Title: Speed Dating the Boss (Cowboys and Angels #1)
Author: Sue Brown
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 26, 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 204 pages
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Will a mix of privilege and blue collar be a recipe for love… or disaster?
Dan’s pretty satisfied with his job at the working-class bar Cowboys and Angels. He enjoys his simple life, his apartment, and his cat, but he could do without the fights that break out in the bar, his boss’s meddling daughter, Ariel… oh, and a brutal, unrequited crush on his straight alpha boss, Gideon.
When Dan’s friend prepares to tie the knot, everyone insists that Dan needs a date for the wedding. Before he can protest, Ariel arranges a gay speed-dating event at the bar with Gideon as a participant. The unforeseen revelation that Gideon is bisexual raises Dan’s hopes, especially when Gideon announces that he wants to accompany Dan to the wedding. Could Gideon really be interested in Dan.
When Dan needs someone most, Gideon offers his unconditional support, and with genuine commitment, he shows Dan the kind of man he really is. Teaming up to save the wedding from a hungover groom and intolerant parents, can Gideon convince Dan they’re the best match since beer and pizza?
Blurb sums up the book fairly well (which as a reader I appreciate). Dan has been working full time at Angels and Cowboys as a bartender for the last five years while taking college courses to get his degree. He has an unrequited crush on Gideon – tall, dark, handsome, widowed with a now 21-year-old daughter and is straight.
Except when Dan finds out Gideon is bi and will be Dan’s date to his best friend’s wedding. Suddenly Dan’s neatly compartmentalized world isn’t quite so neat and tidy any more.
When I started reading this, I was a little antsy at the pacing. The plot development felt slow, like it was taking forever to get around to this speed dating event. After a while I was able to settle into the pacing, plot and characters and this became an enjoyable sweet read. The kind of book you can just sink into on a lazy afternoon.
Aspects I liked: there is a subtle thread of humor that pops up in unexpected places – the mani-pedi theme, the professional hair cut and shave, and Dan’s cat. I thought the cast of characters was nicely balanced, with a splash of a variety of personalities. Dan has a bestie, but it’s not a “tell all” bestie and there is a give/take in the relationship.
Aspects I didn’t care for: Gideon’s blasé attitude about Arial causing fights in the bar and the subsequent damage did not sit well with me. There is letting your daughter get away with anything, but when it’s endangering employees and patron’s well being, which is unbecoming of a business owner. Also felt it was unrealistic at how quickly Dan and gang could “repair” the damage after a fight. As Dan’s relationship with Gideon moved from employee to boyfriend, even though they’d been pining for each other for five years, the “I love you” declarations felt too soon.
On top of that, I didn’t like how Dan kept hurting Gideon emotionally once Gideon committed to the Wedding Date. Gideon was putting himself out there, saying, ‘yeah, I like you and I’d like to know you better’, yet Dan kept trying to push him away after five years of crushing on the guy.
So given the above, it might seem liked I didn’t care for the book, but rest assured I did. I really did enjoy this. It was sweet, it had just the right emotional engagement, no big dramatic misunderstanding (which I despise with a passion), and interesting characters. I would be very interested in reading the next in the series.
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