Total Creative Control by Joanna Chambers & Sally Malcolm

“One day, I hope you realise that you can have everything you want,” he said roughly. “And that you deserve it.”

Being the PA for Lewis Hunter, the creator of his favorite show was only supposed to be a temporary arrangement for fanfic writer, Aaron Page. Three years later Aaron is still there. He may technically still be Lewis’s personal assistant but in reality, he’s become so much more – in Lewis’s eyes, Aaron has become indispensable which is why he has to work extra hard to keep the carefully created boundaries they established on day one. The attraction between them is undeniable but the last thing Lewis wants to do is cross that line and mess up the good thing they’ve got going. But when Lewis invites Aaron along on a ridiculously awful corporate retreat, the heat that’s always simmered between them begins to ignite. When it finally combusts – will it blow up everything good they’ve built together over the years?

Holy angst! This book was loaded with it! I guess that’s to be expected in a grumpy/sunshine situation but this story definitely makes you work for it. And you know what? I was totally here for it! Lewis certainly fit the bill of the grumpy boss, he was a bear to most people he met/worked with. Aaron seemed to be the only one who could get through the gruff exterior and see flashes of the softer side Lewis always kept well hidden. Aaron was the sweetest, he was such a nice guy, endlessly loyal, and he handled Lewis’s moodiness so well. But he wasn’t a pushover and I loved that. There were many times my heart broke for him but he always handled it with such grace.

Lewis had a lot of baggage from his childhood which contributed a lot to how closed off he was as an adult. My heart hurt for him. His fear caused him to not see how much Aaron cared about him. This was the biggest source of angst in this story but I thought it was very well done. I’ve never read any other books by these two authors but I was endlessly impressed by the writing throughout this one! It’s a slow burn, to be sure, but there are so many little things along the way that keep you rooting for these two to finally give in to their mutual attraction. This slow build makes the payoff that much sweeter when they finally do come together!

Aside from the romance between these guys, I really enjoyed the whole saga of trying to make a deal with a large streamer to bring Lewis’s show to the US. The show and its fate were so inextricably tied to Lewis and Aaron’s personal and professional relationship. I’ll let you discover how on your own but the show and the characters meant so much to each of these guys – for different reasons – and I loved seeing both of their passion and dedication to maintaining the integrity of the show. This book also did a great job addressing the topic of fanfic. I’ve recently begun dabbling in fanfic within a different fandom so it was fun reading the various discussions and viewpoints on the topic. I think anyone who’s been a part of a fandom and has read/written fanfic will enjoy this particular aspect of the story!

This was one of those books that I just didn’t want to end! I’m sad that I had to say goodbye to these characters. I really hope they make a cameo in book two, which features Lewis’s brother, Owen. I’m really glad I came across this book, the writing was solid and I totally fell in love with both characters along the way!

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