Kotaro “Cut” Jones isn’t exactly living on easy street, but his job as a bartender pays the bills and lets him people watch customers from all walks of life. He’s especially fond of watching the handsome business exec who always the orders the same drink. When Cut inadvertently rescues the man from a rough situation, the decision ends up changing his life.
Samson Ba has money and business acumen, but he’s drowning in stress and self-doubt. He tried to find a measure of release in VR programs, but it didn’t work and Samson is getting desperate. Cut saves him a seriously bad decision and the two begin a cautious relationship, based first on money and then on something deeper. Both men have big dreams for the future, but to make them a reality they’ll have to deal with Samson’s manipulative father, the realities of the business world, and their own insecurities. Still, Cut and Samson are stronger together than they are apart and they might have a thing or two teach their enemies about beating the odds.
Served with a Twist offers readers something of a mixed bag. There’s a sweet romance between a rich businessman and a down-and-out bartender, mixed with business intrigue and cut throat family tensions. But on the other hand, the book suffers from pacing issues and a lack of development. Let’s start with the positives first.
Samson and Cut are a cute couple and they thrive in spite of the challenges they face. Samson’s struggle to accept what he needs from Cut, while finding the strength to stand up to his father, make him a compelling character. Cut isn’t exactly a charmer, but his devotion to Samson’s care, almost in spite of himself, is engaging. But both of these characters lack real development. Even though we’re given information regarding their backgrounds, I never felt like I “knew” either of them or understood who they really were. That means their romance lacked a level of credibility and, while I enjoyed their relationship, I wasn’t ever really sure why they were together. There’s plenty of sex on page, but they lacked the emotional cohesiveness to make them a powerhouse couple. The book plays with D/S, but it’s pretty mild stuff and I think most readers would fine with this aspect, so don’t be put off by the tag. Even though Samson’s father is barely more than a caricature, the business maneuvering that Samson and Cut undertake to escape his machinations is rather fun and the “gotcha” moment is rewarding.
Served with a Twist struggles a bit with pacing. There are times when the action flows well and the story reads as purposed and on point. There are other moments though when it starts to feel laggy and overly bogged down. For example, there is a side plot involving Samson’s brother that doesn’t provide much payoff and the last part of the book struggles to maintain its momentum, in part, because of this secondary story.
This book struggles to find its balance, at times, but is a compelling story on the whole. While the connection between Samson and Cut isn’t as strong as it could be, there was still enough between these two to make it worth my time. So if you’re looking for light dominate/submissive romance, with a bit of science fiction on the side, take a look at Served with a Twist.