By a Thread by: Lucy Score

Dominic was staring at me like he couldn’t decide whether to chop me into pieces or pull my hair and French kiss me.

Dominic

I got her fired. Okay, so I’d had a bad day and took it out on a bystander in a pizza shop. But there’s nothing innocent about Ally Morales. She proves that the first day at her new job… in my office… after being hired by my mother.

So maybe her colorful, annoying, inexplicably alluring personality brightens up the magazine’s offices that have felt like a prison for the past year. Maybe I like that she argues with me in front of the editorial staff. And maybe my after-hours fantasies are haunted by those brown eyes and that sharp tongue.

But that doesn’t mean that I’m going to be the next Russo man to take advantage of his position. I might be a second-generation son of a… fill in the blank, but I am not my father.

She’s working herself to death at half a dozen dead-end jobs for some secret reason she doesn’t feel like sharing with me. And I’m going to fix it all. Don’t accuse me of caring. She’s nothing more than a puzzle to be solved. If I can get her to quit, I can finally peel back all those layers. Then I can go back to salvaging the family name and forget all about the dancing, beer-slinging brunette.

Ally

Ha. Hold my beer, Grumpy Grump Face.

Lucyscore.net

Content Warnings: Sexual scenes, parent with dementia, parental abandonment, toxic relationships [both familial and romantic], sexism, and pregnancy.
Mention of: workplace sexual harassment, sexual assault [of minor and adults], abuse of power, and infidelity.


Ally is juggling a lot to ensure her father, who has dementia, gets the best quality care he can. Working a handful of different jobs and barely making ends meet has made the last year extremely stressful. When an entitled customer refuses to put his phone away, which is a restaurant policy, she’s ready to give him a taste of his own medicine.

Forced to take his father’s position, as creative director at his mother’s magazine, Dominic is determined to show he’s a hard worker and not anything like his sleazy dad. Feeling like he doesn’t deserve the job he was given he’s constantly second-guessing himself and wonders if he’ll ever get the swing of things. It’s been a year of non-stop stress and repression of anger so when a server calls him out on his behavior he decides to give her, and her manager, a piece of his mind.

Dominic hates that all the associates always seem nervous or afraid of him but that doesn’t mean he was excited to find out his mother hired Ally. As soon as he sees her he tries to fire her but sadly her employment is not up to him. What’s worse than working with someone who doesn’t seem to respect you? Finding that same person increasingly attractive.

I adored the banter between these two and the steady slow burn as they fought their growing attraction to each other. As someone who’s read many third-act conflicts/breakups, I wasn’t prepared for how much this one would hurt. The problem that arises, and words that are said, is one that I felt wasn’t given adequate time for forgiveness to make sense…at least for me.

The opposites attract, workplace romance, and enemies to lovers vibes really had me going and I was smiling and laughing through most of the book. Overall I really enjoyed the book but I would have appreciated a little more time spend on the final conflict. It felt, to me, like it was resolved rather quickly though the book technically tells us it’s been a decent span of time.

***Bit of a Spoiler about the ending below, STOP READING if you don’t want the spoiler***

I really enjoyed the ending except that out of nowhere Ally tells Dominic she’s pregnant. It didn’t feel necessary. The way the ending was written, I feel, it would have been better to just do everything the same but not have that pregnancy announcement. Then in the bonus epilogue [that I think you get for signing up for a newsletter] have a bit about how after the book ended they found out they were going to have a baby etc.

Due to them being 39 and 44 when the book started and them not mentioning wanting kids, the entire book, I wrongfully assumed this would be a romance without pregnancy so those few final pages really threw me off. I have a lot of friends who don’t want kids or who’ve struggled with infertility who love reading romance books, that don’t include pregnancy in them, so I was really excited to recommend this book…until that ending. 😅


Published by Noelle Loves Books

Growing up, Japanese and Indigenous, it was hard to find books that showcased stories and worlds that accurately portrayed Noelle’s experiences. Fantasy quickly became her main love, as you could really be anyone, anywhere. As the years went on, and technology grew, Noelle was finally able to see more stories and authors that looked and felt like her. Noelle is open to all genre’s though she can mostly be found reading own voice, fantasy, and romance. Ratings: 5 Stars: Completely blew me away 4 Stars: Loved the story but didn't feel completely blown away by it 3 Stars: Liked the overall concept of the story but either had poor execution, had a lot of plot holes, or was written poorly 2 Stars: I struggled to understand the plot, poorly written, or just had really unlikeable characters along with a poor writing 1 Star: Horribly written, major plot holes, or extremely unlikeable characters and plots.

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