forbes Pohle, a young idealistic roboticist, the mystery is Oliver Lennox, Forbes’ lover from the future …. and well I guess that leave the crazed robotic teddy bear as the enigma.

Okay, so maybe that doesn’t describe The Applicant, but this short story loops back upon itself in a deliciously twisted way (or two) and it’s hard to describe other than to say it holds your interest every step of the way! Oliver Lennox is given a mission by his lover in the future – the older successful Forbes – to time travel back to a pivotal time in Forbes’ life to influence a decision that has a far-reaching impact. For Oliver the mission is bitter-sweet because he sees Forbes before the difficulties of life blunted his youthful innocence. Does he stay and change Forbes’ life or does he trust in his future life with Forbes?

I love the time travel trope and how this brief story really captured the relationship between Forbes and Oliver and leaves us with perfect set-up into the second book in the Busted Labs series – “The Break In” – where Oliver and Forbes actually meet for the (real) first time. This is an impressive short story and I highly recommend it!

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of The Applicant provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.


Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend. My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh ... not in my wheelhouse, but I'm a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre. Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more. A few "badges" from NetGalley: 100 Book Reviews Reviews Published Professional Reader