Bartender P.I.

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Title and Link: Bartender P.I.
Author: Ethan Stone
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Publisher URL: Silver Publishing
Amazon Buy Link:
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: Novella/134 PDF pages/24.8K words
Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

Review Summary: A ton of rollicking good fun – the most fun I have had in a long time in a book.

THE BLURB

When hockey star Linc Carpenter is banned from playing his beloved sport, he starts over in Tampa. Master of the mixed metaphor, Linc knows he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. He’s a lousy bartender, but doesn’t know what else to do until he gets a shot at being a private investigator.

If he can prove that wealthy fashion designer Quentin Faulkner is cheating on his wife, this case will earn him big money. Faulkner’s bodyguard, Brady Williams, proves to be the biggest hindrance to completing his assignment, other than his own ineptitude. Linc is shocked when Brady admits to being attracted to him. He’s even more shocked when Brady turns down immediate sex because he’s looking for so much more. Will their new relationship survive the dangers of this case?


THE REVIEW

Have you ever read a book and wondered where it was going and whether you would end up in quick sand with the MCs? That’s what I thought when I started this story which is quite a departure for Ethan Stone who writes mostly dramas. In Bartender P.I. his hero Linc Carpenter would probably misspell “drama” – or he might unintentionally call it something entirely different, but he was such a big lovable lug that I couldn’t stop reading because I wanted to see how he would extricate himself from his numerous self made disasters.

After being fired as a defenseman in the NHL (National Hockey League) for being caught banging his son by the former NHL Commissioner, Linc didn’t have many career options since he wasn’t very bright and had devoted his entire life to hockey. What’s an ex hockey player with limited career options to do in order to earn a living? Get a job as a bartender and learn how to mix drinks on the job, and as a side career become a private investigator. First, Linc sucked as a bartender so it was taking your life, taste buds and stomach in your hands if you actually drank what he mixed. Second, he wasn’t really a P.I., he was in training, but when a job landed in his lap with the possibility of making lots of money by getting the goods on a straying husband, he couldn’t say “no.”

From the very beginning Linc’s new P.I. assignment went in the wrong direction. Every move he made to catch his client’s husband Quentin Faulkner in the act was thwarted by Brady Williams, Faulkner’s bodyguard. To complicate matters Linc was very attracted to Brady and instead of keeping his eyes on the ball he was looking at Brady’s balls and Brady tripped him up effortlessly at every turn. Linc was incredibly inept and I laughed so hard my sides hurt. How could one man self destruct at every turn? It wasn’t that Brady was always two steps ahead of him but he made the dumbest moves. I won’t tell you about Linc’s best work because you have to experience him without a filter. I will only say that despite being dumb and having no aspirations to be a member of Mensa he solved the mystery of the cheating husband without any help but a love of soap operas.

Linc liked to use big words when something a lot smaller and simpler would do, and his malapropisms will have you in stitches. I don’t think I have read any books where one character singlehandedly destroyed the English language and I’m sure the author had a lot of fun.

I didn’t like one scene in the book but I have been told that that was my fault because I have no understanding of soaps, therefore I have modified my comment. I still feel that the scene was OTT and the way the other characters were treated was heartless, but apparently this is a soap tradition so I bow to the experts and have changed my rating for this book. :)

If you’re looking for a book that will make you laugh out loud (please don’t read Bartender P.I. on the subway, or other riders will think you’re crazy) :) and a hero who is just too silly for words, you don’t have far to go. Ethan Stone delivers in Bartender P.I. Most of you will probably expect lots of sex because this author’s books are known to be fornication city :) however, except for the prologue you will be surprised that this story relies on comedy more than sex to win over readers.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book except for the one hiccup and I think you will love Linc’s and Brady’s romance which was not your usual run of the mill affair. There is a scene between them on the ice that was tender as well as hot and it showed that Brady really loved and understood his man, or as he called him – Rainbow Brite. All of the characters were well drawn and I particularly liked Tyson, Linc’s mentor and boss.

The story is told in Linc’s first person POV and you couldn’t want a more “eloquent” narrator as he was never at a loss for words. :lol:

Recommended.

Update: I was told by an expert on soaps (Buda) that I should be more understanding of what makes a good soap opera so I have revised my review and rating.  He felt that I was a little harsh. :) I confess I don’t watch soaps so my knowledge of them is sadly lacking. *Off to take lessons from our in-house expert.* :lol:

 

38 thoughts on “Bartender P.I.

  1. Buda

    Fantastic review, Wave. I love this book. Linc is such a mess and Brady is so patient and cute with him. The “hiccup” makes sense to me since Linc is such a fan of soaps. Doesn’t it sound like something Erica Kane would do? ;) I can’t tell you how many times I laughed aloud. I will admit there was a certain moment that scared the dog, poor thing. I look forward to more comedies from Ethan (hint, hint).

    1. Wave Post author

      I see you got a dedication boyo. :lol: I thoroughly enjoyed Bartender P.I. and I hope Ethan writes more comedies.

      I’m probably one of the few women in the western world who never watched soaps, but I do get that they are all OTT and everyone dies at least 10 times. However, I thought it was heartless – they were only trying to help. :) Maybe they went about it the wrong way but I don’t think they deserved to be put through the wringer. (I can’t say any more because I don’t want to give away any spoilers).

      1. Buda

        LOL You’re undoubtedly better off without the soap history. Although right now on Days of Our Lives, there’s a coming out story going on. Chandler Massey, the actor playing the guy coming out, is doing an absolutely amazing job. I’m hooked on his story. Don’t watch the rest of it, but wow. I’ve laughed and cried with “Will.”

        1. Wave Post author

          I can see where Ethan’s “soap” influences originated. WHERE do you find the time to watch soaps in between the hockey playoffs and everything else in your life? Are you bored with hockey? Should we send a guy to Colorado? Hmmm maybe not. :lol:

          1. Buda

            I just follow the one storyline on YouTube. My Avalanche didn’t make it into the playoffs this year, so I had to adopt a team. I decided on the Kings since they were facing the Canucks. Now that that’s turned out the way I wanted it to (bye bye, Luo), I’m awaiting Round Two. Send a guy to Colorado? Hmm. Only if he likes to drive in traffic. This town is nuts! :)

            1. Wave Post author

              I just updated my review – check it out. :lol:

              Now that the Canucks are out I hope you enjoy the rest of the playoffs.

              Traffic in Colorado couldn’t be as bad as in Toronto. You’re just comparing Colorado to Kansas, which I’m sure only had a couple of cars at a red light during rush hour. :whistle: (Sorry babe, I couldn’t resist – no hard feelings I hope.) :hug:

              1. Buda

                LOL Yeah, I’m no expert on soaps. I’ve watched a few in my time, but even I couldn’t get through the whole Marlena Possessed storyline way back in the day. Did you never watch Dallas or Dynasty either? Go start watching GCB on Hulu now. It’s hilarious.

                But anyway. You know, when Coloradans drive through Kansas, it’s like they’re escaping the Hounds of Hell–nothing less than 20 MPH over the speed limit. Here? I’m lucky if they make it to 70 in the 75 zones! Very strange. Or maybe I just get impatient because I’m either on my way to work (boo) or home from it (hallelujah!). Ya think?

                But to bring this back to the book…some people are complaining about the lack of sex in it. I thought it was refreshing. More books should try it. :)

                1. Wave Post author

                  Back to the book: If readers don’t like Bartender, P.I. because they feel there isn’t enough sex, this is supposed to be a romance not PWP. Are readers now expecting M/M to be erotica? What is wrong with this picture? I love a book with lots of plot and interaction between the characters, and actual dialogue that doesn’t involve “your place or mine.”

                  I complimented Ethan about taking a chance and writing a romance that wasn’t just a bunch of sex scenes strung together. Is M/M romance necessarily “erotic romance?” *getting off my soap box* :grin:

                  As for driving in Colorado, I probably couldn’t afford to go there in the next couple of years anyway.

                  PS I did watch some of Dallas and Dynasty – do they count? Are they the same as daytime soaps where the characters come back to life regularly and see ghosts? :)

                  1. Buda

                    Erotic “romance” v M/M romance? Sounds like a Friday Post to me. :) See? I’m still helpful!

                    Dallas & Dynasty definitely count. Steven Carrington came back from the supposed dead (different actor), was gay, then ex-gay, then gay, then ex-gay, then gay. Fallon Carrington Colby was abducted by aliens while deciding which of two brothers she really loved. Krystal was in a coma in Switzerland for however long. And Sable Colby got pregnant at like 50, which is just freaky, no matter how much I adored Stephanie Beacham’s portrayal of her. And don’t even get me started on Dallas. Two words: shower scene.

                    1. Wave Post author

                      OMG! that’s all, OMG! I’ll stop now or we’ll totally hijack this review. Since you brought up the topic maybe you’ll volunteer to write the post – ” M/M romance vs. Erotic romance”
                      email me – you owe me. :)

  2. Ethan Stone

    Wave–Thank you so very much for the review. I admit writing this one was lots of fun, but it was also lots of hard work because I don’t see myself as a very funny person. I wasn’t sure what readers who think of the humor. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    The lack of sex was just to prove I could do it and now I never have to do it again. :shock:

    1. Wave Post author

      I did love it – I cracked up all the way through the book. Some of those scenes were excruciatingly funny, which is the best compliment I can pay you. :lol:

      I loved the fact that you didn’t depend on sex. :sex4: You should try this more often.

  3. LadyM

    I so need something entertaining to read and I saw only good reviews for this one. Thanks for the review! The book goes to the top of my TBR list. :)

    1. Wave Post author

      LadyM

      If you’re looking for some high comedy I think you will like Bartender P.I. It’s also a romance and I loved the way Brady handled Linc. I hope you enjoy the book.

  4. Lara Brukz

    I absolutely love Linc and Brady! Linc has this innocent way of being clueless and I fell in love with him. Linc is so freaking cute and Brady he’s a hunk of man I’d like to take a bite of! Nice review Wave. As Wave said it’s pretty damn funny so this is one not to miss.

    1. Wave Post author

      Hi Lara

      I was entertained – no doubt about that. :) I loved this book and I guffawed :lol: a few times. Ethan can certainly write funny dialogue and prose and I hope he gives us more of the same.

  5. Aunt Lynn

    I am always looking for a humorous book to read, so I will definitely pick this up, thanks.

    As for dumb MCs, have you read “The Epic Love Story of Doug and Stephen?” If you haven’t, you should. Doug is…simple, I guess is the old-fashioned term. He’s an idiot, but it’s hilarious what goes on in his head and what comes out of his mouth.

    1. Wave Post author

      Thanks for the tip about Doug and Stephen. I will definitely be reading it.

      I think you will enjoy Linc – he isn’t simple, just unaware. :grin:

  6. Helena

    Still haven laid my pawns on it :shock: but I will :grin:
    Thank you dor your review :cool:

  7. Tj

    Wave, this sounds fabulous. you know how I love the funny boys. :wink: And I haven’t read any of this Ethan’s books yet, so it’ll be all new to me. Wonderful review and thanks – I’m off to shop!

    Oh and Hi Buda! Sorry I missed you.

    1. Wave Post author

      Teej

      Hold on to your pants and be prepared for the Other Ethan. He should be proud of the job he did in this book — his characters rocked.

      I hope you enjoy Bartender, P.I.

      As for Buda, he’s doing his usual job of critiquing my review – I can’t help it if I didn’t watch soaps. :eek:

  8. Sirius

    Ok I want funny, off to take a closer look – thanks Wave :) and yes check out Doug and Stephen as Lynn said – has its flaws but hilarious IMO.

    1. Wave Post author

      I just bought Doug and Stephen from Amazon. :) Hope you like Bartender, P.I which is a whole load of laughs.

  9. Deedles

    I finished this book at 3:00a.m. and I am so sorry that they don’t seem to make Depends in my size. I loved every single thing about this story. I am not a big soap opera fan but I “get” the soap opera concept of this the same as I got the movie Soapdish,which I also loved. This was pure protection, I mean perfection! I’ve never read this author’s work before but I figger if you can write comedy you can write anything so I bought the Flesh books too. Thanks for the review. I’ve got to go and wash my pajamas.

    1. Wave Post author

      Hi Deedles
      Always glad to help. I’m on my way to change the rating to reflect the views of all you soap fans. It seems that I let my ignorance affect the rating. :blush: :lol: BTW I just remembered watching a few episodes of Soap Dish years ago. :)

      You should charge Ethan for the laundry soap to wash your pajamas. He can afford it. :)

      1. Deedles

        I was refering to the movie Soapdish starring Sally Field, Kevin Kline, Whoopie Goldberg, an hilarious Cathy Moriarty and an oh so yummy Robert Downey Jr. It is laugh out loud funny whether you are into soaps or not. I’m not but my mother was so into her “stories” that I thought she was talking about real people she knew. I personally prefered Starsky and Hutch and the Rat Patrol.

        1. Wave Post author

          I actually watched that movie – I must do a re-wind. :) There really was a show called Soap Dish on cable but you’re probably too young to remember it. :eek:

          1. Deedles

            Bless your heart. I’m 56 but I’ve been married since I was 19 so I feel much older. I have never heard of this show but then again I dislike soaps. Give me male bonding stuff with lots of testosterone and sensitivity. I just started reading In the Flesh. Liking it a lot already. I’ve talked too much again so I will once again go back to lurkdom. Love this site.

            1. Wave Post author

              I love it when you decloak Deedles. Please don’t go back into lurkdom.

              I never did the usual “girlie” stuff in my dim and distant youth so M/M romance is just right for me. I’m very happy you like In the Flesh. :)

  10. Feliz

    Hi Wave, I’m with you on soaps, hate them! But I loved Bartender PI – Linc is just TOO cute, I wanted to cuddle him all the time. (Though I imagined living with him and had to turn my back shuddering in horror, he’d drive me nuts. Brady’s a brave soul!)

    1. Wave Post author

      I thought that this book was very imaginative. Ethan did a great job on both characters and I just wanted to hug Linc. Soaps are not my thing but in deference to all the soap lovers I changed the review to reflect my ignorance. :lol:

      As you said, Brady’s a brave soul. :)

  11. Sirius

    Hysterical. Thanks for the recommendation Wave. His misspellings absolutely killed me in places and him devising Plans B, C and D was hysterical, but I just about died when he found the answer to the puzzles (wait, was it a pie coming together?). Well written fluff, but so funny and I have a feeling Linc would be one of the characters I wont forget any time soon.

    1. Wave Post author

      See, there are some of my recs that you actually like Sirius. :) This was definitely a piece of fluff but great fluff. I did love Linc’s Plans B, C and D. :eek: I already re-read this book twice and you’re right, Linc was hysterical. I wish Ethan would write another funny story, he seems to have a gift.

      1. Sirius

        LOL I like a lot of your recommendations. from the most recent ones Redemption and this one are two for two. This one would be a comfort reread for me as well and yes I hope to see more comedies from this writer myself.

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