Sam Copper thought he had a great career as an owner of multiple bars and had made a name for himself—that is until his ex, who was also his business partner, had better lawyers. Sam has now come home to Chicago to take over his brother’s bar and to find a new kind of success. He did not expect to find the force that is Tiffany Young.
Tiff has worked as head bartender for a few years. She’s made the place her own in a lot of ways and has the awards to show for her hard work. She is not at all interested in a new boss, especially one that calls his first meeting on a Monday morning.
Sam and Tiff clash from the start, causing ripples in the bar, as well as the local bar community. But Sam and Tiff also have a fierce chemistry and their fighting is causing serious problems for the bar. However, they also can’t seem to get the other out of their heads and their lives take a sharp turn they never saw coming as they fall in love.
Sex & Sours is an engaging read telling the story of businessman Sam and fiery and strong Tiff. It is the second book in author’s The Cocktail series and mostly stands alone. The first book does feature a different couple, but Tiff is introduced there along with Sam’s brother, Harry, and there were a few times I did feel I did not have the full backstory in some areas.
Sam is determined yet wary. His relationship ended and he lost his business with it, and he needs some time to regroup, but he also wants to make this new bar a success. His brother has told him about Tiff, but Sam wasn’t quite prepared for her in person.
This isn’t really the typical boss/employee novel and that has a lot to do with Tiff. She’s a strong character who speaks her mind, but she is also generous and caring. She comes off as so sure of herself, but there is also a vulnerability just below the surface. She is proudly bisexual and is in a relationship with a woman when we first meet her in this book, and it becomes clear what Tiff will and will not tolerate. When Sam and Tiff get together, there are plenty of sparks, plenty of heat, and a dash of kink. They both think their time together has an expiration date and the progression of their relationship is well written, along with the vibe of the bar setting.
I did have an issue with some of the word choices the characters use as they are in Chicago and there is no indication they are not American. The author’s bio shows her to be Australian, and the characters used words like “crisps” “jumper” and “fringe” and, in the context they were used, these are not American terms and it broke the flow of the story every time for me. This is a problem that should be simple to avoid. I also felt that the last portion of the book lost its momentum with the way Sam handled the situation with his ex at the end and then the culmination of Sam and Tiff’s relationship lacked the spark that made them a great couple throughout the rest of the book.
There are more books planned in this series with maybe a couple of clues for potential MCs and I would certainly check out more of this author’s work in the future.