Monday, January 16, 2012

Lis’ Review: Office Hours by Sean Michael

Sean Michael
Office Hours
Amber Allure, November 20, 2011

Links: Author’s website | Goodreads | Buy book here

Thad Wells has had enough of lovers. He's focused on his career—hell, that's hard enough, being a young professor fighting for his spot—so when he, literally, runs into Jay Banner on the green, he finds himself saying, "No, no, he's not interested," even as his body's saying, "Yes."
Jay Banner, on the other hand, knows exactly what he wants and knows how to get it. He also knows someone's hurt Thad—and not in the fun, spanky way Jay does when he wears his leathers—and he's determined to get closer to the hot professor.
Things heat up between them, but they both have secrets, and no amount of book-learning can educate two men who might have outsmarted themselves.

Genre & Keywords:
M/M Romance, Contemporary, Professor, Students, D/s play, Spanking, Nipple play, Stalker

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 3 out of 3

Reviewed by Lis:

Office Hours is a vintage Sean Michael story. It reminded me a lot of Little Jamie. Not so much story wise as because of the sweet nature of the ‘dom’ in question, though this is hardly a hardcore BDSM story.

The Characters
This story revolves around English professor Thad Wells and PhD Student/TA Jay Banner who literally bump into each other at uni. Thad is a jaded man, wronged in the past and severely bullied about his looks, he worked hard to get where he is now and doesn’t care about the world at large. He’s known as a hardass to his students, but fair. He’s not looking for love when he meets Jay.

Jay, on the other hand, is positive, has a strong feeling of justice, is nothing if not stubborn and persistent. He knows what he wants and doesn’t beat around the bush. And what Jay wants is Thad. From the first moment they meet.

The Story
The plot of Office Hours is nothing extended, but not light either. It focusses on Thad and Jay and the obstacles they have to get past while they get to know each other better. Centered in this story are secrets and the keeping of them and the fallout after they are revealed. Of course there are several hot, spanky, smexing scenes that will set your e-reader on fire. I love how this author is always very creative with the sex scenes. Even if the story itself lacks – which is not the case with Office Hours – the scenes are hot enough to melt you in a puddle of goo.

While the plot itself is not terribly original, it’s not badly done either. I liked how Thad and Jay are portrayed and there is no real ‘big misunderstanding’. The conflict in this story is believable.

However, what did bug me a little was the easy use of the stalker trope. Thad mentions his past with his ex several times throughout the story, but never really elaborates on it. Nor does he mention ever being stalked by his ex, but he does have a restraining order out on him. Therefore when Thad’s ex does emerge it’s a bit of “DOH” mixed with “WTF?” However, the stalker theme is used to draw both Thad and Jay out of their secretive shells, therefore I didn’t mind so much.

The Writing
Sean Michael has a typical and recognizable style of writing. Those of you who’ve read other books by Sean Michael know what I’m talking about. There is lots of use of fragments and short exclamations by the characters. It returns in all of this author’s books to some extent. When reading this, it’s very recognizable. This is a style of writing you’ll either like or you don’t. In the more romantic stories by this author it fits very well and I found it very cute in Office Hours.

Office Hours is a likable story. The BDSM theme is not present in a hardcore manner. There aren’t really scenes in this story, but the characters do play. This I liked very much. There are many books where the BDSM theme is used in its typical way of scenes in clubs or at home or playrooms, but there are few books where the characters just play. So if you’re looking for a hardcore BDSM book, you’ll have to browse other books by this author (and trust me, this author has some hardcore BDSM stories). If you’re looking for a sweet story where a jaded main character is courted by a sweet, positive, stubborn man, than Office Hours is for you!


  1. Sometimes I'm more patient with that style than others... I think it definitely works better for short works than for longer ones.

  2. this sounds like my kind of story :)

  3. *waves back at Blodeuedd*

    Sounds like a cute, yet hot story, right up my alley. :)

  4. Lovely review Lis. I was all intrigued and then I read one little phrase: stalker trope. *heads desk*

    I just can't do it. And..TBH, while I enjoy Sean Michael's writing style for the most part, sometimes I wish that style would change and progress...away from the short exclamations and fragments.

  5. Thanks for the comments guys! :-) *waves at B*

    Chris, true. Though I just seem to like Sean Michael's stories!

    Orannia: hahah true, i found it very unlike Sean Michael. The author doesn't always have conflicts but usually they are very believable!

  6. @orannia: I know! The stalker trope is getting on my nerves too. LOL

  7. Ha! It's not just me anymore! Ha!!!!

  8. @Chris: Nope. It's a trope that's used too much as a means to create an external 'conflict' or tension and I'm not a fan of that. But I must say that not all books with stalkers in it are per se on my not-in-a-million-years list. Some are still done pretty good. ;)


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