ARC Review: Going Public by Hudson Lin

A boss. His employee.

And a scandal that’s about to change everything…

As an operating partner at Jade Harbour, Raymond Chao prides himself in fixing even the most disastrous of portfolio companies—no matter the cost. While his colleagues might not always like his methods, they love his results. But his latest business partner isn’t cooperating, and what’s worse, Raymond’s underhanded tactics have landed him in hot water with the law.  

Elvin Goh has been Raymond’s assistant for years, and he’s been in love with the charming, ruthless playboy for just as long. There’s very little that Elvin won’t do—or hasn’t done—for Raymond. Impossible crush aside, it’s his job. But this time, even Elvin can’t see a way out. 

When long nights in the office lead to whispered confessions and a newfound intimacy, it seems like a dream come true—for both of them. But with the prospect of failure on the horizon, can this dream team beat the odds and come out the victors in the office and in their hearts? 

My thoughts

Going Public is a complicated work-place romance.

Hudson Lin once again gives us a diverse cast and even has one of her main characters on the sexuality spectrum (demisexual). As a demisexual myself, it is awesome to read a character that I can identify with in a romance. I am also pan which is represented by Lin’s other main character, Ray. I love their romance.

Lin once again brings their knowledge of the finance world to Going Public. This is where the complications come into play. I watched Ray in Hard Sell and I wondered where the line is in Jade Harbour Capital and do they have one. Well, Going Public showcases the difficulty of where the line is and who is ultimately responsible for crossing that line. Lin does not give easy answers and presents hard results for the decisions made specifically by Ray. I was not expecting what happened, which is really great for a book.

One of the issues I have with Going Public is the intimacy between Ray and Elvin when it comes to sex. The first time there is penetration there is a huge lack of preparation, which Ray mentions but it is then thrown away. Mind you, the event is Elvin’s first time with penetration. I think if Lin had mentioned prior to the event that Elvin had self-play with penetration I wouldn’t be thinking: “Bad Ray.” If you have had anal sex before, then you know the first time you really need to prepare the receiver. I was horrified by Ray and Elvin’s first time.

There is also a lot of discussion about how Ray brings home a different partner every night. I am saddened to say that there was no discussion of safe sex or testing between Ray and Elvin. Ray did wear a condom, but there are so many different STIs that I am surprised a more in-depth discussion did not take place.

I have a question regarding how Elvin kept his employment at Jade Harbour unless Elvin and Ray never plan on going public as a couple. The results of Ray’s decisions unfortunately taint Elvin as he is his assistant and to complicate matters further, he was actually on-site when the snowball started. As a manager, I would have either transferred Elvin to another business under the umbrella of Jade Harbour and took him out of finance. I point this out because Lin is so on point with every other event that takes place in regard to Ray’s position and actions. Why didn’t this ramification come out? This is a reality for those even associated with the actions taken by Ray.

Lin gives us a complicated romance where family, work, entitlement, and love are intertwined where one does not know how to separate them. Elvin is fantastic. I have held his job before and as a caretaker personality myself, I get him and identify with him on so many levels. I love Ray and Elvin together. The dynamics of true love are beautiful to watch unfold for these two characters. 

Going Public is complicated to review if you have literally lived that life. I was Elvin, except for getting a forever love out of it (chuckle). I am a little biased because of Elvin, but I think Going Public is a good office romance where the secretary gets the guy. 

I received an ARC of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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From Mx. Phoebe’s desk:

I know, I know! Elvin is an administrative assistant, but in all reality, he is still a secretary. People can change the label, but the job is still the same. If you have read as many Harlequin/Silhouette romances as I have, then you know how many of them starred the secretary falling for their boss. Still gotta love a happy ending.

Books in the “Jade Harbour Capital” series.

Further Details:

Publisher: Carina Adores, 29 March 2022

Editor: Stephanie Doig

Narrator: Tyler Tetsuda

Series: Jade Harbour Capital #2; Settings: Quebec, Toronto, and Montreal, Canada

Pages: 384

SC: Asian, Lesbian, Gay

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