Thursday, August 29, 2019

Sweet Bitter Honey by Liz Crowe

One + one + one more = perfection.

Ryan Shannon’s life has finally hit a smooth patch. He’s reached the point where he believes he’s mastered the single-dad challenge. He brews beer and owns his own brewery with his brother, Quinn. The brewery is so successful they need to hire someone to manage their burgeoning sales.

When Quinn surprises him with the announcement that he’s fallen in love with someone and she has a brother—a hot brother—named Cole, Ryan is skeptical of the setup. But Quinn begs him to join them for a dinner so that his girlfriend won’t worry about her brother feeling left out.

After one hookup, Cole claims he isn’t interested in anything more. Which is when Ryan hires the brewery’s new sales director—Lynette Williams, a woman fresh out of MBA school with plenty of debt, desperate to find her own way in life.

That’s when things really get complicated. Not to mention very… very hot.

They all claim that their connection is nothing more than really great sex. But Ryan, Cole and Lynette find themselves depending on one another in ways they never imaged they’d want or need—or ultimately love.

Reader Advisory: This book features an injured veteran with PTSD-like flashbacks and suicidal ideation. Characters in this story also appear in the Brewing Passion series at Totally Bound.

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Pride Publishing

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is a standalone but fits into Liz Crowe's family of micro-brewing books – and I have loved them all. They are very different, but all themed around the production and sale of specialty beer.

Ryan is a man with broad tastes, and when his brother Quinn invites him to dinner with his girlfriend and her brother, there may be a chance that the men become more than friends. But Cole is a man who has been through so much, losing his lover in an IED attack, and his sight too. He is suffering and angry, but cannot deny his attraction to Ryan. However, life has taught him he deserves to be alone, and even their potent chemistry must be denied except for once.

Ryan is bringing up his baby with the help of his mother and brother, so does not need the additional stress of a man who does not want him... so parks the situation and gets on with making the best beer he can. Cue employing Lynette – and right here Crowe ups the ante in a fabulous way. Any fan of her writing can start getting hot under the collar already, just imagining where these three unique, flawed, but lonely, sexy people may be able to create magic for each other. At this point, I could not read fast enough to find out how on earth there could be a resolution of a whole host of issues.

I loved how Cole is written as a man who is reminded of his strengths, and that there is more to life than his past. The way that Lynette and Ryan manage their obligations, and acknowledge their desires for each other and Cole makes for a delicious read. I just wish I could taste the Sweet Bitter Honey that Ryan created in their honour.

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
3.5 stars
M/F/M Romance
Triggers: PTSD

This book had such promise. You first catch a glimpse of Cole and Ryan when the meet at Cole's sister's house. She's dating Quinn and they all have dinner. Despite Cole's recent handicap, he remembers what Ryan looks like and can't help but be attracted to him. It's the first time since the accident that Cole finds himself wanting to be with someone.

Ryan is trying to make it all happen. He's raising a kiddo by himself and trying to brew the best beer in his brother's brewery. His attraction to Cole is not something new. Ryan has known he was bi for years. But he also knows that Cole has been through some traumatic stuff and doesn't want to push him.

With the work piling up, Quinn and Ryan decide they need to hire a new marketing person. Lynette is who is hired, and she is a ball buster. Despite her bossiness, Ryan can't help but be attracted to her. They start this strange relationship where they hook up but don't really communicate that well.

While there are some good scenes with Cole, Ryan, and Lynette, their relationship is full of miscommunication, no communication, and assumptions. It makes for a very one-dimensional relationship all around. It was so disappointing.

Overall, this was a story with great potential that just didn't really deliver for me. I wanted to love this story, but in the end, found myself slightly bored.

Amazon best-selling author, mom of three, Realtor, beer blogger, brewery marketing expert, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville currently living in Ann Arbor. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.

With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.

Don’t ever ask her for anything “like a Budweiser” or risk bodily injury.

Connect with Liz

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Sweet Bitter Honey by Liz Crowe to read and review.

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