Rating: 2.5 stars
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Ryan is looking for love, but his dates have all fizzled out. When his latest date is a disaster, the bartender at the restaurant, Carson, steps in to help Ryan out and it turns into one hot night together. Carson is attracted to Ryan, but Carson isn’t interested in a relationship and once he sees where Ryan lives, he knows that the man is way out of his league. So he offers the next best thing—to help Ryan find love.
Carson really didn’t think this plan through too well, however, as he can’t stand the thought of Ryan dating anyone besides himself. So he doesn’t give Ryan the best advice, which then leads to more hookups between the men when Ryan’s dates all crash spectacularly. Carson and Ryan each want more from the other, but someone has to take the first step to prove they are perfect together.
This book had a cute set up with Carson helping Ryan out when his date goes all sorts of wrong. The guys immediately then hook up and things started to slide away from there, as I never felt the chemistry between them for this supposedly heated hookup. Then, Carson offers to give Ryan dating advice, yet he doesn’t want Ryan dating anyone else, so he gives him bad advice. Ryan follows all of it, which then leads to some awkward and embarrassing situations for Ryan and it didn’t come across as funny to me.
The book has a familiar set up with Carson thinking that Ryan is too upscale for him and out of his league, combined with him not wanting to have a relationship, and then Ryan thinking that Carson is just too hot to be interested in him. They bounce back and forth between being friends, hooking up, and spending time together, while everyone but them can see they are into each other.
Carson’s storyline is about how he feels Ryan would never fully want him, but then when Carson decides to go all in, his thought process is all off page and I needed to see more instead of him showing up one day with a completely different strategy.
Carson has a twin brother, Carlisle, who is also having dating issues, and when he says he wants someone to be in charge in the bedroom, Carson answers with, “Yeah, just girls aren’t like that. They’re submissive for the most part.” And that didn’t read well to me at all. This is the start of a new series and said to be a standalone. Yet, Ryan’s best friend is married and, at one point, the friend mentions his husband is out on a date and it turns out that couple already had a book. This book does not stand alone if I am missing information from scenes that happened in another story. There is also name dropping of a genre author and their series twice in this book and it felt wedged in and out of place.
While family and friends set around a bar can sound like a fun time, that didn’t prove the case in this book for me.