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Dec 11 2016 10:00am

First Look: Tamsen Parker’s Due South (December 12, 2016)

Due South by Tamsen Parker

Tamsen Parker
Due South (Compass Series #5)
Tamsen Parker / December 12, 2016 / $13.99 print, $3.99 digital

Lucy Miller and Chanoch Evans have worked together for years but have done nothing more than pass each other in the hall, murmuring the occasional sorry and excuse me. Lucy, a transplant from a small ultra-religious town, came to California seeking fame and fortune behind the camera. When that didn’t pan out, she took a secretarial job and slowly worked her way from coffee maker to the boss’s right-handwoman.

Chanoch Evans, whom everyone refers to as just Evans because they can’t pronounce his name correctly, works for the same company and has always had a bit of a crush on Lucy but his innate shyness has him keeping his feelings well under wraps. He doesn’t feel he has anything to offer her at this time in his life, especially since his time and paycheck goes towards helping his family.

When a once in a lifetime chance appears...will Lucy and Evans be brave and seize the moment? Or will they let their fear overrule their desire?

Office romances are a dime a dozen, but in the right hands they can go from commonplace to extraordinary. Tamsen Parker proves this, and more, in the fifth installment in her Compass seriesm, Due South. Parker gives a reader humorous, sincere, and erotically adorkableromance when she pairs together two office colleagues who are asked to stay and work through the holidays

While this series is normally high in energy with intense personalities and heart-pinching angst, Parker takes a decidedly different approach by introducing us to two quiet and shy individuals who find themselves sharing a voyeuristic moment when they inadvertently catch their employer indulging in some afternoon delight with her husband.

“You know I’ve always wanted to fuck you at your office.“

“Yes, sir.”

“But you’re such a hard task master whenever I do come to pick you up, there’s always someone still here, and when I drop you off, you’re raring to work. I know you’d bite my head off if I suggested it.”

“There’s no one here now, sir,”

Yes, there is. There so is.

From that illuminating moment, our couple learns something about the other. That the shy, retiring persona they project at work hides the sexual creatures they really are. They decide to take advantage of their attraction and the relative seclusion of the empty office to be the adventurous, bold people they feel they can't be around everyone else.

“What if you...weren’t you?”

He starts, but then it seems as though the sun comes up and shines on his face. “You mean like pretend?”

“Yeah. Pretend. Like we could still be Lucy and Evans, but braver.”

“Bolder.”

My breath speeds up and I bite my lip. “Yeah. Sexier.”

Lucy and Evans are a couple for whom the reader will develop a soft spot for almost instantaneously. Using witty dialogue and the perfect blend of awkward sensuality, Parker builds a charming and outrageously sexy relationship that gradually blossoms into something far deeper with each new encounter. We first met Evans when he has to call Reyes Walter for help on how to get his boss, India Burke, on a plane to New York. Reyes offers Evans some interesting advice on dominance which ignites a small flame in Evans.

“She needs someone tough. Someone bossy. Someone authoritative…”

Evans is an entertaining mixture of a gangly teenager experiencing his first lustful thought and a quiet, intense man who is comfortable in his own skin. His bouts of insecurity only further serve to endear him to you.

“If I kept a sword in my office, I’d throw myself on it. As things are, I’ve only got some pencils that are in desperate need of a sharpening, a ruler, and some paperclips. I couldn’t even injure myself in a dignified manner.”

Lucy is his perfect match. A delectable treat made of sugar and spice with her prim and proper attire that masks her inner strength and sexual confidence. Intelligent and forthright with a sweet personality, Lucy opens up to Evans, wanting to explore all her desires and fantasies with him.

“You said more. Like more kissing or more other stuff? What else can I do, Lucy?”

Oh. My mind races with the possibilities. Everything. He could do everything.

“Anything.”

Due South is a fun and lighthearted erotic romance that allows two introverts the freedom to step outside of their perceived roles to explore their sexuality and life choices without judgment or censure. Fans of Tamsen Parker and adorably awkward couples will undoubtedly fall in love with Lucy and Evans; cheering them on their journey from beginning to the end.

“I get the feeling Lucy and I are the same in some ways. Like we’re both nervous and shy and it’s hard to find a place in the world where that’s okay. But I feel as though it would be okay with each other.”

***

Learn more about or pre-order a copy of Due South by Tamsen Parker, available December 12, 2016:

Buy at Amazon

Buy at B&N

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H&H Editor Picks:

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Tori Benson, Smexybooks and at Twitter.

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