Thursday, September 03, 2015

Review: The Bouncer by A.J. LLewellyn

the bouncer

Title ~ The Bouncer

Author ~ A.J. LLewellyn

Publisher ~ Pride Publishing

Published ~ 1st September 2015

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance (contains scenes of M/M/M)



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Kevin Branigan thought he was moving to Austin, Texas, for a job. Instead, he got a life.

Kevin Branigan begins a new life in Austin, Texas, working as a bouncer at his brother’s bar. A teacher by trade, he’s had a hard time getting work and is still hurt over a catastrophic break-up. Doing something completely different seems like a great idea, and being close to his brother, Jack, and Jack’s husband, Tito, is another benefit to his changed circumstances. 

Things are looking up until Tito intervenes in a drunken fight at the bar one night. Tito stops a patron from beating up his girlfriend, but it could be very bad if news gets out that Tito, a retired boxer, slugged the guy. Kevin takes the fall, and winds up being arrested. 

Sentenced to community service in a gay church, Kevin begins to think that the signs are all bad. However, late one night at the bar, he’s seduced into a hot threesome with two of his co-workers. He finds himself drawn into this dangerous mix, as well as to a hunky undercover cop, Cruz Dixon. Unfortunately Cruz appears to have a boyfriend. Or does he? Can Kevin win over Cruz, who’s captured his heart and his mind? Can he really make a life for himself in the World Capital of Music? Or are his days as Austin’s newest bouncer numbered?

Reader Advisory: This books contains scenes of ménage a trois, ménage a quatre and voyeurism.

Publisher's Note: This book has previously been released by Totally Bound Publishing. It has been expanded, revised and re-edited for re-release with Pride Publishing.


Liza’s Review

Kevin has headed to Austin to start a new life with his brother Jack who is married to Tito. The two men own a bar and Kevin has agreed to work as the bouncer there. He's a big man and it's not a difficult job. After Kevin's disastrous affair with Larry, a guy he was supposed to marry, he is surprising himself by checking out the local talent.

Now there was a guy who could put the hitch back into my giddyup.

Kevin is into signs, as in signs from some higher power, which is cute but a little strange. Good sign - the smell of coffee; bad sign- snow dripping down his neck when he was thinking about his ex. As this story is told in first person from Kevin's point of view, you get all of them. But he has quite a romantic turn of phrase.

I hoped for a new life here...and for a man to kiss me as though he would be shipwrecked without me.

Because Tito was a boxer with a mean ex-wife, when he hits a guy who had been hitting his wife, Kevin takes the charges for him. He also gets involved in a threesome with two of the bar waiters - he's having fun, sort of, but he can't help but be attracted to this cop (Cruz) who seems to keep turning up at all sorts of weird places, like the airport, the drycleaners and places like that. The kids business was really hard to read - I hate hearing about mother's who use their children as pawns in some sick game about money, and Tito's ex was the worse in my opinion.

The relationship between Cruz and Kevin was hard to get a handle on - not only because of the two waiters who were still in on the action, but also because we only get the story from Kevin's point of view. I would have loved to have known what Cruz thought when he saw Kevin for the first time, or how he reacted to the lack of phone calls. The issue with the children did get sorted, thanks to Cruz, and that was one positive, but if you are looking for escapism, this probably isn't the book for you. The author writes with a strong realistic style, peppered with many details about Austin itself, which was interesting, but I found the character connection that I was looking for hard to find.

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