Title: Vodka & Handcuffs (Mary’s Boys #2)
Author: Brandon Witt
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: April 26, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 112
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Vahin Arora, Hamburger Mary’s sexy bartender, plays the flirtatious role so well even his closest friends—his chosen family at Mary’s—don’t realize Vahin hasn’t had a hookup in months. Then Tall, Dark, and Handsome steps through the door, and Vahin’s libido races back to life.
Being a black cop on the Denver police force is no easy job—Marlon Barton can’t imagine adding being gay to the equation. And while Marlon loves his work as an officer, his life has taken a turn for the hellish because of his new partner, the nephew of a senator.
Fleeing his partner’s company one night, Marlon stumbles into Mary’s for the first time… and wakes up with a hangover in the bartender’s bed. The one-night stand heats up into a budding romance, but not without stress as Marlon’s partner’s actions threaten Vahin’s livelihood and Marlon’s future on the force. Can Vahin and Marlon face the challenges and hold on to the love, friendship, and family they’ve found?
In the second book in Brandon Witt’s Mary’s Boys series, we’re back at the Mile High Hamburger Mary’s and ManDonna is still doing the best drag show in town. Vahin, the hot bartender (“Solid muscle. Skintight tank top. Wavy black hair. Glowing brown skin. Model face.”) is mixing up a batch of Cowboy Cocksuckers for the bachelorette party at the end of the bar. The other main character Marlon is a cop (“tall, deep black skin, short hair, strong jaw, and solid muscle) with a big baton and handcuffs, and yeah … he’s heard it all before.
But “Vodka & Handcuffs” isn’t a light fluffy romance, although there are a few steamy sex scenes. This story touches on tough choices and their consequences, getting to the point where you don’t hide, you step up and you live with it. I have to admit that I read this story 3 times – the first time for the story, thinking it would be light and fun; the second time to figure out why I was disappointed that the story wasn’t what I had somehow expected it to be; and the third time to read it fresh without preconceptions.
Now, having said that, I still didn’t like Marlon’s partner Andrew and felt he was just too over-the-top! I’m giving “Vokda and Handcuffs” 4 stars and looking forward to the next story about Zachary (Arial Merman).