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Florence's Review: Total Creative Control (Creative Types #1) ~ Joanna Chambers & Sally Malcolm

When I saw the blurb of Total Creative Control, I thought: a grumpy and sunshine story about a fictional tv show and fanfiction? Sign. Me. Up.

Let me start by saying that I absolutely love Sally Malcolm and Joanna Chambers, so when I heard about Total Creative Control, I felt like a kid opening her Christmas gifts. I was so excited to read this book, and I wanted to love it so much … but sadly, I just didn't. I think I'm defective this week, that's the only explanation. These are two of my favourite authors of all time, and yet, this book? Did not really work for me. I'm quite devastated about it too. I really wanted to love this book, in theory, it was my perfect book.

Lewis is the creative director at a production company, and he is currently working on a show called Leeches. He needed a new assistant, so that's where Aaron came in. Lewis has a strict policy that he never dates colleagues, which are famous last words in this context because, shockingly, he breaks it so he can date Aaron.

“One day, I hope you realise that you can have everything you want,” […] “And that you deserve it.”

First, I loved all the talk about fanfiction in this book. As someone who spends way too much time reading fanfiction, I really appreciated it. It was such a realistic take on fandoms and how it is to be in one, it made for a lovely reading experience. I loved all of the talk of Lewis and his dislike of fanfiction about the things he created, it was so fascinating to me. And I loved Aaron and his love of writing fanfics, it was so lovely to read about. I also really liked all the talk about the tv show and how it was for them to be working on it. It really made me feel like I was working on the show with them, and I really loved it.

Second, I loved how Aaron was quick to call out Lewis when he was being mean. He never let Lewis get away with anything that wasn't right and, if Lewis didn't treat Aaron fairly, then Aaron called him out on it, and I absolutely loved it.

Third, I absolutely adored Aaron. He was a sweetheart. I loved how fierce he was and how he wasn’t afraid of saying his opinion and standing up for himself. I loved his calm and his strength. What a man Aaron is, he’s going on my list of favorite main characters of all time, I just loved him so much. I loved how he was so supportive of Lewis and always taking care of him.

Fourth, I love a good grumpy and sunshine pairing in books. Lewis is super grumpy, which is my favorite type of character in books. But, instead of just being grumpy, Lewis was kind of mean sometimes, and it made me sad for Aaron. I understand that Lewis has abandonment issues, and that's why he was pushing Aaron away but having abandonment issues doesn't justify being mean to someone for unjustified reasons. I was fine with Lewis pushing Aaron away because of his abandonment issues, I just didn't like how he said mean things to Aaron because of them. Also, normally the grump who's mean to everyone but nice to his love interest thing really works for me, which was exactly what Lewis was, but I just thought that he was a little too mean to every side character in the book, I probably would have been crying every day after work if he was my boss.

Fifth, another thing, Lewis kept his not wanting to get attached thing for most of the book, and then at 90% he had a personality transplant and suddenly was so in love with Aaron, which didn't really work for me, because he changed in about a day and there wasn't really anything that happened to trigger that kind of change in him. I understand that people change, but it was a little too quick to be believable for me.

Sixth, communication really wasn't these guys' strong suit. Which a couple of instances of it is fine with me, but there were so many times where they wouldn't have been in so much pain and hurting over each other if they just sat down and talked. I just didn’t like how they were both suffering when a good talk would have prevented all their suffering.

Seventh, it's hard for me to explain that while I didn't like Lewis much, I didn't really dislike the book that much because of it. I loved the writing, so much, I loved the fanfiction aspects and all the aspects about working on a tv show, I loved Aaron so much, he's almost like my spirit animal, and I absolutely loved him. So, I was thoroughly entertained while reading the book, even if I wasn't a fan of some of the aspects of the story. Also, I really liked the ambience of the book, and I liked the idea of the couple; I love a good grumpy and sunshine pairing, so much, I just didn't really enjoy Lewis as a character, which dimmed my enjoyment of the book a little, but I still had a lot of fun reading it.

I’m excited that there will be more books in this series because I love the setting for it, very much.

Title: Total Creative Control Authors: Joanna Chambers & Sally Malcolm

Release date: 28th of October 2021 Rating: 3 stars

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