ARC Review: Due Diligence by Anna Zabo

27278927Title: Due Diligence (Takeover, #3)

Author: Anna Zabo

Publisher: InterMix

Release Date: June 21, 2016

Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance

Format: eBook

Page Count: 293

Rating: 3 Stars



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…

♦ Personal Thought ♦

This book certainly put me in reflective mood. I don’t know where to start to express my feeling over the story.

Let’s start with the recap of the story. The third installment of Anna Zabo‘s Takeover series brought Eli and Fazil of SR Anderson Consulting to Seattle for a Due Diligence at Singularity, he met with his ex boyfriend, Todd, who worked as an engineer there. The chemistry between them still burning, and as fate threw them together again it seemed to be a good time to make up for the heartbreak of the past.

Despite the seemingly “simple” plot, a few issues stood up in this book: misunderstanding, perception, bigotry and racism. Of course, you might say, what else is new? Well, it’s new to me!

Fazil was an American born moslem from immigrant Turkish parents. All his life, he felt doubly insecure as an outsider because of his appearance and bisexuality. Todd never aspired of becoming more than working at his father’s garage until he made a friend with Fazil who helped him study in high school. The race and religion issues made quite a stir in this book.

Here where I got exasperated with the mind of the young. The two might think of each other as best-friends, even first love; but they never really talk TALK or truly trust each other. Which was why when rumours flying, one lashed out as revenge the other kept the hurt inside. No thoughts to discuss to clear up the issue. Thus, the different perceptionescalated to misunderstanding that finally pushed Fazil to take drastic measure that left their friendship hanging.

When they met again, those past hurt and misunderstanding were pretty soon resolved (thank gads for that!). Though the after-effect was no less painful, believing the wrong assumption all those years.

I loved how big hearted Todd here, to not expect his friend to grovel. I could actually feel the emotion between them. I don’t know how the author did it; but somehow she brought all those emotions and suppressed tensions that I could feel it along with them.

Although (yes, I had to rain on their parade) when it came to express that emotion, did it have to be through sex. I mean, once or twice were probably fine, they made up for all those years after all. But I really much prefer most of that to happen off-page or, say, fade-out scene. The sex play was holy hell… Hot and rough. The frequency was too much for my taste. But those who preferred smexy steamy read would most likely loving this.

Just great sex did not solve all the problems though (I grumbled throughout reading: talk, you guys. TALK like two adults and stop making assumption! You’d replay the same mistakes you’d made. Yes, I talked to the book I read, so what?). But all those sex must have been physically tiring, bigotry and racism from others mentally exhausting that our MC exploded.

That was the point where I regret that Fazil wasn’t as comfortable and proud of himself as who he was; and that kind Todd might be but he was also high-handed and pigheaded. Granted, the author brilliantly made the characters real human with flaws, had them hurting one another again before making it work. But honestly, I was on the verge of calling it quite due to exasperation. Fazil and Todd played me like a yo yo and not entirely in a nice way. So I couldn’t really say that I liked them, though I certainly did not hate them either.

As I said earlier, they did had me reflecting upon life; the good and bad. That saying, some conversations Fazil or Todd having with Eli (from Just Business) were pretty hilarious and entertaining – which help to keep me going.

Story telling wise, Anna Zabo‘s style sorta clicked to me… The abundance of sex aside. But I could see myself following this series. In fact, having jumped right in the middle, I went to look to the previous two books of the series to catch up! Fingers-crossed the heat meter not exceeding Fazil and Todd’s story! XD

Advanced copy of the book is kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the exchange of a fair and honest review.

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