At the age of 38, Brian Keppler knows that he’s a workaholic. He didn’t plan it that way, but owning a coffee shop has become a round the clock task as reliable staff is difficult to find. Brian’s relationships have all crashed and burned due to his long work hours and his past girlfriends have seen his business as the other woman. He’s struggling to make ends meet, but his day gets brighter when a gorgeous ginger man with a British accent strolls in for a cup of coffee.
Robert has made Pittsburgh his home as he is CEO for a tech company. He has an instant connection with Brian, the barista who makes him a special sweet and spicy coffee drink. The men hit it off immediately and Robert knows that Brian is flirting with him. But, while Brian has always known that he is bisexual, he has never acted on his desire to be with a man. Brian is completely ready to have a relationship with a man and Robert may just be the one, the only one. But his business leaves him no time for anything else and the pressure Brian is under may push Robert away for good.
This is a warm, sweet, and sexy story all around. Brian is a coffee shop owner and he is reluctant to admit that his shop might be going under. He works all of the time, but cannot get ahead and he’s stressed to the max. He’s never been with a man; the thought has always been there, but comments over the years about being bisexual had him keeping that knowledge to himself and he has chosen to date women. That changes when Rob walks into the shop.
Rob was an only child and his first love was photography. His parents didn’t approve of the arts as a career and he has longed buried his artistic side as a frivolous hobby. He was burned badly in his last relationship, but when he sees Brian behind the coffee bar he would like to order up one Americano.
The guys have an instant connection. There is attraction and common interests and Brian is ready to embrace his bisexual side. They date and Brian shows Robert the side of Pittsburgh he knows so well. The men bike and hike and take photographs and Zabo makes all of their time together visual as well as interesting. The men also cannot keep their hands off of each other. Whether it’s little touches or Brian finally going all in with a man, the two of them are scorching hot together and enjoy each other often in a variety of ways with a sprinkling of dirty talk added in.
Brian has several internal conflicts going on. One of them being that he has to come out to his parents, but his parents are way cool. Bonus! He also has internal conflicts regarding accepting himself as bisexual. There is a lot of internal dialogue, as well as comments with Robert, where Brian compares his encounters with Robert to his last girlfriend. It was a constant thought process and became a bit repetitive for me that he was doing that much comparison all of the time. The main conflict, however, comes from the amount of time that Brian works and the constant anxiety he has over his business. He won’t let anyone help and when Robert tries to ease things, Brian lashes out at him. But, these guys are adults and they start to act like it and when Brian feels like he’s hitting rock bottom, he owns up and the men talk.
The ending pulls this story all together and the epilogue is warm and sweet as the guys fall deeper in love. This is book four in Zabo’s Takeover series, but this is how you make a book stand alone while still offering glimpses of former MCs without losing the reader that hasn’t read the entire series (although I have read all of the previous books). Maybe there will even be more as Brian’s brother sounds like he could really use a story for himself. Daily Grind offers two engaging characters and is a hot and sexy addition to this series.