Chris owes his boss Bobby everything. So when the man asks Chris to pose as his son’s bodyguard in order to keep an eye on the nineteen-year-old, Duncan, Chris reluctantly agrees. Relationships have never interested Chris, so he’s shocked to find himself attracted to Duncan on every possible level.
Duncan is used to being thought of as playboy and the love ‘em and leave ‘em type. He knows most men only want him for his money, but when he meets Chris, he finds himself willing to risk his heart in order to find something more meaningful.
Chris knows the truth must come out and when it does, it could destroy everything he has built with Duncan. How he can convince the man that the love he feels is real and not just the product of a job? And how can Duncan ever trust him again?
The premise to Following Orders was intriguing, which is why I snatched it up for review. But rather quickly I discovered this book was probably not going to be my cup of tea. I think many readers will enjoy Duncan and Chris’ story, but I really struggled to connect with either of them. The plot that struck me as interesting from the blurb ended up being rather silly and unbelievable. We’re never really sure why Bobby felt Duncan needed watching to begin with. It’s implied that Duncan is impressionable and feeling his oats, but it seems like the worst thing he’s ever done is smoke a bit of weed. Plus he’s an adult, so it seemed a reach to believe that his father would set up such an elaborate ploy just to have Chris keep an eye on him.
Chris is described as asexual, but this side of him is never really explored. Instead, it seemed as though the moment he met Duncan, his sexuality switched on and while that makes for a cute romance, that isn’t how asexuality works for most of those who self-identify as such. I felt the author did a disservice to the asexual community by failing to fully embrace or perhaps expound upon the true scope of what it means to be asexual. As a result, Chris always felt like a bit of a fraud to me and in more ways than one. Given that we know he enters into a relationship with Duncan because of a lie, it’s hard to like him very much. Duncan is somewhat flat and he lacks real dimension as a character. I never understood why he was so attracted to Chris or why he was willing to forgive him when Chris’ inevitable betrayal was revealed. That whole aspect of their relationship was resolved too quickly and with a predictably contrived solution.
While the scenes between Chris and Duncan were occasionally charming, most of them ended up bordering on the saccharine. Too many scenes felt reminiscent of a bad soap opera, with more cooing between Chris and Duncan than actual substance. As I said before, I think there many readers who may feel differently about this couple and find their relationship more appealing, but they never seemed to develop into more than one-dimensional creations.
Following Orders failed to meet my expectations on most levels. The story was weak and the characters were either poorly developed or their motivations were never clear. While some of you might enjoy Chris and Duncan’s journey towards true love, I wasn’t able to move past the flaws of Following Orders.