Summary: Alex Hall likes watching good-looking men doing up good-looking ties, a kink he can safely indulge on his morning commute as long as he’s discreet. At least until the day he meets new client Robin Wood, whose face seems oddly familiar. Embarrassingly familiar, when Robin recognizes him as “that guy on the bus.” Lusting after the client and his tie is a really bad idea. Acting on it would be even worse. Which doesn’t stop Alex’s impulsive suggestion when he realizes that Robin’s as intrigued as he is awkward. They’re both grown-ups, they can handle the conflict of interest, and if nothing else it will get the awkwardness out of the way. And there’s a cheap hotel at the end of their bus route. Just one date. One night for Alex to enjoy watching beautiful hands managing a tie with style. One night for Robin with a man who can understand his own grooming kink, even if it’s not quite the same as Alex’s. One night, and then just good friends, while they’re working together. Nobody else’s business. But Robin has entirely too much experience with romance at work, and the past isn’t staying past.
Review: This is a nicely polished story, but there isn’t much passion between these characters, and I’m not sure if is deliberate because they’re both British and almost forty years old, which might make them very reserved in their response to things, or if it is unintentional, but they seem more like sex buddies and very new acquaintances than anything else. Also the story is told through Alex’s viewpoint only but I had a difficulty telling him and Robin apart, and so the very long and detailed sex scenes between them in the early part of this book made it hard for me to be interested. There wasn’t any emotion between the men other than mild pleasure during sex, nor was there anything that the reader could learn about either character during the sex scenes except that both were very calm and well-mannered. This is all following a slow beginning where Alex admires Robin and his ties while they ride the bus to work every morning.
The book gets more interesting when Robin’s annoying ex-boyfriend follows him from Birmingham to Manchester and tries to use his superior connections at their corporation to threaten Robin’s job and even Alex’s job. Watching Alex and his superiors work on the problem was interesting and almost a textbook example of how best to handle something like this, if you happen to work in Human Resources. I also liked how even-handed and decent Alex seemed to be. He is a good guy. But the story, though well-written, doesn’t offer much to stand out from everything else out there.