Title: The Applicant
Author: Aidee Ladnier
Series: Busted Labs #1
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: 1/11/2017
Genre(s): M/M Fantasy, M/M Sci Fi, M/M Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 47
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
How can something so cuddly and adorable be so destructive? The teddy bear robot decimating his lab is only the first disaster of the day for roboticist Forbes Pohle. If he can figure out how to end its rampage, he still has to interview applicants for the position of research assistant and convince the time traveler on his doorstop that they should be making their future right now.
Oliver Lennox didn’t travel back in time to have a quickie in the blast chamber—but it certainly is fun. This younger Forbes is a sweeter, more innocent version of his lover. And it will be hard to leave him behind in the past.
If you like sexy nerds, humor, plenty of action, and a love story not even time can disrupt, this romantic adventure has the perfect credentials for the job.
First Edition published as The Applicant (or Virgins, Robot Bears, and Other Disasters) by Torquere Press, 2012.
3.5 stars- Fast paced time traveling short
The Applicant opens on a chaotic scene that definitely gets the reader’s attention, but also left me a bit confused considering I failed to read the blurb. The author does deliver enough clues through the fast-paced dialogue that I didn’t feel totally lost for long. Unfortunately, between the sci-fi element, the romance, and the history between the main and secondary characters, there was so much to the story that I was left with more questions than answers.
I don’t read many time travel romances, but I liked the ideas introduced in this plot including seeing a character meeting a younger version of their partner. It was a fun element and I enjoyed how the couple’s chemistry instantly ignites even in a different time period. Both characters were surprisingly well hashed out in a short period of time and their personalities complimented each other. The writing was done well. The dialogue flowed enough to develop the character relationships and personalities in a relatively short time. However the breakneck pacing and loads of seemingly inconsequential details left me playing catch up at times. It seemed as though there was a lead-in to a significant conflict or plot development, but then nothing fully materialized and I was left wanting more. In fact, I liked the premise and characters enough that I found myself wishing this was a prequel to a full length novel. There is a second short story in the series that tells a moment particularly significant to Forbes and Oliver. If a full length book were to come out, I wouldn’t hesitate. However, I don’t know that this story enticed me enough to look forward to another short story starring these characters. I do think this is an author I’d like to read more from and I think fans of short stories or time traveling stories may enjoy it.