Going Public is a story about a personal assistant who worships his kind but distant boss and the boss who slowly falls for him. It’s not a dynamic that’ll work for everyone, and sometimes it didn’t work for me here. Overall, the book is just a little dry, especially due to its strong focus on business matters.
Toronto native Elvin Goh is a personal assistant to Ray Chau, operating partner at Jade Harbor Capitol. Elvin has seen it all and knows how to handle it all, from Ray’s one-night stands to his coffee order. The best part of Elvin’s day is spending time with Ray, but Ray treats him like a friend and nothing more. Elvin is demisexual – only sexually attracted to people with whom he’s established an emotional bond first – so his attraction to Ray is a special kind of hell.
Ray is set to head an investigation into some new potential Jade Harbor investors, and he’s nervous about the process. Elvin tries to be reassuring and supportive, but soon enough things are far more complicated than either man anticipated. Can a boss and his secretary find love? Or will Ray’s past actions catch up with him and his new client, and make life a whole lot more difficult?
Going Public is a nice romance, but it’s also kind of a dull romance. Elvin and Ray are nice people, and they slowly turn from friends to lovers in a way that’s realistic and appealing. But a lot of the book gets bogged down in detail work about Elvin and Ray’s case and the dirty double dealings that Ray may or may not have been involved in, and the only answer the reader can muster is boredom.
And that’s a shame, because Lin’s style is quite smooth and easy to enjoy. The romance is touching, warm and sweet, but all of this semi-illegal and life-threatening activity comes off as…well, a little dreary.
I will add that some of Elvin’s early hopeless devotion to Ray does seem rather undeserved due to the fact that Ray doesn’t know he’s alive for a good while; that doesn’t make him a bad guy, he’s warm and friendly, he just feels a little bit like a distant star. He gets humanized soon enough, but by then it feels like too little, too late.
The end result is an okay romance, but no more than that, which is disappointing.
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Lisa Fernandes is a writer, reviewer and recapper who lives somewhere on the East Coast. Formerly employed by Firefox.org and Next Projection, she also currently contributes to Women Write About Comics. Read her blog at http://thatbouviergirl.blogspot.com/, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/thatbouviergirl or contribute to her Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/MissyvsEvilDead or her Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/missmelbouvier