Buddy Read Review: Company Ink by Kat Colburn

Posted April 14th 2018 by The GingerSnap in Reviews / 0 Comments

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Company Ink

Buddy Read Review: Company Ink by Kat ColburnAuthor: Kat Colburn
Release date: January 13th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 245
Format: eBook
Source: Amazon
Add to TBR: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon UK | Amazon US

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Star rating:
Heat rating: three-flames

Office intrigue takes on a whole new meaning in this story of love, friendship, and the secrets hiding behind boardroom doors...

The Company has a rule about falling in love on the job.

I've never been one for rules. But I need this one. I need this rule to remind me why I can't be with Dani Wallace.

I need this smart little foul-mouthed fighter by my side more than I need her in my bed. I need her to close this massive deal. She thinks it holds the key to her escape from cubicle hell and another shot at the life she always wanted.

But there is more riding on our success than she can possibly ever know. So I'll keep my hands to myself and my secrets safe for one more day.

But now I can't stop wondering what my best friend has on beneath her conservative suit. I can't stop imagining the things that sharp mouth of hers could do to me if I leaned back in my chair and unzipped my pants. And I can't stop pushing our flirting too far.

I'm trying to remember the rule. But some rules are made to be broken.

Buddy Read Ratings Breakdown
The Faerie Queen
The GingerSnap
Overall:
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The Faerie Queen’s review

I felt terrible going on to Goodreads to leave my review of this book, since there seemed to be an overwhelming amount of love for the book there. I didn’t want to rock the boat too much. I’m just glad Emily and I were on the same page with this book, though I did make it to the end…kinda.

Apparently this book is 247 pages in print, but it felt much longer and slower. So slow that I reached page 74, got frustrated, and skipped to page 200. I wanted to love it all considering the main character was named Dani, was a techie, and didn’t like when people lie. She felt stuck in her job, and she hated how sales was prioritised over customer service. She was basically me. In so many ways. (Just to reassure you, I do like my job, but everywhere I work, sales always trumps product, and it drives me crazy.) And they went to Japan, a country I consider a home given my high school years there.

The thing is, there is a good basis for a story here, but I think it’s been published too soon, without enough editing from a third-party who can be tough. It’s no use having an editor who isn’t prepared to tell you need the harsh truths, as that editor is helping you in the long run to make your book better. But it didn’t feel like the manuscript got real tough love here. The pacing is off, there’s some creepiness going on (I’d freak out if a coworker massaged my temples to help me fall asleep), and the ending is a whirlwind of too much plot.

There were two issues I particularly wanted to raise. First, I am a proofreader on the side, and it’s not just a thing I learned to do as an adult. When I read, I notice. I see all the typos, I pick up on where punctuation is missing, I can tell when the wrong word has been chosen. And it’s difficult for me to focus on a story when all of these little things are pinging on my radar. There was quite a bit of pinging going on with this book; not for anything major, but there was definitely punctuation missing where it should have been. There was also the case of the Japanese company’s name “Daiyko”, which doesn’t fit with Japanese syllabic spelling or pronunciation, so it didn’t make sense to me. (Again, I lived there for four years, so I know a bit about Japan, though not as much as an actual Japanese person, of course.)

My second issue is how the book is being marketed on Amazon. It’s labelled as a “friends-to-lovers” story, but this isn’t true. A friends-to-lovers story starts with the couple already established as friends, be they best friends or maybe once-were-friends until one person moved away (which is where the trope starts to intersect with second-chance romances). Sometimes, one of the friends will have already started feeling romantic feelings for the other, but the story revolves around this secret coming out while the other friend realises that they, too, have romantic feelings. Just to be clear, Dan and Dani meet for the first time during the first few chapters, and it’s an awkward first meeting. Then, before they’re even friends, there is lust, and the only reason they detour in that friend territory is because of the rule against workplace relationships. This isn’t a friends-to-lovers story; it’s a secret office romance story. I wouldn’t have even mentioned this, but as someone who likes her tropes, it irked me that this was mislabelled on Amazon. But anyway, I’m making this a bigger deal than it really is…

Given the twists and suspense I found toward the end, I think the author has a lot of potential! But this book could have done with some more TLC.

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The GingerSnap’s review

This book was painful to read on a number of levels, and as a result I DNF’d it at 20%. I wanted to go further, but the editor in me wanted to cry out at the amount of missed punctuation in it, and the reader in me shrank back from the stilted, dry dialogue and stereotypical characters.

The issues, in no particular order:

1.The heroine’s boss is obviously a jackass, but she says: “I like Marty. I think he’s a decent man..” Any boss that tells you that you either have to commute to Japan for work or leave is a JACKASS.

2.The only thing differentiating the parts of the book told in the heroine’s viewpoint and the hero’s are very, VERY small icons of sunglasses and heart-shaped glasses, and if you’re like me and you tend to get into ‘the zone’ when reading and ignore page breakers, you’re in for a very confusing reading experience.

3.The heroine goes on a juice cleanse to lose weight. I won’t bore you with my schpeal on juice cleanses, but in summary: they’re fucking awful for you and every time I see them touted as a weight loss method I want to scream. Including them in fiction read mostly by female readers is toxic and just reinforces the idea that women are supposed to have a messed up relationship with food that involves constant periods of deprivation.

4.Dan’s assistant is written in such a stereotypical way- she’s described as vapid, more concerned with her phone than her job, and she thinks that “reading is for nerds”. Maybe it’s because I’ve been in assistant positions that this description particularly rankled me, but I hate it when authors think it’s okay to demean other female characters in the book with base stereotypes so long as the heroine is a strong female.

  1. This phrase: “Dan’s car isn’t so much a car as a second penis.” Um.. what?
  2. Creep alert: Dani wants to do work on her laptop on the flight to Japan, and to keep her from doing so, Dan calls over some random person to start massaging her shoulders until she falls asleep. THIS IS SO NOT OKAY ON SO MANY LEVELS.
  3. I didn’t find the chemistry between Dan and Dani remotely believable. In fact, whenever Dan mentioned wanting to do something dirty with Dani, I felt really creeped out.
  4. The dialogue suffers from a major lack of contractions (when all of the characters say “it is” instead of “it’s”, everyone starts to sound like robots), dry, uninteresting dialogue, and a lack of anything to really draw the reader in.

Why would I keep reading this book when there are 50 potentially amazing books on my Kindle? Life is too short, y’all, so I DNF’d it and I’m a happier human for doing so.

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About Kat Colburn

Kat Colburn has always made up stories, but she just recently started writing them down. She believes in the magic of a good book and the power of the right story to find you when you need it most.

When she’s not creating stories with strong kick-ass heroines she spends her time wrangling fuzzy rescue creatures to take their medicine, reading, and discovering new trails to hike.

Company Ink is her debut novel.

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