The promise of a dream job lures Murphy to Tampa, but he arrives to the rude awakening that the offer is on hold. Now he’s got two choices: slink back to Michigan with his tail between his legs or stay and look for work. Things perk up when he goes into a coffee shop and learns the owner is looking for someone to renovate the apartment above it. He happily takes the job, only later realizing he’s met Joe Sterling, Kaffeinate’s proprietor, before… when they hooked up at a club Murphy’s first night in Tampa.
Murphy and Joe are both proud, passionate, and outspoken. Neither is looking for a relationship, though they can’t deny they go together as well as coffee and doughnuts, in spite of their tempers. But that’s before Joe learns Murphy will be working for the corporation he believes is harming local businesses and the environment—and if Murphy will be supporting it, Joe will want nothing to do with him, dooming any possibility of an unexpected happy ending.
Chemistry. It’s an important factor in romance stories, and yet it’s not always prevalent. Murphy and Joe have it in spades. The first night they cross paths, their chemistry explodes and nearly takes out all the nearby innocent bystanders. It’s almost as if a warning sticker ‘highly combustible‘ should be smacked onto the cover of this story. Their passion is highly charged. I loved it!
Murphy is from Michigan *hip bump to my fellow Michigander* and looking for a fresh start. He’s not looking for a boyfriend or relationship, just blue skies, some sunshine, and a chance to kick off his career. When the job he trekked south for is put on hold, he realizes the holes in his plan. Whoops! He has no money and no backup plan, just a burning desire to not fail and fall flat on his face. Putting his shaky future aside, he goes out for a night of clubbing and runs into the most amazing man. It’s funny what complete and utter stratification can do to black clouds that were looming overhead. Lucky gift number one. While sipping a steamy cup at a local coffee shop the next morning his second good fortune is bestowed upon him. He quickly accepts a small remodel job for the coffee shop and throws himself into the demo. The job should take a couple of weeks which should cover him until his real job starts. Things are looking up again. That is until he meets the mystery owner of the shop. But Joe’s not a stranger after all. Murphy can’t work for a man he’s sleeping with. However, he can’t seem to control his physical reactions to Joe either. If only keeping his hands (and mouth) to himself was his only problem. Something is about to go down and Murphy might be able to stop it, but it’s gonna cost him. One way or another he’s going to lose and he doesn’t know which hit he should take. *shiver* It’s so exciting!
I really enjoyed the writing and smooth paced story. It doesn’t take long and the mysterious thread is revealed. It’s fairly straightforward and simple; it’s about choices. Should Murphy allow a brand new face in his life the power to impact his future? Why does Joe think he can influence the decisions Murphy makes? But what if this ‘thing’ with Joe could be…it? They are so good together, could this be his chance at happily ever after? When do you put it all on the line and just go for it? And what happens if you’re too late? Oh me, oh my, so many questions. I liked the fact that things weren’t given easily and they had to work for it. Sprinkle in some snark and sass and I was one happy reader.
The speed Joe and Murphy fall is near lightning, but I was on board the entire time. I never questioned how quickly things progressed, that was Murphy’s job. He was thrown off kilter because he wasn’t looking for this indisputable electricity he has with Joe. It irritates him because he didn’t want it but then he got it…and now he needs it. Joe accepts that what they have is special mainly because the ladies in his life tell him so. And even if he doesn’t always trust himself, he has complete confidence in them. Joe and Murphy burn red-hot from the very beginning and it only scorched brighter as things progressed. I loved watching them helplessly fall. I adored Joe from the get-go, as well as his coffee shop and crew. Murphy is equally blessed with a great family and co-workers. Besides the slimy bad guy, all of the characters are pretty lovable. All in all, there’s a lot to love here.
An abundance of smexy. These two are H.O.T. for each other. It’s quite possible Kaffeinate spikes their brew with Viagra because they just can’t stop attacking each other. Didn’t bother me in the slightest but if gropey hands and lots of…bones aren’t your thing, you may want to move along. Both guys also have short tempers and walk the line of anger control issues, I think they need to switch to decaf every once in a while!
If you are looking for a sweet, sexy and easy read, you should add this to your list. Just remember it’s….hot stuff!