Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review and giveaway for a sexy new M/M romance out today from the writing team of KA Merikan. HIPSTER BROTHEL is a sweet and tender friends-to-lovers romance that struck me straight to the heart.
Catch my review below, and get in on the book giveaway, too!
About the book:
— 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 would happen. 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.
WARNING: Explicit content, strong language. A shameless amount of buzzwords. May cause second-hand embarrassment.
Jo Lau has crushed on his gay best friend, Mr. B, since the day they met at the Crossfit gym four years ago. B was living with his boyfriend and boss, Mr. A, until this day–when B called Jo over to his soon-to-be-renovated boxcar home on the edge of his brother’s farm to commiserate. Jo’s been all-fired mad at Mr. A for the past year, when he convinced B to “open” their relationship. Mr. B’s a one-may-guy, and the distance grew between these long-term lovers until it just couldn’t sustain their relationship any longer. Unsure if now is the time Jo, a bisexual who’s never been with a man before, confesses his deep attraction to Mr. B. he tries to be the bestest of best friends, instead; they get trashed on Mr. B’s homemade moonshine and discuss his next plans.
Wanting to throw off the shackles of commitment, Mr. B proposes a new sexual awakening, and becoming an escort to raise capital for a line of alcohol-infused jams that he and Jo could sell. It’s a terrible idea, Jo thinks, but he doesn’t know how to object without revealing his own interest in Mr. B. Helping B build his escort business is a supreme conflict of interest for Jo, who only wants to cuddle his bestie and build a quiet life together. Jo’s sure he and Mr. B are really compatible, but the idea of coming out is…difficult. He’s known he was bisexual since his teens, yet, having always dated women, he’s afraid to seem as if he was gay, and lying about it. He’s seen how those sort of revelations have upset his friends, and he doesn’t want to do that. Still, he’s unable to completely mask his attraction, and when he makes his move on B, well, it’s hot, but it’s not exactly good.
Mr. B thinks Jo’s just using him as an experiment, and that hurts both of them, because B has had a big crush on Jo, too. He can’t get caught up in the drama of being a straight man’s fling, though. Not if he’s going to remain friends with Jo, or get his escort service off the ground. The closer they get, though, the more Jo doesn’t want B to be anyone else’s sex-lumberjack for hire. He want’s B all to himself. And that leads to both sabotage, and denial–which fractures their friendship and budding romance.
I really loved these guys, and I could see the good in each man. I wanted to hate Mr. A, too, like Jo does, but man, that guy was far better than B or Jo gave him credit for, at the very least. The interracial aspect wasn’t explicitly defined, but I did snicker when Jo’s tipped off by the bartender at the gay bar that he doesn’t want to get scooped by the Asian fetishist in the corner. There was a good bit of discussion regarding Jo’s “exotic look,” but it seemed in context with his austere clothing choices and long black hair worn in a top-knot, not particularly reflecting his Chinese heritage. His mother’s acceptance of Mr. B as a lover to her son was heartening, and funny. For readers fearing the “escort” trope, rest assured that Mr. B and Jo are really all about each other.
This friends-to-lovers romance comes together in sweet and believable ways, and I loved how their close friendship was able to weather the ups-and-downs of the getting together business. Each man had the others’ best interests at heart, I felt, and they were so sad when separated! Lots of whoo boy! sexy moments, and an HEA to last a lifetime.
Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a backlist KA Merikan book.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!
About the Authors:
K.A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are mistaken 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 being over 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.