Review: Just Business (Takeover #2) by Anna Zabo

From the thrilling new author of Takeover, a steamy new novel about having all the control—and losing it…

Note from the author: This is the followup to Takeover and features Justin and Eli. Sam and Michael are fairly important characters in this book as well.

Justin White may not look like an up and coming corporate superstar, but his new boss knows he has the smarts, grit, and determination to succeed. Now he just has to convince his company’s CFO, Eli Ovadia. Unfortunately, Justin can’t seem to keep his cool around the domineering Eli—and soon he finds himself taking their heat from the boardroom into the bedroom….

Still haunted by a tragic accident that left him with a wounded leg and broken heart, Eli has a need to be in control. But his desire for Justin makes him want to lose that control—and push them both far beyond their limits. But will his need to dominate Justin drive him away—or will Eli find a way to be the man he needs for both of them?

Just Business started off great! The kinky sexual innuendos slung between Justin and Eli were fun, sexy and had me chomping at the bit. I just knew this was going to be the book that took Zabo to the next level. Unfortunately, this didn't work for me.

There were a couple of hiccups in the beginning, but I was enjoying myself so I raised an eyebrow or two but largely ignored them.

They wend up at the same kink party and two things happened:  (1) I got bored; (2) we took a hard left in BDSM sponsored by Disney.

Eli is the finest, most sought after and, coincidentally, most elusive dom in all the land, I mean Pittsburgh. For reasons. I'm not exactly sure what those reasons are, but I'm assuming we're supposed to just go with it. Fine, fine. What the hell, right?

Though I'm fairly certain that the finest dom in all the land wouldn't fuck a sub's face in public without first having had the limits talk, but maybe I'm being too persnickety. 

Then I got to 42% and read this:

I love their pain, love making them feel it. How they move, how they sound. I-how can I not be a monster? People aren't like this!


There's a whole party's worth of people that are monsters then! Way to be judge-y, Eli.

If Eli's the finest dom in all the land that implies he's been around, knows the ropes, one might even presuppose that he's made peace with his deviance. I guess one should never presuppose.

So, my interest took a nosedive. Reading manufactured conflict a.k.a. a BDSexistentialM crisis is not my cuppa.

I decided to take a break hoping when I came back it was all a mirage.

Was not to be.

I came back to Justin inexplicably comparing Eli to his former abusive dom on top of Eli's woes! I still can't make heads or tails out of this comparison. It's nonsensical. It came out of left field. I was left with no choice but to deduce that it, too, is as bogus as Eli's BDSexistenialM crisis. 

I realize traumatic events can crop up at unexpected times and wreak havoc and both of them have had a rough go of it and I do empathize with that; however, that doesn't excuse the lie of omission nor does it give one free reign to overgeneralize and pigeonhole another. ANY relationship should be based on trust, especially one wherein you're surrendering your body to the desires of another and that other could very well be wielding a whip.

Justin should've trusted Eli enough to tell at least a portion of the truth, enough to let Eli know where landmines might be. This combined Eli angst/Justin ridiculousity nonsense builds over the next twenty percent, inflaming my ire to dangerous levels. 

All the time building toward a crescendo of epic Theater of the Ridiculous proportions. It's so absurd that I started to think I was reading AU instead of contemporary. Justin willfully (IMO) loses touch with reality and starts making all sorts of bizarre comparisons that have no basis in reality. 

They make medications for this. They're called anti-psychotics. Or therapy. Let's try some therapy, shall we?

Naturally and incomprehensibly, they still want each other, despite the cray cray and make their torturous way to an HEA. My only hope is they will move to an isolated island with all the other whackadoodles so they don't infect the rest of the population. Who knows if this is airborne.

Needless to say, I didn't connect with either of these MCs. The BDSM dynamics didn't work for me, though they were occasionally titilating. The kinky sexual innuendos at the beginning were the bright spot and deserving of a half star. I'm not so callus as to say that I wasn't affected by the resolution, but it still felt like a Disney movie with an oversimplified resolution to complex relational issues. The Judaism aspects were interesting. I always enjoy learning new information regardless of topic, but Judaism is not what brought me to this party nor was it enough to save it. 

A frustrating and disappointing read for me, but judging by early reviews I'm in the minority so... grain of salt.

An ARC was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more on Goodreads.


  1. You got bored! Didn't read anything after those immortal words (deal breaker or what)

    1. OMG! I've responded to this like 3 times & it's keeps deleting.

      #cupcake annoyed

      Anyhoo, you should peruse some of the other reviews which are all gaga over it. Just sayin'.

    2. That's odd because the same thing keeps happening to me! Regarding other reviewers/reviews? Nah, your the girl for me, trust your judgement.

    3. Oh and it worked first time that time. ??????