Rating: 4 stars
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Who Moved My Holepunch? First of all, what a great title for a book. I’m not sure if I would’ve been so compelled to read it had I not seen the catchy title and cover. For this, I must say thank you, Anne Brooke. I figured, if anything, I’d be getting a story outside of the norm and I have to say that was true. Who Moved My Holepunch? was a quirky little madcap adventure within the framework of a budding workplace romance.
Darren Fording is the Timetabling Officer for a small college. I’m still not exactly sure what his job entails, but essentially it includes all the scheduling of rooms for professors and classes. He’s good at what he does, since his OCD tendencies fit right in with the logical, routined structure of his job. On Tuesdays, he gets out his holepunch to file away his work from the previous week, and he finds a lot of satisfaction in this practice. Even the position of the holepunch on his desk has become of vital importance in his highly organized world.
When Max Sheldon walks into the office as the new Acting Registrar (Darren’s boss), Max thinks he might be in trouble. Quite quickly, this stuffy office drone is breaking out of his shell and seducing Max after hours. Their relationship may be heading somewhere, but before they can figure it out, they receive notification that the bigwigs in charge of their jobs and livelihoods will be visiting, and the pressure is on both of them to make a good impression. They spend their time preparing for their visit and putting their relationship on the back burner.
I had to keep reminding myself that this is a novella and, as such, does not need to hold up to my expectations of a full-length novel. What we have here is a bit of a silly story of two kind of impetuous men who find each other attractive and aren’t afraid to act on it. It’s sweet and fun and entertaining and slightly funny at times. I found the humor to run a little on the madcap, cheezy side of things, which is not really my style, but someone else may find it quite charming. The MCs were delightful, especially Darren, who is not at all what you expect after first meeting him. I was happy to see him be more than his stodgy office persona and to show dominance over his boss, throwing all caution to the wind to pursue his attraction.
This story has little depth. It’s a bit unbelievable, the main conflict is just outrageously silly, and everything runs a little more conveniently smooth than it does in real life. There’s a bit of daydream sex, which is not my favorite, but otherwise the sex scenes were quite steamy. This novella is not something you’re going to think about for weeks after you read it, but it’s a pleasant way to spend an afternoon, and I appreciate the author’s attempt at a bit of originality.
Hopefully I’ve made it clear what you’re getting here. When the main, underlying theme of a novella is represented by a holepunch, you know it’s going to be different. And different, even if it’s not your cup of tea, is always better than the same old. So give it a try if you want something light and fun.