Title: Cheeky Blonde
Author: Liz Crowe
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 141 pages
Heat Rating: Spicy
Rating: 5 Cups
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Violence, intrigue, and passion are brewing in the craft beer world. When bitter rivals Jennifer Baxter and Sean Garrison meet, the notorious and handsome owner of Garrison Brothers Brewing stays true to form, seducing his rival at a national brewer’s convention.
Sean arrived at the convention expecting to get down to business, including his stated goal of hiring Jen away from Brick Street Brewery. But the beautiful fellow craft beer expert provides more of a distraction than he expected.
When sabotage strikes their fellow breweries, they unite to solve the mysteries. But fate and rumors brew more than beer as love, lust, jealousy, and misunderstanding collide in a way neither could have expected or anticipated.
Can they overcome the malicious chatter long enough to explore the emotion bubbling beneath the surface? Or will lust fall flat and leave them nothing but memories of the moment that slipped away?
I will admit that I’m partial to Ms. Crowe’s beer books. My brother worked in the bar business and then beer business for over 15 years so I’m well versed in the basics of brewing, marketing and the tasting of beer. I love beer myself but sadly, can’t drink a lot of it anymore. Health issues you see. I’ve waited for at least 6 months for this book to come out and I was not disappointed. It had everything I like in a book. An engaging plot from the start, great sexual tension build up and the suspense element that was woven in was spot on.
Jen Baxter is an up and coming brewery owner that has a great reputation in the business. She a man in her life, sort of but once she sees the rock star of the beer business Sean Garrison, her life will never be the same. While trying to fight her attraction to Sean at a beer festival and keeping her wits about her, she is also trying to keep the green eyed monster at bay.
The scenes that took place at the festival were hilarious. Who knew that you could have that much none sex but still feel the sexual tension build up between two characters? Some of the best scenes with Jen and Sean were when they were NOT having any kind of sexual anything but the teasing, torture and flirting. Liz does a spectacular job of this with Jen and Sean. Yes, they are not celibate, there are other ways but the build up towards them in bed is spot on with me. Once you finally get there, it’s totally worth it and heartfelt.
The secondary characters flew off the page for me. They only enhanced the story and moved Jen and Sean along to their ending. I really felt for Dylan throughout the whole book. That said the scenes with Dylan and Julie are great. Do not skim over the scene at the brew house when they get home from the festival. Trust me. I couldn’t decide whether to squirm in my seat or laugh out loud. You figure it out for yourself. Liam, Sean brother is important to the story, too. As Sean’s sounding board and business partner, he has a stake in this, too.
The suspense element that Liz wove into the plot was interesting. Do not skip these scenes. They explain what is happening in the background with the saboteur and how it will all play out in the end. Plus, you might learn a thing or two. I sure did.
Overall, I loved this book. My biggest complaint was that I wish it were longer or that a sequel is coming. Yes, this book is over 141 pages but I’m greedy. Jen and Sean are two people that I could sit down with at a bar and become friends with over their competing beers. I felt connected with Jen, Sean, Dylan and yes, Sean’s ex-wife Victoria. Run, don’t walk to buy and read Cheeky Blonde. You will be glad that you did.
**Disclaimer: This book has been provided to Coffee Beans & Love Scenes (“CBLS”) Reviews free of charge by the author in exchange for an honest review of this title. No money has been exchanged for this review. This review reflects the opinion of the individual reviewer and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of any other CBLS reviewer or this blog’s owner, editor or administrator.