Zach Anderson may be many things, but no one will ever call him patient or kind. As CTO of a growing company, he has no time for handholding or fools who question him. His reputation and temper are so bad that he can never keep an assistant more than a week, which makes Nolan Carmichael something of anomaly. Inexperienced and prone to anxiety, Nolan does what no other assistant has managed: he sees Zach as more than simply a monster.
His interview at Compass is Nolan’s first in two years. A violent accident left him injured and struggling with PTSD. He’s recovered somewhat, but the anxiety is always there. He and Zach shouldn’t work so well together, but Nolan’s skill at organization and Zach’s determination are a perfection combination and the two develop a mutual respect. As work draws them closer, the chemistry between Zach and Nolan evolves into something deeper. But Zach struggles to separate the realities of his work, his growing love for Nolan, and his lifelong dreams. And Nolan must wrestle with his fear of rejection and come to terms with the accident that changed his life. Even if both men face their demons, a corporate shake-up could destroy everything.
Working It was a fast paced, sweet, and utterly enjoyable read. Almost from the start, you get drawn into the relationship ship between Zach and Nolan, two wonderfully real and believable characters. The pacing is strong and the story has very little drag. The overall plot is slightly predictable, but the writing is well done and balances out most aspects of Working It extremely well.
Zach and Nolan are the real heartbeat behind Working It. Both characters seem relatable and approachable. Most of us know a Zach, the brutal taskmaster that makes the lives of everyone around him a living hell, but who actually gets things accomplished. He’s not exactly a warm fuzzy bear, but he is passionate and driven. Nolan is physically a bit fragile, but he’s pushing past a terrible event to take his life back and it’s wonderful to see unfold. His PTSD and anxiety feel realistic, at least to me, and the author never uses it as crutch to hold up the story, which happens too often in books where a main character is dealing with mental health challenges.
My only real grumble with the book is Nolan’s sister, Tina. She’s not a bad character, but given her fairly large role in Nolan’s life, she never felt fully defined. I certainly knew why she existed, but didn’t particularly care about her or her place within the story. Perhaps this is my issue alone and it’s such a minor complaint that it never affects the story as a whole.
Working It is a well written, smoothly flowing story of two men on the verge of a cliff: Zach with regards to his work and Nolan with his life and health. They ultimately decide to take the plunge together and we get to enjoy every moment as readers. Consider this one a must read for anyone who loves happily ever-afters between characters you can’t help championing.