All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Desk Jockey Jam – Ainslie Paton

on June 23, 2013

Desk Jockey JamDesk Jockey Jam
Ainslie Paton
2013, eBook
Freebie for my Kindle

Ant is a financial analyst who has worked hard to get where he is. Recently he applied for a promotion only to be pipped at the post by his coworker Bree, which has infuriated him. He believes that Bree got the job as Senior Analyst because she’s a woman, in the interest of fair and equal opportunity, not because she’s the better candidate. He’s not shy mouthing off about this and his friends, tired of hearing it, make a bet with him. He and Bree each participate in running a fake investment portfolio and the winner will be announced soon. If Bree beats him and proves that she’s the better analyst, then he has to bring her to dinner with all of his friends and apologise publicly for assuming she only got the job because she’s female.

Bree has always felt like Ant has had a problem with her. They avoid each other as much as possible and haven’t exchanged many words. Bree likes to let her hair down away from work by playing roller derby but she keeps this tightly under wraps, assuming that it won’t mesh well with her corporate image. When she spots Ant at one of her games, she knows he hasn’t identified her. But Ant sees her horrid bruises from a roller derby stack during the week at work and assumes that Bree is being abused. Approaching her about it opens up the doors of communication between the two of them but things don’t always go smoothly.

Despite their misunderstandings, there’s still an undercurrent of attraction that simmers between them. But can they make it work or will Bree forever be trying to prove herself to Ant?

I’m going to say upfront that I haven’t read Grease Monkey Jive, Ainslie Paton’s Harlequin Escape title. A lot of people really enjoyed it and apparently it features Ant, who is a friend of the main male character in that book. Here Ant gets his own book and his own chance at finding the one. And it seems the likely lucky lady is his colleague Bree, which poses a bit of a problem and some obstacles because the two don’t get along at all and Ant tends to think she only got his promotion because she wears a skirt.

In the beginning of this book, Ant is an angry ball of angry who hates the world… or more precisely Bree, for taking his job. He carries on about this so much that his friends engage him in a bet to basically make him shut up, no doubt rubbing their hands together in glee at their friend’s impending humiliation. It’s hard to like Ant – he’s an Italian Mumma’s boy (and I do have some first hand experience with those), he was the “Man” of the house and he’s told quite honestly by people that he simply doesn’t notice things around him unless it pertains to him personally. He’s also a super player. So basically to sum him up, he’s a self-centred, egotistical workaholic manwhore. He’s very bitter about not getting the promotion and he really lashes out about it and this seems to really go on longer than it should.

In contrast, Bree is a bit of an ice queen. She is impeccably (often conservatively) dressed for work, often having to choose outfits that hide the various bruises and scrapes she gets from her recreational roller derby activities. She is a workaholic as well, dedicated to her job and doing the best she can. She sees Ant as a seething ball of resentment and she tends to give him a wide berth until he corners her one day and asks her about her bruises. From there they find themselves interacting more and more – sometimes for the better and other times for the worse.

There are a lot of misunderstandings in this book and it did get very wearying. Bree and Ant seem to be constantly arguing and misjudging each other. I feel as though a lot of time is spent on discussing, in a round-a-bout sort of way, Bree’s position as a financial analyst. Ant has no real reason to assume that Bree got the position because she’s a woman, other than he didn’t get it. He doesn’t seem to consider the fact that she just might be better than him and he comes off as a misogynist jerk more than once throughout this novel. I think his developing feelings for Bree are supposed to reform him but this is extremely rapid  and quite frankly, not all that believable. So many of their interactions are aggressive and unpleasant (and this is both of them acting towards the other). I don’t really know why they even begin to become attracted to each other? I think the changing feelings/relationship is very underdeveloped and a lot more time should’ve been spent on them spending time together and having some positive interactions. They do have a couple of moments, but really, there is a lot of arguing, flouncing out and angry words. And not in the sexy way, either. The narrative felt rambling, with no real clear direction and could possibly have done with an edit to tighten it up and keep it focused because at times I felt like it was really drifting away from focusing on its two characters connecting.

I did enjoy the roller derby scenes, I felt like they were a lot of fun. But unfortunately, I didn’t particularly like the rest of the book. There was too much aggression and as I mentioned, Ant’s reformation just felt really forced, unbelievable and way too rapid. I didn’t enjoy either him or Bree as a couple and there wasn’t a lot of chemistry to really get excited about. I expected a bit of a hotter read, but this was pretty tame. Not a lot happens in terms of romantic scenes, which was disappointing. This book was just not to my personal taste.


Book #158 of 2013


This is the 67th novel read and reviewed for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2013


3 responses to “Desk Jockey Jam – Ainslie Paton

  1. Lily Malone says:

    Gosh it’s interesting – this time Bree I’m reading your review of a book I’ve actually read and so I completely get what you say and recognise where it’s coming from. The only difference was – I loved this book! It was a 4-5 star read for me.

  2. Sounds like this is one book I’m going to give a very wide berth. There are few things I find more infuriating in a romance novel that a misogynistic man, and while others might find his behaviour oddly charming, I could already feel myself clenching my teeth in frustration as I read your review.

    I do love the idea of Bree being an active participant in roller derby, though. I’ve always been fascinated by that sport! It takes a lot of courage and athleticism to participate in.

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