Man Walks into a Bar (CrabbyPatty’s Review)

Title: Man Walks into a Bar: A Trio of Short Stories
Author: Lissa Ford
Publisher: Lissa Ford Books
Release Date: January 19, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary
Page Count: 93
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Blurb:

Three spicy-sweet stories of unexpected encounters that turn into something more…

Insta-lust. Secret attractions. Boozy bar hookups. They’re all here in a trio of contemporary m/m romances perfect for a night in.

New Yorker Jake Winthrop gets nailed for speeding along the rural back roads of eastern North Carolina. But when he again encounters Landry Blue, the hot-as-hell trooper who tagged him, at the local watering hole, let’s just say the lawman has more on his mind than keeping the peace. Once Jake gets a taste of Blue’s brand of Southern hospitality, he starts wanting more. Can Jake convince Blue to give their relationship a shot? Or does Blue want Jake to keep on driving, right out of his life?

Living in a small town meant that Bo Hinkle had to put up with childhood nemesis, Hank Womack, his whole life. But when Womack steals the Hinkle family’s championship chili recipe and uses it to win the village’s famous chili cookoff contest for himself, the line between sort-of-kind-of-hot-asshat and downright shady has been crossed. After a lifetime of rivalry, Bo vows teach Womack a lesson he won’t forget.

Garrett Ziegler’s life was upended when a workplace romance derailed a promising career in finance. So it’s just Garrett’s luck when he learns the cute Los Angeles hipster he hooked up with for a mindblowing one-night-stand turns out to be the founder of a private equity firm, and said firm was in the final stages of interviewing Garrett for his dream job. Garrett has to convince venture capitalist Anthony Sendejo that their encounter was a random accident, and that Garrett’s romantic history wasn’t repeating itself. Trouble is, Tony isn’t convinced. And Garrett’s words ring hollow because as tempting as the job is, Tony is even more enticing. Is Garrett about to screw up his life again because he slept with the boss?

A 35,000 word collection. Each spicy story contains adult matters and are intended for mature audiences.

A man walks into a bar … and in Lissa Ford’s novella of three short stories meets a sexy North Carolina Trooper, a tall ginger with a buff bod, and a bearded hipster in flannel.

Jake’s Story – Traveling to a short-term carpentry job, Jake meets North Crolina Trooper Landry Blue and they become fuck buddies for Jake’s week in town. The sex is very primal dirty sexy with a backdrop of Carolina humidity and the slow pace of a small southern town. Ultimately very sweet and a well-deserved HFN/HEA for those two down-to-earth guys. 4 flames and 4 stars.

Bo’s Story – Set in upstate New York with the backdrop of a small town Chili Cookoff, Bo’s story is all kinds of sweet and peppery. Bo and Hank Womack grew up together, but Bo despises Hank and his “championship” chili recipe which Bo just knows is stolen from Bo’s grandma. But all it takes to make a good chili (and relationship) is a little spice, a secret ingredient or two (“My meat is always tender and juicy.” Womack leaned over, murmuring for Bo’s ears alone. “Especially the tip.”) and enough time for everything to develop into something wonderful. 1 flames and 4 stars.

Garrett’s Story – Set in LA, bearded hipster in flannel meets reformed man slut trying to restart his career after sleeping with the CFO … while dating the CEO … and losing his investment banking job. After incredibly hot sex with a one-night-stand on a penthouse suite balcony, Garrett turns up for the interview, only to learn he apparently needs a refreshing course in two very important lessons: Don’t shit where you eat. And never, ever, date the boss. Unlike the other two stories, we only get one POV (Garrett) here and their romance doesn’t feel as emotional. 3 flames and 3 stars.

This is a fun triology to read – each story has a different slant on a familiar situation and although brief, the stories feel complete. Jake’s Story was my favorite, with Bo’s Story a close second. Garrett’s Story lowered the curve a bit, but no worries. Read this book – I think you’ll enjoy it!

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Man Walks Into a Bar provided by the author in exchange of an honest review.

Author

Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas

I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend.

My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh … not in my wheelhouse, but I’m a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre.

Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more.

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