Author: KC Burn
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 216 Pages
At a Glance: Though some of the primary themes weren’t my favorite, this was still an enjoyable read.
Reviewed By: Cassie
Blurb: Two years after his life fell apart, Will Dawson moved to Florida to start over. His job in the tech department of Idyll Fling, a gay porn studio, is ideal for him. When his boss forces him to take on a new hire, the last person he expects is Dallas Greene—the man who cost him his job and his boyfriend back in Connecticut. He doesn’t know what’s on Dallas’s agenda, but he won’t be blindsided by a wolf masquerading as a runway model. Not again.
Dallas might have thrown himself on his brother’s mercy, but his skills are needed at Idyll Fling. Working with Will is a bonus, since Dallas has never forgotten the man. A good working relationship is only the beginning of what Dallas wants with Will.
But Dallas doesn’t realize how deep Will’s distrust runs, and Will doesn’t know that the man he’s torn between loving and hating is the boss’s brother. When all truths are revealed, how can a relationship built on lies still stand?
Review: Full disclosure—I have not read the first book in this series. Based on the blurb, I was hoping I would still be okay. I was! I liked Plaid versus Paisley enough that I’m adding Tartan Candy to my TBR, but not having read it already didn’t hinder my understanding or enjoyment of this book.
I’m not one for frustrating misunderstandings and miscommunications as a means of plot advancement—it’s actually one of my least favorite themes, so I was a bit worried heading into this one. I needn’t have been concerned. KC Burn does a good job of making most of the issues Dallas and Will have in this area reasonable and believable. I didn’t have a problem buying Dallas’ desire to keep his relationship with his brother (the boss) on the down low. I would probably have done the same in that respect, had I been hired on in a company where my brother was my manager’s boss. And Will’s reading of his past with Dallas is more Will building up a false history in the echo chamber of his own head after a traumatic career event than it is a miscommunication. I felt for Will and his fear, though his paranoia was having such an extreme impact on his life I actually thought the poor guy needed to get some therapy.
The characters were really what worked best for me in this story. I liked Dallas and Will; they were relatable. There are also some really lovely secondary characters. I liked the owners of Idyll Fling, and I loved Will’s friend Raven. He’s one of the MCs from Tartan Candy and the reason said book is now on my TBR. All the tertiary porn star characters were fun, too.
What didn’t work for me, and trust me, I feel kind of ridiculous saying this, was all the sex in the workplace…at the porn studio. I KNOW. I fully realize how absurd that sounds, but I don’t mean the porn. It just felt a bit out of character for Will (who was so concerned about his job and really not feeling friendly toward Dallas) and Dallas (who was trying to prove himself useful in his new role and convince Will he was a helpful addition to Will’s work team) to be getting it on in the office.
Now, that being said, it could just be that the whole “I must have this person I barely know RIGHT NOW—regardless of how much it screws up my life!” theme leaves me cold. Whether it’s a cop sleeping with a witness or suspect, or, in this case, Will and Dallas tearing each other’s clothes off at work (AT WORK!!), this trope doesn’t do it for me. I found myself in the odd (and weirdly adult) position of critiquing the work environment at Idyll Fling. I mean, my IRL brain kept asking where their HR person was and whether some of these shenanigans could be grounds for a lawsuit—so not hot. So I was a bit distracted from the main point of the proceedings a few times. But if that sort of thing doesn’t bother you—or heck, flips your switch!—you may enjoy that aspect of the plot more than I did.
Overall, this was a cute read. I liked the character arcs for Dallas and Will, both at low points in their life and moving toward a much brighter combined future. If you’ve read Tartan Candy, you should enjoy getting to see the old MCs and diving into new characters. If you haven’t read Tartan Candy, that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying Plaid versus Paisley.
You can buy Plaid versus Paisley here: