Note: This ARC was provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review.
Sexy with lots of sharp wit and humor and a surprising amount of angst—but nothing overboard—and you’ve got yourself the first Naked Brews story in the form of Deliciously Smooth, which it actually was. Written under the pseudonym of KB Jacobs—who is actually two established authors—I’m guessing that the series is about three best friends who work together at Naked Brews, a brewery located in Aspenridge, Colorado. The brewery belongs to Lake O’Brien, inheriting it from her beloved father much earlier than she anticipated after he suffers from a sudden heart attack. Only Lake doesn’t actually own Naked Brews, finding out that it’s actually in her estranged mother’s name, the same mother who abandoned her family in order to move up in the world and is now selling it. The buyer is Ghost Squad Charities and its president Damian Thorne is poking around—both the brewery and Lake—except he isn’t exactly who he says he is.
Walsh Brackens has been the face of the GSC, supporting his best friend and the real Damian Thorne, in whatever way he’s asked. Acquiring Naked Brews is the final thing on their check list, a list that comprises of a way for them to honor each of their fallen brothers who were part of their squad. Going to check out the brewery before they finalize the purchase with the owner was more of a formality, but Walsh is taken by the feisty Lake O’Brien, who informs her that the brewery is hers even though it may be in her mother’s name. She insists that she’s capable of carrying on her father’s legacy and makes a deal with her mother: if Lake wins a beer-tasting contest, her mother hands over the brewery; if not, the sale pushes through without Lake’s interference. Walsh can’t get enough of Lake, but can these two opposing camps learn to work together instead of against each other? When their feelings become far more, will Lake still want Walsh, dark secrets and all?
This series opener was an enemies-to-lovers romance, and it played out surprisingly better than I would have thought. Yes, the bickering that I’ve come to expect from books that use this particular trope is present here, but the manner in which Walsh and Lake mend fences isn’t stretched out to the point of frustration and irritation. Rather, earning each other’s trust and camaraderie wasn’t chockful of too much drama and unnecessary add-ons in terms of complications. Walsh and Lake also happen to be an entertaining couple to read about, keeping each other on their proverbial toes and readers like me wholly smitten. They’re family-related issues aren’t all that trivial either, so it’s clear that not everything has come easily to these two, making them the determined individuals they are now. I’m giving Deliciously Smooth four stars and look forward to getting to know Lake’s friends, and hopefully Damian too, even more as the Naked Brews series continues. ♥
Release Date: 03 March 2017
Date Read: 04 February 2017
Learn more about KB Jacobs.
Purchase Deliciously Smooth on Amazon.