Series: Brawlers #3
Publisher: Hostile Whispers Press
Publication date: May 16, 2017
Length: 195 pages
Reviewed by Meredith
Welcome to Brawlers Bar...
They said men only get better with age, all distinguished and all that BS, but Archer “Bulletproof” Woods hadn’t gotten better. At fifty-six he was still as much an asshole as he’d been in his twenties and thirties, hell, maybe he was worse. Being a bouncer at a bar called Brawlers suited him just fine, and he even tolerated the rest of the crew who’d taken up residence in his house when they’d had nowhere else to go. He was big, growly and homely that kept the parade of men passing through Brawlers at arm’s length for the past decade. One night changed all that.
What he’d thought was happily ever after turned into a nearly five-year nightmare. Gregory Charles appeared to have it all, a successful business, sophistication, and a perfect marriage. His friend and best employee, Landon, begged him to come out to a friend’s bar to celebrate Landon’s anniversary. What could it hurt? A night without contemplating the hell that would come down on him the moment he served his husband with divorce papers would do him good. That is until he met the brooding older man staring into a whiskey straight ignoring everyone around him.
Watching for trouble was his job, and Gregory screamed mistake as soon as the long, lean and handsome man sat down beside him. But he also knew when someone was in over their head, and Gregory needed someone to watch his back. That someone was Bull, only time would tell if he’d have to fight Gregory as much as the man after him.
I want to be "reviewer professional" when it comes to this review but the fangirl in me is trying to bust through. Why? BECAUSE IT'S BULL! I have been waiting for this silver fox daddy for what feels like ages!!! So, when it came time for his turn I was so freaking excited! He is worth the wait.
Through all the books we see him as a "father figure" in a sense. A bit meaner and he always threatens to evict his "sons" but yeah, he's the oldest and he allows them to dwell there. But he loves them. He busts their balls but he'd jump in front of a bullet for anyone of his guys.
When we meet Gregory we know something is seriously wrong. It doesn't take long to find out what- the what will break your heart- and when Landon needs help saving his boss, he goes to Bull. Bull is a fixer and by the end of this book you will adore him and Gregory so much you won't want it to end.
There was a conflict for Bull and Gregory. It came in the form of their age difference. This was their personal issue. And I saw both sides of it but I'm ridiculously unjudgemental and slapped those boys in the back of the head. The sex? Oh, sweet baby Jesus! *fans self* Kinky and all the "OH, DADDY!" Prepare yourselves.
There's also suspense here. And probably one of the most suspenseful books to date. I loved it so much. I was sweating and nervous and on the edge of my seat for it. I can't give anything away but there's justice to be served in this one for sure.
JM Dabney doesn't write stories about super models and six pack guys. These are raw, gritty, real people. They have scars, and bellies, they have age and emotional issues. They all have an ugly story that has made them who they are. But with each passing book JM gives each heathen their prince and a happily ever after!
The sun began to crest above the tree line as Archer “Bulletproof” Woods squeezed his hand around the water bottle he wished was an ice-cold beer or a glass of bourbon. The plastic crinkled and threatened to collapse in his big hand. It was ten years, two months and thirteen days since his last drink. Most days he got through it without thinking about it, but moments like tonight it clawed at his gut and was a rage he barely suppressed.
Every night at work he ended his shift by staring into a double of his favorite bourbon. Reminding himself of why he was sober. Repeating the count and adding a new day, yet tonight he’d almost taken that drink. Imagined savoring the smoky burn as aged liquor flowed over his tongue and down his throat. Bull would let it warm all the places that were cold inside him—the dead places.
At eighteen he’d done what was expected of him. He’d married his high school sweetheart. Polly, a beautiful blonde with a figure most men would’ve drooled over, but not him. Bull had loved her like a friend, even after all these years they were still friends. It wasn’t long after the wedding he’d enlisted in the Marines. He had hoped it would have saved them from a miserable life together. That was nineteen-seventy-nine, he’d hopped a bus to boot camp and left a pregnant, frightened wife behind.
He’d served his country for twenty years before he’d retired and followed in his father’s footsteps as a blacksmith. Bull had been an asshole for most of his life. Muscular and macho, his sexuality above reproach. All the while he’d made him and his family suffer.
Forty-three years he’d lived in the closet, drank away his pain and denied to everyone including himself what he actually wanted. After over two decades of marriage, he’d asked for a divorce and drunkenly confessed to Polly he was gay. She’d accepted it quicker than he’d thought. They’d both lived in the hell of his making. Even if he couldn’t be happy, he wanted Polly and their son Hank to have a chance.
It had been thirteen years since he’d made the confession. The first couple of years he had stumbled his way along, one hookup after another, and it wasn’t what he’d expected. His coming out should have brought him a sense of freedom, but that’s not what he got.
He had been an alcoholic in his early forties; Bull was passed his prime and only trying to move on.
Over a decade later, Bull consisted of harsh, rough edges. A face that told his journey in deep lines and faded scars. He wasn’t pretty or soft, neither was he handsome. Bull was just homely and old at fifty-six. Security in a gay biker bar, nothing especially noteworthy. He played father to a group of men who lived in his house who were just as damaged as him.
The warmth of the sunrise touched his face, and he squinted his eyes. Bull should go inside and get some sleep, yet he didn’t want to crawl into his empty bed only to await his nightmares which never stopped raging inside him. Taunted by his regrets and where he thought he should be.
With a deep exhale, he pushed up from the rocking chair, turned to jerk open the screen door and walked inside. He made a detour in the kitchen to toss his water bottle in the recycle bin. The beautiful Twitch ran the house like his own. Twitch was a bartender at Brawlers and was married to the Head of Security, Crave. Their bosses, Scary and Tank stepped down to spend more time with their husband.
He headed for his bedroom on the second floor and once he was in his room he kicked the door shut behind him. Bull pushed his unbuttoned jeans off his hips and down his legs, then kicked them off. He crawled into his unmade bed and laid down, crossed his arms under his head.
His home turned into a Brawlers’ Crew halfway house. For a decade, he’d given the crew with no family or place of their own a home. He wouldn’t admit it, but he liked having other people in the house. It wasn’t so quiet. It was the distraction he needed.
Hunter was the newest member of the crew. He hadn’t quite figured out that boy yet. The man could fuck up breathing.
Psycho who lived up to his name most of the time moved into the cottage on the other side of the fence with his boyfriend a few months before, along with Bernie, Psycho’s ex-wife, and Bernie’s wife. They’d decided to co-parent a brood of potential kids. Stacey found out a few months ago she was pregnant. Shocked the fuck out of them all. They’d tried once. Apparently, Psycho wasn’t shooting dust like Bernie accused.
To be honest, how the fuck Crave and Psycho found men baffled him. Bull had gotten to the point he couldn’t even find a fuck for the night. Although a few months of abstinence had turned into two years without more than his left hand to get off. He’d come out to have more than that, but it hadn’t worked out as he’d thought. His sobriety hadn’t given him the opportunity to find a man of his own.
JM Dabney will gift one person with a $20.00 Amazon gift card!
Enter the rafflecopter below.
Contest will end May 25th
Thank youa Rafflecopter giveaway