Linc Carpenter loves his life. He is a professional hockey player and gets all the twink ass he can possibly want. But after a hook up with the wrong person gets him kicked out of hockey, he needs to find something else to do with his life. So Linc heads to Tampa where his former coach and good friend owns a bar and hires Linc as a bartender. While Linc was great at hockey, he is not particularly good at tending bar, constantly messing up the drinks. But he tries hard and his heart is in the right place. When Linc finds out his boss is also a part-time private investigator, he is sure that is his true calling and begs to be brought on board and trained.
Linc is disappointed to find that most PI work is painfully boring. So when the wife of famous fashion designer Quentin Faulkner comes in to the bar and offers him a lot of money to find evidence of her husband’s infidelity, Linc doesn’t bother to tell her he is just an intern. Instead he takes the job and gets to work trying to find proof of the affair. Sadly, Linc isn’t much better at being a PI than he is a bartender and his initial attempts are sort of a comedy of errors. Plans A-F pretty much fall apart and time after time he is caught by Quentin’s hot, muscular bodyguard Brady Williams. Eventually Brady and Linc form a friendship after spending so much time together, and Linc is suprised to find that Brady is interested in more between them. Although Linc is content to just hop into bed with the hot hunk, Brady is determined to take it slow and build a relationship between them. But nothing with the investigation is as it seems and Linc and Brady must face threats and a lot of craziness as they try to uncover what is really going on.
I found Bartender, PI to be quite fun and filled with lots of humor and a bit of silliness. Poor Linc, he means so well but he just a bit shy of having it all together. He makes lists and forgets to look at them. He is always using the wrong word and mixing his metaphors. His attempts at tracking down evidence of the affair are poorly thought out and hilarious to watch. But Linc is determined and a hard worker, caring and totally lovable. You can’t help but like him despite the fact that much of the time he seems to have no idea what is really going on. I enjoyed him as a romance hero. So often we get the all knowing and the all powerful alpha male. So here it was nice to find a guy who has the whole hunky exterior, but may be a bit dim upstairs.
The first part of this story totally drew me in as we see Linc’s unsuccessful attempts at getting pictures of Quentin and his lover. Each plan is crazier than the next so that I couldn’t help but be amused at his earnest antics. And I really liked Linc with Brady. At first Linc is so confused at a guy who doesn’t just want to have sex with him. So it is nice to see someone who shakes things up and really wants to get to know him and have a real relationship, not just a one off.
I will say that things were sailing along for me until the ending. It just felt so unbelievable as to pull me out of the story. I am not sure why this was such an issue for me. The story weaves in a firm thread of the absurd. It is what brings the humor and makes Linc so loveable instead of annoying. So there are lots of things that are hard to believe that worked fine for me. But somehow the way the story resolves just stretched believability to the point that I found myself saying, “Wait, there is NO WAY that would ever happen!” and it took away some of my enthusiasm for the book. Despite that I found this a light and fun story that I think is a nice choice if you are looking for something entertaining and not too heavy.
P.S. For those of you who care about such things, this book is about as chaste as you can get in a romance novel. While both guys are clearly hot for one another, things get no steamier than a few kisses.