A very promising debut novel
Sapphic fiction has seen lately an increasing number of new authors and it’s always exciting to discover new promising talents like Liz Rain.
When Emma Ives starts working at the electorate office, she wasn’t expecting to develop a huge crush on her unattainable boss Minister Bridget O’Keefe. As both women work closely together and a political scandal threatens to destroy Bridget’s political career, a night of passion changes it all…
This is a very good debut age-gap workplace romance, so well written that you wouldn’t guess it’s the author’s first book. Perks of Office has a little bit of humour, angst, romance and sexiness, all in a balanced combo. Both characters are very well-fleshed and have great chemistry together. The sex scenes are sizzling hot.
As the world becomes increasingly accepting of same-sex couples, it’s more difficult to introduce the “fear of being outed” trope and make it believable. However, Ms. Rain did it realistically here by introducing Australian politics into the mix. I thought the conflict was done really well, so much so that I could feel and empathise with Emma’s resentment for being kept as Bridget’s dirty little secret.
The book is written in first person from the point of view of Emma so Bridget appears as an enigma to be unveiled. Both characters are presented with triumphs and shortcomings and it’s great to accompany them in their journey of personal growth. The cast of secondary characters is varied, and they introduce humour and the value of friendship to the story.
Ms. Rain chose the setting of her native Australia and more precisely Logan, Queensland, where she actually lives. This is reflected in the language, food and costumes which is an original departure from the ubiquitous American settings found in most Sapphic novels. Another good point in favour of this story.
Cat Gould is an accomplished Australian narrator and is the perfect fit to voice the story. I loved her comedic timing and also her performance of emotional moments. She definitely improved my overall enjoyment of the book.
If you are looking for an age-gap romance with equal parts of humour, sexiness, angst and romance, this one is for you. 5 stars.
Length: 6 hours and 8 minutes