Tap: A Love Story - Tracy Ewens
My Review - 4 Stars
Cade and Sistine have been firmly in the friends camp but as is wont to happen, they start seeing each other in a different light.
Cade is a hot bartender and has no problem with being unattached but it’s quickly clear that he’s more than his good looks. He listens to grammar podcasts, for crying out loud! And yet he’s rarely taken seriously by his family, even though he runs a third of their brewery. I was really frustrated on his behalf when his family and friends couldn’t truly see him. At the same time, Cade needed a push to take himself more seriously as well.
After an ex posts a half naked photo of him on Instagram, Cade starts thinking it might be time for a change. He gets two hens and a rooster who will be the brewery mascots and starts taking social media and blogging more seriously. And he also starts thinking about whether it might be time to settle down and consider marriage and a family. But then he also has to think about whether his bad boy playboy image impacts his ability to find a woman worth marrying. I really liked this examination of the image he presents to the world and how it helps and hinders him.
That same examination is at play with Sistine. Sistine owns Knitterly, a knitting shop in financial straits. She’s quirky but also confident in who she is and who she is not. At the same time, she keeps her secrets and her troubles to herself, even though she has a great group of friends she could lean on. This was really hard to see because Sistine essentially makes a deal with the devil to get out of debt. I never fully understood her reasoning, especially once the truth came out. I can understand desperation and I can understand making hard choices that land you in hot water but she needed to do much more due diligence first and this made me super frustrated with her.
Cade and Sistine are both more than who they seem and I loved how they could truly see and appreciate one another. Even though Sistine was reluctant to get involved, there was no resisting Cade in the end. I loved his determined pursuit of her. Their relationship did progress faster than I would have preferred, particularly with the novel’s resolution, but overall I enjoyed this one a great deal.
The books can be read as standalones but I think you’ll appreciate Tap even more if you read Brew and Smooth first. I adore this series!
If only life were as simple as a clever pickup line.
Cade McNaughton is the last man standing. His brothers have all found love. Despite his recent oh-so-revealing Instagram nightmare and his family’s subsequent disappointment, Cade is ready to fall for a woman who cares more about the last book he read and less about his body. But amid the buzz and banter of tending Foghorn Brewery’s bar, Cade is not exactly settle-down material. All that’s about to change, starting with buzzing off his fauxhawk and sporting a cardigan that has everyone talking.
Sistine Branch has more bills than money, yet she’s fine eating barbecue chips for dinner if it means keeping her knitting shop open. But when her lights go out and the electrician puts a ten-thousand-dollar price tag on renovations, Sistine’s back is against an old and crumbling wall. For the past two years, she’s relied solely on herself, which makes selling out to the one woman from her past who can ruin everything the worst decision ever.
Cade and Sistine are backgammon and end-of-the-bar friends. One rejection, a literal fall into Cade’s arms, and a dinner date with farm animals has them enmeshed in feelings neither thought possible. But, it only takes one lie, a literal fall from grace, and a date with the she-devil to unravel everything they’ve come to know.
If they want a real shot, they’ll need to start from the beginning and realize that love is often a tangled mess, sometimes a funny T-shirt, but never perfect.
Note: Each Love Story is a standalone. There are some shared characters throughout the books (siblings, friends, etc.) Closely related books are often distinguishable by the similar covers. The book order so far is as follows:
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Disclosure: I received an advance copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. Affiliate links included in this post.