Thank you to Stephanie Rose, Sarina Bowen, Jenn Gaffney and the rest of the World of True North team for the advance reader copy of Stronghold, the ninth story in the Speakeasy Taproom series.
Read all of my World of True North reviews here.
Check out the Goodreads synopsis…
“Jilted. Living in a glorified closet. The world’s worst bar waitress. I just need to keep a roof over my head and make tuition payments until I can finish graduate school. Then my real life will start. But right now, long nights at the Speakeasy have me burning the candle at both ends and the wax melting all over my fingers.
When a bar manager offers me a job taking care of his adorable five-year-old daughter, it seems like the perfect solution. I get a quiet place to study. Matteo gets a reliable sitter.
There should be no complications. Except that I like my new boss a little too much. His gorgeous dark eyes humble me, and the long talks we share fill me up inside. I can’t possibly fall for him.
But the undeniable pull between us leads to a scorching kiss I can’t ignore or forget, and suddenly I’ve fallen for them both, father and daughter.
And now three hearts are at stake.”
Check out my more detailed thoughts below…
- Characters: Our female protagonist is Melanie who has just recently moved back to Colebury after her fiancé dumped her. She has decided to go back to school to get a teaching degree. She gets a job at the Speakeasy because she needs the money, but soon enough she is just exhausted. I admired Mel’s dedication and kind soul. Our male protagonist is Matteo. He is a single dad to Lauren and a recent addition to the Colebury area. He is the bar manager at the Speakeasy. This man is incredibly selfless and such a loving dad. I think lots of readers will really love both of these characters.
- Setting: The story is set in Colebury, Vermont. For Mel, it is coming home. For Matteo, he moved to Colebury from New York City as he decided he wanted to raise his daughter outside of the hustle and bustle of the city. Again another classic Matteo selfless move. I really loved that the Colebury setting lent itself to busy bar scenes and lowkey sweet scenes with Mel & Laur & Matteo.
- Pacing: The pacing feels a bit slower. It took some time for these two to give in to their whims. So this one is much more of a slow burn. If that is for you, then you will love it. If that is not for you, there are other Speakeasy Taproom books that are much more hot and heavy, right away.
- Romance: This is yet another story in the Speakeasy Taproom series where the romance is much more than just falling in love with the man. It is about falling in love with the entire family, specifically a little one. Mel was quite scared to be full-on and to move in. Her past experiences haunted her, something I think a lot of people can relate to. It was really great to see Matteo be ready for love again. When his world was shaken up it was good to see both him and Mel fight for each other. I would recommend this story to any reader who wants a slow-burn, single dad romance.
Safeguard receives four out of five stars.
You can pick up the story at Amazon here.
Thank you again to Sarina, Jenn, and the rest of the team for the review opportunity. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog!