Jay Odon's Reviews > Under the Southern Cross

Under the Southern Cross by Claire McNab
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Mar 25, 13

bookshelves: adult-romance, bella-books, romance

I love Claire McNab's books and this story was no exception. The only thing I can say I didn't like was that it ended too soon and I would have liked to have learned more about the characters. That said...

Alex, or Alexandra as her boss Sir Frederick insists on calling her, works for a travel/tourism resort in Australia and her job for the next couple weeks is to escort Lee Paynter around to ensure her future business. Lee owns her own travel agency and is in Australia to expand her business by including trips and excursions for her American clientele. Lee is also an out lesbian and has an air about her that lifts her above all the gossip, unfortunately Alex is not. Not only succumbing to family pressures but also a failed relationship with a co-worker has put her farther into the closet. Unfortunately for both women their attraction to each other can't be contained and Alex gives into her lust but still keeps her distance until even she can't ignore the possibilities of what if...

Through the story we encounter strong women, both personally and professionally, bigotry, homophobia (I really hate that word, how about homohating), friendship and love. First there is a rumor spreading that Sir Frederick has the hots for Alex and while she tries to ignore it all she can't look past the fact that he has been coming closer and closer to her and with a promotion hanging in the balance Alex is at a crossroads. Next, one of her co-workers is trying to blackmail a fellow employee, who happens to be gay, into recommending him for a promotion. When Alex finds out that her gay coworker will be coming out to their boss she thinks about being brave also but is still worried about the repercussions. When the meeting goes less than perfect, Alex storms into the office to assure her boss that the blackmail is true and that she is also gay, which of course surprises him since he was making a play for her.

Through all the touring and posturing for business Alex and Lee start a sexual relationship that neither is completely ready for... Alex can't be out of the closet and Lee just wants a sexual good time. As the story progresses Alex wants, craves and needs for from Lee than just a romp in the hay. When she tells Lee that she loves her and wants to be with her Lee says she has no time for love since her lifestyle is all business. When Lee has to leave early from her trip Alex thinks she is just making an excuse to get away but Lee wants to stay but can't. Alex gives the ultimatum of loving or leaving to Lee and unfortunately she chooses to leave saying if she were to be able to love someone it would be Alex but Alex just sees that as words and nothing more and while Lee wants to stay "friends" Alex can't stand the thought of being close and not being able to love so they leave on a business level only. In the weeks after Lee's departure, Alex still has to deal with the business end of things and gets a surprise from her boss when he informs her that Lee is demanding to come along on the first bookings claiming she needs to make sure that everything goes smoothly. But Alex is wary and wonders what the big deal is and is dreading her arrival...

Love is a strong thing but will it be enough for these two women, one who is afraid to open up her heart and the other afraid to open up her world. Changes will come but at what cost??
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