Life Under New Management wasn't my first Jane Davitt book ever, but it was my first one in quite a while and I was left wondering 'why?'. This book was more than a little interesting and definitely edged outside of the box for me in terms of the sexual content. I've read a few books with BDSM or D/s tones to them but the focus of this one was a bit outside of what I've come to expect in regards to this type of relationship.
Andrew is an aspiring young actor whose life is more than a little disorganized and he desperately needs a job. Ethan manages the bars at the Totally 5 Star Hotel in Vancouver.
If opposites attract these two are it, total absolute opposites in so many ways. But their attraction is strong. Watching these two men maneuver their way around each other as they try to ignore and resist their mutual attraction was fascinating to say the least. But what happens when the maneuvers go from resist and ignore to working together to create a strong and lasting relationship is even better.
I liked Ethan from the word go. At times he seemed a bit heavy handed but there was just an appeal about him that worked for me. Andrew was a bit of a different story. At first I thought he was kind of cute and I could see where he honestly needed someone like Ethan in his life. Then for a while I wanted him to go away. He wasn't good enough for Ethan and that was that, but somewhere in the not good enough things started to change and Andrew started to mature, I started to like him and see how much Ethan wanted him.
Where this book stepped outside of the box for me actually something that pertained to Andrew. Andrew is shall we say a bit of a pain slut. Unlike some books that I've read Ms Davitt put a bit more focus into this aspect of their relationship and I think in some ways it unnerved me a bit but it was well done and I began to understand it a bit better, it's not my thing and never will be but what the author showed me was a relationship where Andy's need for pain could be met by a partner who did it in a safe manner meeting both his and Andy's needs without truly hurting Andy.
As well as the MCs this story was graced by some interesting and strong characters. While Amanda didn't get a lot of page time but I liked her. She was the employee who was going on maternity leave. The reason for the job opening that Andy was applying for initially. Joel, another hotel employee who intrigued me. Charlotte, the hotel manager. A strong career driven woman not afraid to speak up and confident in herself and her ability to perform her job. Something that we don't see often enough in books and most of all there was Henry, Andy's geekie roommate. I'd love to know his story he was awkward and funny and added to this story in the most a-dork-able way.
Oops, I almost forgot one of the things I really liked about this story is that it's not insta-love...insta-lust yes, but the love part was the result of our MCs taking the time to develop a relationship and learn about each other.
I would have liked a little more at the ending for this story and yet it was done in such a way that I didn't feel it was incomplete...just that there were opportunities for Ms Davitt to give us more and hopefully she will.