Joint Review – Baby, It’s Cold Outside (Men at Work #1) by HelenKay Dimon

Baby, It's Cold Outside cover image
Publisher: Samhain
Publish Date: 25 Feb
How we got this book: ARC from the publisher

He usually gets what he wants. What he wants is her…and all that comes with her.

Sex in the office? Lincoln Campbell knows better. His assistant, Thea Marshall, is off limits—until her back hits the door and her clothes come off. The next day brings more than morning-after regrets. It brings damning evidence that Thea stole business secrets.

Three months later, he can’t shake the doubts in his gut, so he heads for Thea’s family cabin by the lake, ready to talk. He’s not ready for the woman who answers the door. She was shapely before…and it won’t be long before she’s a totally different shape.

After Linc escorted her off company property while her protestations of innocence fell on deaf ears, facing off with him now isn’t exactly Thea’s idea of a good time. She needs a few more weeks to plan the drastically different direction her life has taken, but now he’s here—and refusing to leave.

With a storm rolling in and snow piling up, there’s nothing to do but face the past…and try to resist the real man behind the suit.
This blurb came from the author’s website.

E: When I started hearing buzz that a few authors I enjoyed were plotting based on twitter commentary about favorite tropes I knew I had to get my hands on those stories. Dimon’s Baby, It’s Cold Outside started off with a with a blast of heat as Lincoln and Thea spent an evening in his office working through their mutual sexual tension, then the very next day everything changed. Instead of dealing with the stress of hiding their affair, Lincoln was confronted with proof that Thea was providing bid secrets to his rival and Thea found herself tossed out of the company without a single idea as to why. With this beginning Dimon certainly had me hooked.

Meka: I obviously missed that twitter conversation, but E and my tropes twin Lillie know when a book is going to be good for me, especially in terms of which tropes I enjoy. The beginning of the book definitely caught my attention. Frobidden sex in the office with the man who is basically breaking all of his own rules? Oh yeah. Thea’s determination to get what she wants after she’s had to wait all this time? Completely refreshing to read! That’s why when Thea is escorted out of the office without a reason why, it was all the more gut-wrenching and difficult to read.

E: Lincoln had a hard time believing Thea was really betraying the company but until evidence proving otherwise showed up he felt that he had no other choice. I liked that he went after Thea more than once, to try to find out why and to get her back into his life. But I didn’t like that he was pushy and refused to actually talk to her except about his thoughts and feelings. However, I loved his insistence that regardless of anything else, he would take care of his responsibilities and not just from a distance.

Meka: Lincoln was a bit of a hard sell for me, honestly. They had such amazing chemistry together and then he never asked Thea if she did anything, simply assumed based on the evidence but refused to point it out to her. That really annoyed me, but he did make up for it by being intense and manning up when he really needed to do so. His angst over wanting Thea even though he truly believed that she had stolen company secrets made him more likeable, but I was totally on Team Thea. His expectations of making things up to her and trying to power his way through made me admire his persistence even as I cringed at his arrogance. When some things are revealed, I nearly cheered at the way that he took responsibility and didn’t pull a card that is all too familiar. He was pushy, arrogant, and frustrating, yet sweet, willing to back down, and quite an adorable worrier.. after he confided in Thea, I completely understand why he was that way.

E: I mostly liked Thea because she was a strong woman. When her world turned upside down not once but twice instead of curling up, she gave herself time to heal and figure out what she was going to do next. I loved her optimism and determination that she wasn’t going back to Lincoln until he came to the realization that she was innocent. I also liked how she also planned to share certain information with Lincoln instead of leaving him unaware. She also struck me as rather emotionally mature with her willingness to talk things out regardless of how angry and hurt she was feeling. I did a little mental happy dance when she successfully managed to get Lincoln to prove her entire point to himself.

Meka: Thea was such a wonderful character that I could really cheer for. She had the emotional fortitude to deal with all of the mess that Lincoln slung her way, and yet was also able to deal with her own flaws. While Lincoln put her through a lot of emotional upheaval, she was not afraid to stand up for herself and kick him out if need-be. She was able to deal with a terrible situation, and yet we also weren’t spared her emotional vulnerabilities or how the hero’s actions affected her. I love that she didn’t just let him waltz back in to her life—he had to find it. Like E said earlier, she really had the chance to be completely immature about a certain situation, so I was so thrilled that she took the high road instead.

E: While I enjoyed Baby, It’s Cold Outside, I found myself feeling slightly letdown by the end. As much mental and emotional anguish Lincoln put Thea through, I expected to see a mega groveling scene. Yes, Lincoln was suffering from a few shocks as he discovered what happened, but he appeared to have a problem looking at anything from a different perspective. As a result, I never reached the point when I felt he had actually learned and would ask before leaping to a conclusion despite a heated discussion with Thea. So I was slightly disappointed when she took him back after the big reveal but without a big grovel. That being said Baby, It’s Cold Outside was an enjoyable read and I do look forward to seeing what else Dimon has up her sleeves for future installments in her Men at Work series.
I give Baby, It’s Cold Outside a B

Meka: I really enjoyed this book and the building that needed to be done in order to repair the relationship between Lincoln and Thea. This book tugged on all of my emotional strings and tied them in a knot, and I really loved that. However, I, too, felt as though Lincoln needed to do a whole lot of groveling at the end. I didn’t realize that was what was leaving me feeling a little disappointed, but it’s exactly it. I wanted the big grovel, the I’m totally sorry. I don’t know that I am sold on their happily ever after, but I do believe that they are off to a good start.. With great characters, wonderful dialogue, and an emotional story to boot, I give Baby, It’s Cold Outside a B.

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