I found Christina Jones because this book and the companion novel, Unfinished Business were free on Amazon last December. Freebies can be hit or miss, but Strictly Professional was full of win for me.
Here, we have Terrence and Gabrielle who meet one Saturday night at a nightclub. Terrence is three years into a promising career in corporate law. He is focused on making partner one day; thus, not looking for anything more than the occasional one night stand. Gabi is fresh out of law school and a recent transplant to Atlanta following the end of an eight year long relationship. At the end of the night, they share a steamy kiss which is regrettably interrupted by Gabi’s roommate. Terrence promises that he’ll call Gabi soon, but later decides against starting a relationship at this point in his life/career.
Fate has other plans for Terrence and Gabi when on Monday morning Gabi starts as a new junior associate working closely with Terrence. At this point, I thought…”oh I see where this is going”, expecting lustful trysts between Gabi and Terrence around the office while they try to avoid their colleagues finding out about it.
Things take a very different turn from the usual “coworkers in love” romance novels that I’ve read. SP isn’t about a taboo love affair. Instead, this story focuses primarily on Terrence and Gabi fighting their attraction. There’s a gradual build up to a relationship beyond passionate sexual escapades. These two characters get to know each other as colleagues and friends first. The sexy time doesn’t happen until very late in the book, but there’s a lot of well-drawn sexual tension that makes the story anything but boring or stale.
Additionally, there’s a good subplot involving both Gabi and Terrence’s families and friends which adds depth to who these two are and what drives them. I was pleasantly surprised to find a new to me author and I will definitely read more by Christina Jones.