Something’s Brewing at Joe’s by S.J.D. Peterson
Review by Lauren
source: copy from Dreamspinner Press; all opinions are my own
Official Summary (add on Goodreads): 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.
Review: Going into this book, I expected a fairly straightforward romance, but there is actually a bit of suspense involved too, which was a nice surprise. This is a short, yet enjoyable read. Murphy is new to Tampa and agrees to help renovate an apartment until the business he moved there for is ready for him to begin. Before this renovation job, Murphy has what he believes to be a one night stand with a man named Joe, except he soon finds out that Joe owns the apartment and the coffee shop below it. Despite this surprise, the two slowly being a relationship. After all, Murphy won’t always be working for Joe, and he’s doing the renovation for free in order to live in the apartment.A coffee shop owner and new guy in town in Something's Brewing at Joe's. #bookreview #mmromance Click To Tweet
The problems begin when Joe realizes who Murphy is meant to be working for, which is headed by a man who has no respect for small businesses or the environment. Both men have strong personalities, and while Joe might get upset, Murphy isn’t one to let someone else tell him what to do. This certainly leads them to butt heads here and there, but it wasn’t overly dramatic in any way. It made the characters seem real and it allowed the two to navigate a relationship that was more than just the honeymoon phase. Obviously all relationships will have problems, so I appreciate when authors can show the characters dealing with an issue or two.