on January 30, 2017
Genres: Enemies to Lovers, New Adult, Romance
Who knew sleeping with the enemy could be this fun?
Was the one night stand a good idea?
Well, no. Probably not in retrospect.
In my defense I had just moved back into my grandparent’s house, I’d lost my dream job, and a guy on Tinder had stood me up. It was like life had suddenly stamped ‘LOSER’ on my forehead.
So when the guy behind the bar started giving me THE look…you know, the one that promised I’d be screaming his name into the wee hours of the morning? When that guy also has the perfect amount of scruff on his chiseled chin, biceps bulging out of his t-shirt, and a cocky grin you knew he’d earned in the sack…when he gives you that look, you don’t bother to figure out what your six degrees of separation are. You jump on that horse and ride it!
Pun fully and completely intended. And accurate by the way.
I fully admit to feeling sorry for myself and acting impulsively, but by the time I’d figured out WHO the bartender was, I was already falling for him.
The beginning of this book did start out a big rough but be sure to stick with the story! I think part of it is honestly just two authors trying to find their jive as a duo while writing together. Once the hero and heroine met, I started enjoying this story more.
Lennon raises her glass and we all follow suit. “May we get what we want. May we get what we need. But may we never get what we deserve.”
We all laugh and clink our glasses together.
Now, what kind of fun is a book of it doesn’t give you any life lessons? Piper Rayne gives us a few gems that I’d like to share. 😉
“Never let it be said that a dick pic can’t bring two people together.”
“I think of dimples as being the key to the chastity belt.”
^ True story.
One aspect that I was really looking forward to but that I found lacking was the whole enemies to lovers trope. This has always been one of my favourite indulgences so I was ready to gobble it up like warm chocolate chip cookies. I was a little disappointed though. I get that the heroine, Whit, had some past issues with Cole, but they never actually hated each other. Or at least you don’t feel Whitney hating Cole. And on the flip side, he had no idea and never harboured hard feelings towards her. Because of this, I wouldn’t exactly classify this book as an enemies to lovers. Was it enjoyable? Yes! I just felt lead on.
Cole is a cheeky bugger! I really loved this about him. His personality was cute and I loved how playful he could get, much to the chagrin of Whitney. Even more surprising though was how tender and sweet he was with the heroine, especially at those unexpected times. Cole definitely made me sigh out of happiness.
“When someone who’s supposed to love you treats you as if you’re disposable, it’s difficult not to see your value as less than nothing.”
Cole squeezes his eyes together like I’ve caused him physical pain. When he opens them, he pulls back just enough to pin me with his stare. “You are so much more than nothing, sweetheart. You’re the opposite. You’re everything.”
I really liked Whit’s character. Not only was she strong and sassy, but she could hold her own too against Cole. It was those tiny moments though when she left herself be vulnerable with him that really showed how complex she was.
Did I buy the romance — I guess? But after all the talk of Cole being a manwhore and a flake, none of that is then shown in his actions. I kept expecting it of him and didn’t know how to take his character when he was actually sweet and charming. I couldn’t figure out whether I thought it was an act or if it was genuine and they had all somehow mistaken his motives.
It’s possible I could’ve been the only one with this sort of feeling, but while reading I just felt like something was hanging over my head. Everything was too clean, too sparkly. I felt like I was sitting here, just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Anyone else?
“Sometimes things just happen—good and bad—for no other reason than they just do.”
I’m really not sure how to feel about Lennon. Truth be told, she was a tough pill to swallow at times and I’m not sold on her. As a side character, her abrasiveness could’ve been toned down a little to try and keep the focus more on the main couple, but I get that the authors are also trying to set her up for her own story down the line.
My favourite part about The Bartender was probably the fact that I didn’t guess what the conflict was and I was kept on my toes. I had no clue what would happen or how each character would react to the situation and that’s what makes it fun! I had my suspicions close to, but based on most of the story, this is NOT how I predicted things to explode. Well done, Piper Rayne! My favourite hobby is guessing plot twists or conflicts and you two got me. 😉
One thing I did notice though was that after the conflict, the ending felt rushed. It seemed like just because the conflict happened then every thing had to be wrapped up neatly in a tight little bow immediately. I understand finishing up the story but based on the pacing of the book, it seemed crammed.
“You are something else, Miss Knight.”
I grin. “Well, thank you, Mr. Webber.”
“I’ll be getting mirrors installed in my bedroom. On every surface.”
“It’s cute that you think I’m joking.” He leans forward and places a chaste kiss on my mouth.
Along the same lines, Cole was completely validated, don’t get me wrong. I understand the motives behind everything that happened (his and Whit’s) and I appreciate them. However, I am a giant sucker for grovelling. Your man did something wrong? It’s going to take more than an apology and dimples to sway me. Especially if it’s something as big of a deal as this. I like the romantic approach that was taken to the whole situation but again, it just felt really easy and I expected more.
There were a few inconsistencies that I noticed within the story but this could be something as simple as needing another set of eyes to do one final proof. Or these could’ve been caught and edited after ARCs were sent out, I’m not sure, but this in no way affects my rating. Either way, they were minor and not extremely noticeable, I just tend to read and go over a book with a fine tooth comb. It’s still an enjoyable read and I would recommend to a friend! Can’t wait to see what happens next in The Boxer!
“I’ve always prided myself on standing on my own two feet and this man would bring me to my knees.”
This was definitely a fun, quick and easy read, but I really liked that it wasn’t just fluff. Along with the banter and sexiness between the sheets, there was depth to the characters and it was unleashed in a tender way. This brought out a different side of both Whit and Cole while still enjoying their quick quips and joking manner. Look out for the next instalment from Piper Rayne, coming March 2017!
*An ARC was received in exchange for an honest review.