Review: Shagging the Boss by Rebecca Rowland

cover of Shagging the BossShagging the Boss by Rebecca Rowland
Filthy Loot (June 2022)
82 pages; $12 paperback
Reviewed by Dave Simms

Okay, before anyone starts quoting Austin Powers in a bad accent, the shagging Rebecca Rowland refers to might be a bit different. Well, quite different. The title does fit, though, yet I can’t divulge too much of this novelette’s plot. It’s unique and a quick read, easy for one sitting…but this story stuck to me like a great meal. More on that later.

Publishing is a bloody business. It makes strolling through hell feel like petting puppies in a field of flowers. It’s not for the weak-hearted or those who want validation. When the unnamed main character arrives at a book conference, fresh in the field and looking for bites, she’s looking for a foot in the door, something to break into a world that is full of monsters of the human kind. What she finds isn’t exactly what Indeed of LinkdIn typically suggests.

A strange man, Daniel, invites her back to his hotel room, but the favor he offers isn’t exactly the sexist situation that too often occurs in the corporate world. It’s something much different. He makes her an offer after she awakes to find he took something from her — something physical — but reassures her all will be fine, because of what he is, a boogeyman of sorts. To be specific, a yara-ma-yha-who, a creature of opportunity who consumes their prey, only expel them — somehow changed. To say more would ruin the magic. The relationship and interplay between the apprentice and Daniel is pure fun to read, which begs to be completed in one enjoyable sitting (yet I’ve gone through it twice and picked up on some cool nuances I missed the first time).

Rowland has been moving like a banshee, editing anthologies left and right (her Generation-Exed is perfect for the best group of people out there!), but this is my first time reading her prose. It won’t be the last. Comparisons are not necessary, yet could be drawn between Elizabeth Massie and Joe R. Lansdale due to the smooth writing and easy dialogue.

High recommended, especially for anyone who is involved in the shark infested world of writing and publishing.

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