Title: Bartender P.I.
Author: Ethan Stone
Publisher: Self Published
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: Novella/134 PDF pages/24.8K words
Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
Review Summary: A ton of rollicking good fun – the most fun I have had in a long time in a book.
When hockey star Linc Carpenter is banned from playing his beloved sport, he starts over in Tampa. Master of the mixed metaphor, Linc knows he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. He’s a lousy bartender, but doesn’t know what else to do until he gets a shot at being a private investigator.
If he can prove that wealthy fashion designer Quentin Faulkner is cheating on his wife, this case will earn him big money. Faulkner’s bodyguard, Brady Williams, proves to be the biggest hindrance to completing his assignment, other than his own ineptitude. Linc is shocked when Brady admits to being attracted to him. He’s even more shocked when Brady turns down immediate sex because he’s looking for so much more. Will their new relationship survive the dangers of this case?
Have you ever read a book and wondered where it was going and whether you would end up in quick sand with the MCs? That’s what I thought when I started this story which is quite a departure for Ethan Stone who writes mostly dramas. In Bartender P.I. his hero Linc Carpenter would probably misspell “drama” – or he might unintentionally call it something entirely different, but he was such a big lovable lug that I couldn’t stop reading because I wanted to see how he would extricate himself from his numerous self made disasters.
After being fired as a defenseman in the NHL (National Hockey League) for being caught banging his son by the former NHL Commissioner, Linc didn’t have many career options since he wasn’t very bright and had devoted his entire life to hockey. What’s an ex hockey player with limited career options to do in order to earn a living? Get a job as a bartender and learn how to mix drinks on the job, and as a side career become a private investigator. First, Linc sucked as a bartender so it was taking your life, taste buds and stomach in your hands if you actually drank what he mixed. Second, he wasn’t really a P.I., he was in training, but when a job landed in his lap with the possibility of making lots of money by getting the goods on a straying husband, he couldn’t say “no.”
From the very beginning Linc’s new P.I. assignment went in the wrong direction. Every move he made to catch his client’s husband Quentin Faulkner in the act was thwarted by Brady Williams, Faulkner’s bodyguard. To complicate matters Linc was very attracted to Brady and instead of keeping his eyes on the ball he was looking at Brady’s balls and Brady tripped him up effortlessly at every turn. Linc was incredibly inept and I laughed so hard my sides hurt. How could one man self destruct at every turn? It wasn’t that Brady was always two steps ahead of him but he made the dumbest moves. I won’t tell you about Linc’s best work because you have to experience him without a filter. I will only say that despite being dumb and having no aspirations to be a member of Mensa he solved the mystery of the cheating husband without any help but a love of soap operas.
Linc liked to use big words when something a lot smaller and simpler would do, and his malapropisms will have you in stitches. I don’t think I have read any books where one character singlehandedly destroyed the English language and I’m sure the author had a lot of fun.
I didn’t like one scene in the book but I have been told that that was my fault because I have no understanding of soaps, therefore I have modified my comment. I still feel that the scene was OTT and the way the other characters were treated was heartless, but apparently this is a soap tradition so I bow to the experts and have changed my rating for this book. 🙂
If you’re looking for a book that will make you laugh out loud (please don’t read Bartender P.I. on the subway, or other riders will think you’re crazy) 🙂 and a hero who is just too silly for words, you don’t have far to go. Ethan Stone delivers in Bartender P.I. Most of you will probably expect lots of sex because this author’s books are known to be fornication city 🙂 however, except for the prologue you will be surprised that this story relies on comedy more than sex to win over readers.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book except for the one hiccup and I think you will love Linc’s and Brady’s romance which was not your usual run of the mill affair. There is a scene between them on the ice that was tender as well as hot and it showed that Brady really loved and understood his man, or as he called him – Rainbow Brite. All of the characters were well drawn and I particularly liked Tyson, Linc’s mentor and boss.
The story is told in Linc’s first person POV and you couldn’t want a more “eloquent” narrator as he was never at a loss for words. 😆
Update: I was told by an expert on soaps (Buda) that I should be more understanding of what makes a good soap opera so I have revised my review and rating. He felt that I was a little harsh. 🙂 I confess I don’t watch soaps so my knowledge of them is sadly lacking. Off to take lessons from our in-house expert. 😆