Review: Going Down – Barbara Bell

Review: Going Down – Barbara BellGoing Down
by Barbara Bell
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: January 7, 2019
Genres: Romance
Pages: 49
Source: NetGalley

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Trapped in an elevator with her boss...

Ellie has been trying to keep her distance from Casey, her supervisor, ever since last year’s Christmas Party. A quickie in a bathroom stall left both women breathless... and more than a little embarrassed when they rejoined the party. Workplace snogging is highly inappropriate.

Though enormously erotic.

Body temperatures are already rising when Ellie and Casey find themselves alone in the elevator one Friday night at the office. When the lift comes to a grinding stop, awkward isn’t large enough a word.

Trapped in an elevator with her boss. Her tall, powerful, beautiful boss—the woman who monopolizes Ellie’s fantasies and sneaks into her dreams.

Whatever will they do to pass the time?

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4 stars icon australia contemporary icon f-f romance icon

This was pretty darn cute, well, if you can call a novella involving fisting “cute.”  Boss + employee and forced proximity are some of my favorite tropes, so while I’ve find the Dirty Bits line a bit hit and miss, I’m happy to add this one to one of my favorites!

“My boss said to phone the fire department so…” He trailed off as if expecting them to tell him that they weren’t really stuck. He didn’t need to phone the fire department. This was all just a big misunderstanding.
Except it wasn’t and the prospect of being trapped in three square meters of space with the woman she had barely been able to speak to without imagining naked was becoming terrifyingly real.”

Three months after what Ellie views as a one night stand with her boss at the office Christmas party, Ellie’s become an expert at avoiding Casey. Though Ellie’s bisexual, she’d never previously been with a woman, so when Ellie put the brakes on their encounter, Casey misunderstands and leaves.  For her part, Ellie believes that Casey leaving means that she’s rejected her.

“I didn’t want you to tell me it meant nothing,” Ellie continued, just to escape that silence. “I mean, I already knew that. You’re…” beautiful, successful, able to get anyone you want “…my boss. And I’m…” me “…your employee. I knew from the start it wasn’t serious. It couldn’t be. And then you walked out and I knew it and I… I just didn’t want to face it.”

Ellie is adorably awkward, though I could see how she could be annoying to some readers.  She’s so reluctant to interact with Casey that in order to avoid their usual pre-ONS coffee dates, she gives up coffee completely.  Being stuck in an elevator with her is literally her worst nightmare.  Casey is a bit more of a cypher, as we don’t get her POV.  Ellie calls Casey’s aesthetic “broody stoicism” and I think that fits pretty well.  She’s not exactly an ice queen, but it does seem like she’s reluctant to express her feelings, though some of that can be attributed to her believing that she had used the power imbalance in their relationship to force Ellie into a relationship.  I liked how, through a lot of awkwardness, they were forced to confront their misunderstandings (and then, of course, have sex).

I liked the little touches of humor – like Ellie freaking out when she realizes she’s wearing her laundry day underwear, or when Casey gets her hand stuck trying to take off Ellie’s bra.  I found Ellie’s voice hilarious in general.  As for cons, it does have a bit of  a sex-by-checklist vibe – besides fingering, there’s also fisting, the titular “going down,” and some grinding.  It felt a bit more like trying to force in all these different experiences rather than the characters spontaneously just having sex.

Overall, I quite liked this one, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a quick and steamy f/f read!

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