Screwing the System

Author: Josephine Myles

Publisher: self

Rating: 4 stars

Buy Links: Amazon

Type: Novel

Received from Publisher


Blurb:  When Boss meets brat…

Forced to apply for a job he doesn’t want, Cosmo Rawlins has only one aim in mind: fail the interview and get back to making music. But his attempt to shock the sexy, sharp-suited Alasdair Grant has a very different result.

Instead of getting thrown out of the office for flaunting an interest in BDSM, Cosmo finds himself on his knees, apologising to the most dominant man he’s ever met.

Alasdair has more important things on his mind than training a novice sub, especially a rebellious bad boy like Cosmo. But there’s something beneath the youngster’s bratty attitude that fascinates him.

As Alasdair takes Cosmo in hand—and for a wild ride on his Harley—he becomes obsessed with bending the young rocker to his will, both in and out of bed. But while Cosmo might enjoy the kink, he’s not up for becoming Alasdair’s household slave.

When Alasdair goes one demand too far, Cosmo is gone in a cloud of dust. Forcing Alasdair to admit that earning Cosmo’s loyalty—and love—will involve the toughest challenge he’s ever faced.

Warning: This title contains an overbearing Top with a less than glamorous job, a rebellious brat who refuses to call him sir, and a total lack of high-end BDSM clubs or playrooms. Expect floggings over the kitchen table instead. Written in Jo’s usual exceedingly “English” English.

Previously released by Samhain Publishing.


Review:  Cosmo Rawlins had a plan. He’d do just enough to be able to collect unemployment benefits while still being able to avoid work and concentrate on his music. What he really didn’t expect was being called out by an incredibly sexy prospective employer. Alasdair Grant has no plans beyond a good time when he asks Cosmo out on a date. There are no plans because he’s not going to get into a relationship again because he’s not over the last one, thank you very much. Well, things change. It doesn’t take long for both guys to realize they like everything the other has to offer. However, life doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Alasdair has to come to grips with the fact he’s functionally created a closet door for himself in an attempt to get business contracts, and Cosmo has to accept there are people who have walked his particular path in life and maybe accepting advice and instruction is okay. Then, an unexpected wrinkle in a business deal of Alasdair’s has the potential to derail everything he and Cosmo have worked for.

This story checks a lot of boxes. It’s sweet but not overly sweet. It’s angsty but not overly angsty. It’s sexy but not overly sexy. It’s also really enjoyable and easy to read. There is complexity, but it’s handled in such a way that is less in your face than it could be. The age difference between Cosmo and Alasdair is there, but there isn’t an undue amount of drama about it. For the most part I like that the book doesn’t have an undue amount of drama, but I would have liked to see one aspect of the story explored in more depth. Cosmo becomes Alasdair’s kept man. I suspect had I read a similar living situation in a het book I’d have yelled at the characters to not do it. Cosmo didn’t want to jump into the relationship for fear of losing autonomy, but he did it. The complex situation was there but largely under-explored. Interestingly, when I read and reviewed this book years ago I didn’t comment on it at all.

A lot of this story is about Cosmo’s coming of age. In so many ways he’s older than he should be. He’s already had the negative experiences that tend to make us jaded and cynical as we age. He’s got strong self defense mechanisms, but he’s still naive enough to not notice who is in love with him. Cosmo is also still learning the difference between dreams that are nothing but dreams and dreams that have a potential to become reality.

All in all this is a sweet story about two guys who are inherently nice but are terrified of being hurt again. The complexity is there even if it’s unexplored in some instances, but more than anything this is a great story about two guys falling in love and all the things that come up as they allow that to happen.

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