March 7, 2017

Bossed. Sloane Howell. 2017. 203 pages. LoveSwept. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.]
Bossed is a romance centered around strong-willed Jenny and her eventual and equally-stubborn boss Ethan. Their first meeting is predictably antagonistic, a quality that carries throughout the book. Ethan runs a tight ship at his sports management agency, and Jenny is a constant foil that he can’t resist. Their sexual attraction is, of course, instant and provides a driving force for the book.

Although the plot is pretty interesting and certainly keeps one reading, the nuances of the story and characters left me skeptical and struck me as unrealistic. The power struggle between Ethan and Jenny is realistic; his reaction to her challenging his authority in the workplace is completely contradictory and frankly, unbelievable. I also found Ethan’s acquiescence to Jenny unlikely, regarding her absence from work to care for her ailing father and response to her advocating for her coworkers. While not wholly impossible, it just seemed way more fairy tale than realistic romance. Without providing more spoilers, I think it suffices to say that truly enjoying the book will require more suspension of disbelief than comes naturally to me.

While I have critiques, I can say that I enjoyed reading Bossed. It really is an interesting story with characters that are engaging on their own merits. I’m not a baseball fan, but I appreciated how skillfully Howell made it a primary interest of the characters, without making this a story about baseball with a hint of sex and romance.

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