Book Reviews

Red+Blue (Opposites Attract 1) by A.B. Gayle at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 26-May-2012

Book Blurb

Fresh from backwoods Minnesota, actuarial student Ben Dutoit is ecstatic to land a job with Sydney Sutherland Family Insurance, one of the few companies that offers life insurance to people in the high-risk category. The fact that he gets to work in Gay Central, aka San Francisco, is just the icing on the rainbow-colored cake. Ben sets himself just three goals: be out and proud enough to participate in the Pride parade; seek out the company of like-minded souls in the clubs; and maybe, if he’s lucky, fall in love.

But the men Ben meets are everything he’s not: suave, confident, sophisticated, and sexy. Unlike redneck Ben, they’re blue bloods from blue states, born with status, wealth, and the responsibility that comes with the package.

Ben’s still wondering if red and blue can mix when he discovers what risk really means. The global economy tanks. The job he looked forward to is in jeopardy, and every dream Ben ever had is threatened, especially love, the biggest dream of all.


Book Review

Relationships at work, between boss and employee, no less, are always difficult, frowned upon, and usually there is some rule against them. That seems to make them all the more interesting for some people; the ones who like the lure of the forbidden, live on adrenaline – or just cannot resist the other person. While Adrian isn’t Ben’s direct boss in this story, he is the company owner’s son so the conflict may be less direct, but it is there nevertheless.

Ben is not a hard worker to start with, but when he suddenly has to take over much of his sick boss’s responsibilities and gets to work with the owner’s son, he has to clean up his act. Losing his job is not an option he wants to think about, and since he has the mental ability to pass the actuary tests and get all his qualifications, he knuckles down and gets them. The romance with Adrian builds very slowly, but the passion is undeniable. Ben never expects anything permanent, but the longer they are together, the more tempting that becomes.

Adrian doesn’t want to take over the company, doesn’t like many of his father’s decisions, and isn’t out. His past, the five years of freedom he had traveling through Europe, haunts him and he is sure he can never be that happy again. In short, he is frustration personified, but controls all of it with an iron fist. The only one who seems to be able to get under his skin and make him feel anything is Ben. Adrian’s inner battle to be honest with himself and others is long and hard, but was interesting to watch.

The twists and turns in this book are as interesting, and some of the drops as sudden, as the up and down of a share price graph. Watching Ben and Adrian as they get to know each other, find out about mutual friends, their ambitions, and struggle through a tough period at work are very realistic. Fighting a nasty female manager Ben thinks is Adrian’s girlfriend and her money-grabbing ideas is a good side story that makes the novel even more complex. If you’re looking for an interesting story set against the background of company policies and the insurance industry, if a slow-building romance between work colleagues is your thing, and if you like some underlying suspense around the economic future of the company as well as the two main characters, you may like this book.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.


Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 330 pages/107885 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 25-May-2012
Price $6.99 ebook, $17.99 paperback, $17.99 bundle
Buy Link