Thursday, January 26, 2017

Release Blitz: Hipster Brothel by K. A. Merikan ~ (Review + Giveaway)

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 50,000 words


The lumberjack of his dreams is now available for rent.

Mr. B has always been a safe guy for Jo to crush on. He’s the cutest bearded lumber-god to salivate over. Add to that his friendly, outgoing personality, and Mr. B might just be the first guy Jo would be willing to kiss. Fortunately, Mr. B has been in a relationship for years, and Jo is no home-wrecker.

But when Mr. B breaks up with his partner and all of a sudden is single, available, and talks about his plans to be sexually adventurous, Jo isn’t so sure anymore if he has the guts to come out as bisexual.

After a sour breakup, Mr. B wants to show his ex that he’s independent, exciting, and can do very well without him. His best friend Jo is there to the rescue, and they come up with a great new business venture. One thing they lack to start their own line of artisanal boozy jams - money for the investment.

After a drunken brainstorming session, Mr. B finds a way to both gather the cash and show the middle finger to his ex. He will create a one of a kind Hipster Brothel - The Lumbersexual Experience - offering wood chopping lessons, pipe smoking, and a reclaimed wood bed where the magic happens. It’s bound to be a success… if only Mr. B can go through with it, because the mixed signals from Jo are making him wonder if his best friend is as straight as he always seemed.

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author/publisher for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

Jo is bisexual and deeply in the closet regarding his interest in men but things may change now that his best friend, Mr. B, is finally single. Jo noticed Mr. B the first time he saw him at Crossfit, and since Mr. B was already in a relationship, Jo settled on friendship. Mr. B is now single and jobless after his long relationship ends with his partner, Mr. A. When Jo shows up at the train car Mr. B is living in, he and Mr. B have an evening of drinking and coming up with business ideas Mr. B. could now pursue. The idea of making artisanal boozy jams is good but neither man has the money for a start-up. Somehow the men decide that Mr. B will decorate and fix up the train car and use it as a brothel/escort type business where he can offer the Lumberjack experience. The next morning Jo thinks the previous night's ideas were a joke but Mr. B is ready with plans on what comes next.

Jo doesn't support the idea and is jealous, but ends up helping Mr. B work in on his brothel, until one day he decides to show Mr. B how he feels. Mr. B has never allowed himself to think about his feelings or attraction to Jo because he believes he's straight. He's surprised by what happens between them and when he tries to talk to Jo, Jo is a poor communicator about it. After the misunderstanding, the men keep a distance from each other until they can't anymore. Only, when Jo does explain his bisexuality and expresses interest in a relationship, he does so wanting to stay in the closet and hide his interest. The men have to work around what each of them wanting to find some happiness.

I had some difficulty getting into this story, but with a background in working around zoning, I kept questioning where this story could take place that would allow rail cars in a field, or on someone's farm. Plus be close enough to be able to bike everywhere. Seriously, it was distracting for me throughout the story, but a normal person will not have this issue. :) This book is a friends-to-lovers romance where what angst there is, is all caused by miscommunication. It seemed like the guys had a great friendship and had spent a lot of time together before the romance began, so the continuous lack of communication between the two was surprising. But, you get to see two friends finally get their act together and communicate with each other, and you get a very sweet epilogue!

Rating: 4 stars

5 Stars! 

Looks like KAM are going off in yet another direction that I'm loving - sweet, romantic, feel good tale that ends in *the* kind of HEA I love.

I love that I never, ever for sure know what I'll get with a KAM tale. I mean, I love their stuff and yes, with an established series like GnB, I know I'll get un-PC stuff, hot sex, violence and stuff that's kind of hard to stomach, but with each standalone, it's a magical voyage of discovery. I thought that their recent lovers reunited tale, I Love You More Than Pierogi, was sweet and romantic, but this, this surpasses that in every way, and has finally managed to make me look at a beard without being grossed-out.

This is a tale of an out and proud gay guy, Bernard aka Mr. B, who's just lost his job and been dumped by his boyfriend, and his 'straight' friend Jo. Jo's all about looks, fashion and being trendy, and they've been platonic friends ever since they met at Crossfit. Mr. B gets the idea that he has to remake himself post-break up and decides that he'll start work on a range of alcoholic jams and set up a brothel where hipster types can get the lumbersexual experience. Jo wants to support his friend, and is all for helping him, but the feelings he's had for his friend for a long time, despite being 'straight', are starting to burst their dam and he makes a move, taking their relationship to a whole new level.

It would have been so easy to make this tale a cliché, but KAM avoided that by making her characters so guileless and sweet, without any of the tropes that are so often seen in tales with bi leads or GFY tales. I loved how Mr. B was conflicted about this new side to his friend that he was finding himself attracted to, and I liked that Joe had not unreasonable concerns about how he'd be viewed by friends and family and that he felt a little guilty about his ex-girlfriend being hurt when she heard - he was a really sweet, decent person, and he was rather young and a little immature in some things, though, towards the end of the book, he'd grown a pair, had manned up and was 100% ready to commit to himself and Mr. B as a couple.

Mr. B was one of the sweetest, most genuine, most decent, most upstanding, most likeable and sexiest leads I've come across in romance and I was firmly under his spell from the minute he appeared in the doorway of his 'train'/caravan. There was absolutely nothing artificial about him, and he was open and wholly committed once he realised his feelings for Joe.

This tale ends in the guys living their HEA, two years or a little over from when they got together, about to embark on the next phase of their lives. I loved the little contemp things that KAM threw into the epilogue (and the tale), like #, 'shipping', their own YouTube channel, a career in the public eye that they both liked, their following and how they made 'them' work, both personally and professionally. Whilst I love whatever KAM dishes up for me, this has to be one of their BEST EVER tales, up there for me with GnB and I Love You More Than Pierogi, and the upcoming The Black Sheep And The Rotten Apple.

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Author Bio

K. A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are taken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite pushing thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.

They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.

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