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ARC Review: Going Public by Hudson Lin

Publication Date: March 29, 2022

Synopsis:

A boss. His employee.

And a scandal that’s about to change everything…


As an operating partner at Jade Harbour, Raymond Chao prides himself in fixing even the most disastrous of portfolio companies—no matter the cost. While his colleagues might not always like his methods, they love his results. But his latest business partner isn’t cooperating, and what’s worse, Raymond’s underhanded tactics have landed him in hot water with the law.  

Elvin Goh has been Raymond’s assistant for years, and he’s been in love with the charming, ruthless playboy for just as long. There’s very little that Elvin won’t do—or hasn’t done—for Raymond. Impossible crush aside, it’s his job. But this time, even Elvin can’t see a way out. 

When long nights in the office lead to whispered confessions and a newfound intimacy, it seems like a dream come true—for both of them. But with the prospect of failure on the horizon, can this dream team beat the odds and come out the victors in the office and in their hearts?  

My Review:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I really enjoyed this MM romance. I chose it because I’ve been on a fanfic kick and I needed to get back to reading actual books (nothing wrong with reading fanfic, but I have a lot of arcs publishing soon that I really need to get to). I figured it was kinda like an AU and it was, which definitely helped. It had a lot of things going for it though.

First, the things I loved. Diversity! This was set in Canada and the leads were both asian which was a nice change from the standard white male leads. Also, there were many characters of color. Ray is pansexual (I loved that it made it clear that he included nonbinary folks in his one-night stands, though I do question the wisdom of lumping ‘trans’ in with ‘nonbinary’ and separating it from ‘men and women.’) Elvin is demisexual. There are several other non-straight couples / characters mentioned, though the focus is on Ray and Elvin’s deepening relationship.

The way Elvin and Ray discuss the power imbalance inherent in their relationship and that it gives them both pause was refreshing. As was the way each took care of the other in his own way.

Also I loved that the sex scenes were pretty minimal. Since Elvin is demisexual, it made sense. It was refreshing, as I read romance for the romance rather than the sex anyway. The ones that were there felt earned with their close emotional bond and romantic connection.

As for the things I didn’t love as much, the plot felt rushed at the end and tended to fade into the background. Everything gets swept under the rug and wrapped up far too easily for uncovering a mafia drug-smuggling and money-laundering operation. A lot of things — like how they missed it all when they bought Caron paper in the first place — didn’t really add up or get explained. I didn’t care that much, as I was in it for the romance anyway, but it still would have been nice to have the plot a little more developed.

All in all, it was a lovely afternoon escape that hit all the right fanfic notes and kept me engaged.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Carina Adores for providing an e-arc for review.