*~~*ARC kindly provided by the author to me in exchange for an honest review *~~*
Noah Thomas has never met an obstacle he couldn’t overcome and it’s not going to happen now- not with his successful coffee shop and his life finally coming together. After saving for years, getting through his transition and losing his family in the process, the successful entrepreneur opened Green Bean Coffee. But when Alex Reynolds walks into the coffee shop, the devilishly handsome man changes everything. Alex gives Noah a glimpse of what life could be like – accepted and loved for who he is, and Noah finds himself falling for the captivating tattooed stranger.
“Well, for one I’m a good boy who doesn’t go home with strangers. And for another, I like you. I don’t want this to be a one-night stand.”
Alex Reynolds had given up on love a long time ago, preferring casual fun to long term relationships. After spending most of his life in the South and burning nearly every bridge there, the popular tattoo artist packed up and moved half-way across the country – to Loveland, Colorado of all places. Much to his surprise, Alex discovers he’s got it bad for the handsome barista with boyish charm. Noah makes Alex realize what he’s been missing in a partner, someone to share his life with. But can he change his bad boy ways?
Noah felt the connection he so desired in that kiss but there was something missing and he could taste it.
Together, Noah and Alex fit like missing puzzles pieces and their love was like coffee and bourbon – strong and intoxicating. But when the two men take their first vacation together – back to the South – Alex realizes he can’t run from his past. Will reuniting with his best friend bring out the bad boy again? Noah wants to trust Alex but fears getting hurt by the man he loves. Can Alex rise above and show Noah he’s changed?
Coffee and Bourbon is a 45,000 word m/m romance with hurt/comfort themes, transgender themes, plenty of heat, no cheating, and a guaranteed HEA.
This debut work was really good and it gave me – besides the angsty events at the end – a cozy feeling, because of Noah. Noah is a kind soul, he knows what it means to overcome obstacles in live and to keep his head up. He overcame his transition from a woman to a man, is more or less self-confident and really happy. He is building his desired business and when he met Alex, the love seems to knock on his door.
But Alex is – as charming as he is – also coming with burden, with a past he tries to escape. He tries to start a new life in the small town, doesn’t expect to meet the charming coffee shop owner – and certainly he never had expected to be engulfed bei his emotions.
Soon they have a bond, they share time and secrets together – at least Noah is open to Alex and things could be smooth. But emotions can be really rough.
I really liked this debut work but because it had a good, solid story, I have a few complains. 🙂 Whereas I was fond of the fast bonding of Alex and Noah, I felt it a little bit unbalanced. Noah is open, we get a lot of character development and information from him, but Alex is until the end nearly a closed case. He isn’t really outgoing in the first place, truth to say this makes him interesting but it also felt like this could have been a bit more developed. The part with his best friend is one important part, and while the idea is good, the setting is a bit ill-timed or could have been given more focus. Not to mention I had to take several deep breaths because of Alex’s behaviour.
Nonetheless I liked the way Noah was displayed, how his journey through his transition was a topic, informative, a huge part of him but not what defines him. The way how Alex react towards him is as well as pleasant as sweet, sexy and hot, too.
The way of how the book is written was also at first something I had to get into, not because it wasn’t smooth but it took a bit time to understand that the author uses a writing where he is telling something and in the following scene we get the same event told from the other person’s POV (not 1st person) and without being repetitive in a nosy way (at least I wasn’t annoyed). In fact it gaves you a better understanding of Alex and Noah, and as soon as you deal with it, you enjoy the writing, because it’s refreshing different.
Because of the mentioned few lacking things and missed opportunities, which would have smoothen the book, it was a good, solid debut work.
I really keep an eye of this author, and I can recommend it though. 🙂 4 out of 5 stars.