Secrets And High Spirits by Lou Harper

spirits
Secrets And High Spirits by Lou Harper
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (117 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Their love is an explosive cocktail—stirred, shaken, and served with a twist.

Secrets, Book 4

Teag and Bruce dream of opening their own bars, but that’s where the similarities end.

Teag, a popular bartender at West Hollywood’s hottest club, is willful, opinionated, and likes to take charge. He envisions his future bar as a boozy oasis for craft cocktails. Unfortunately, while he’s big on ideas, he’s short on funds.

Bruce, on the other hand, is a tower of pirate-tattooed muscle with a laid-back attitude. While he’s good with people, he’s a walking paradox—a wannabe boss with a weakness for bossy men.

Their partnership is a natural fit, but every time they meet, sparks fly as they rub each other the wrong way. Or is it the right way? In the heat of the moment, it’s hard to tell.

Between renovation pitfalls, meddling friends, and miles of police tape, Teag and Bruce struggle to keep their venture—and their budding relationship—from going up in flames. And not the good kind. More like the one on the top of a B52 shot.

Warning: Contains a whipcord-lean and whip-smart bartender who knows what he wants—and how hard he wants it—and a go-with-the-flow bar manager who secretly likes to be told how hard to give it.

Teag wants to open his own bar, but he’s on a very tight budget. Bruce has just found out the bar he works at is being sold and he’s also on the lookout for a space to open a bar of his own. When Teag and Bruce find themselves scouting out the same location, the sparks fly between them. Despite the fact they each rub the other the wrong way, Teag is determined to try and make his bar work. So he makes a proposition to Bruce – they co-own the new property and run the bar together.

This is an interesting story I found myself really drawn into. Teag and Bruce are both intrigued by each other, but they seriously butt heads initially. Watching them each lower their guard and look past the superficial surface was lovely. Each man needs what the other can give him – both romantically and professionally – but they’re both resistant to needing or relying on the other. I found it really lovely to read. The pacing is also quite good. I found it slightly slow in the beginning, but as it picks up speed I eagerly turned the pages faster and faster.

I liked how there were a few sub-plots revolving around the bar and renovation, previous lives of the location, normal hiccups in the renovation process and a strange mystery about who was trying to derail the project. I thought there was plenty to keep any reader hooked. I also liked how there was so much chemistry and tension between Teag and Bruce. There was a limited amount of sex scenes – the plot and characters were far more prominent – but the erotic scenes were mouth-wateringly hot and definitely a delight to read.

A fun, mostly lighthearted story I’d happily recommend it for M/M readers.

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