Teag and Bruce both dream of opening their own bar, but they never expected it would be together, especially considering Teag is harboring a grudge against Bruce.
Teag is a popular bartender at one of Hollywood’s hottest clubs. Opinionated, stubborn, and bossy, he envisions a bar where craft cocktails without blaring music and half-dressed bartenders. Yet to find a place in a decent area with minimal renovation costs is nearly impossible. Bruce found out that his boss is selling the bar he works at under his nose. Determined to find a place where he can work without worrying about losing his job, the only places he can afford need extensive an expensive renovations. Forced to combine forces, Bruce agrees to Teag’s terms where Bruce can run the business end of it, while Teag gets full control of the renovations and vision for the bar. Despite their agreement, Bruce still manages to rub Teag the wrong way…or is it the right way?
As the renovations get underway, Teag and Bruce find an old drink shaker when they tear down a wall. Afterwards, a series of pitfalls befall them, including a ghost, a dead body, and police tape. Can Teag and Bruce keep their new relationship and business venture from going up in smoke?
This is the fourth book in the Secrets series. It can’t be read as a stand-alone as characters who appear in this book have appeared in previous book.
First, we must properly appreciate the cover of this book. Why is it that I’ve never been to a bar where the bartender dressed as such? Probably a good thing, I don’t think I’d ever leave…
This book’s plot focuses on the mystery surrounded the origins of the bar that Bruce and Teag are renovating. Tearing down the interior walls, they come across an old drink shaker. Opening the shaker, they unleash some majorly bad mojo, requiring them to bring in a woman to “cleanse” the bar, only to have her take the shaker and leave quickly. Afterwards, a dead body and talk of past satanic rituals abound. For me, while the mystery part of the book was interesting, I was disappointed somewhat because it wasn’t something Teag and Bruce investigate – there is a police detective who does the investigating.
The romance part of the story just didn’t seem to be there. The two main characters are like night and day. Bruce may be tattooed, heavily muscled, and plays the role of a pirate for the Ren-faire every year, but he’s laid back and has a weakness for bossy men. Which is a good thing since Teag is about as bossy as they come. A sexy twink, Teag’s realized that his good looks are only going to get him so far. Despite this, he is probably one of the most irritating main characters ever. Obnoxious is too good of a word for him.
When the two of them are together, I wasn’t buying the romance part of the story at all. Teag treats Bruce like something stuck to his shoe, and Bruce puts up with it. Unless one considers two gay men having sexual encounters with each other the basis for a romance, readers may find themselves disappointed when they realize that is about the sum of the romance portion of the story.
I also found that while the writing flowed well, with a decent dialogue and scene descriptions, I was constantly becoming confused as to whose POV we were in and the setting due to the lack of obvious breaks between scenes.
As a fan of the previous books, I was sorely disappointed with this latest release in the series. Teag irritated me from the start of the book (and I don’t remember him being so annoying in previous books), and despite Dylan trying to humanize him by explaining his history, he never rehabilitated himself. For me, this book was a miss.