Can two men move past their shattered dreams and create a new future together?
Corduroy Lopez is a hard-working man. He has to be. There really is no alternative. He’s a single father with a beautiful special needs daughter to support. His mother and grandmother help when they can but he’s a proud Pan man who is determined to make it on his own. When his daughter is accepted into a prestigious developmental education preschool Cord needs cash and he needs it yesterday. When the cute owner of the new bookstore mentions wanting to start a drag story hour Cord leaps at the chance. He’s done drag before. Once. Performing on stage at the Campo hadn’t really been his thing but donning a wig and dress to sing children’s songs while strumming a ukulele should be a much more enjoyable experience. Also, the bookshop owner is adorable, newly single, and spending a great deal of time sitting at Cord’s bar sipping virgin piña coladas after the bookstore closes.
Jagger Collins never meant to end up here. He’d been a happily married man with a swanky job in a Philadelphia bank just two years ago. Then the bottom fell out of his life. His marriage combusted, his job quickly followed, and he found himself with only his dog Hamish, his brother, and half the cash from the home he thought he would be starting a family in. Taking the advice of his elder sibling to heart he left the big city and bought a small brick building in downtown Wilmington. Trading in ties for tomes, Jagger is now embracing the simpler things in life. Reading, biking, knitting, and admiring the lithe bartender at the Campo Royale. Cord is ticking all the right boxes in a big way but Jagger’s not sure if he’s ready to put his heart on the line again.
The Barkeep and the Bookseller is a single father guy next door gay romance that features a hard-working dad, a learning-to-love again bookdealer, a precocious preschooler, high heels, loving family, flashy floral fashions, and a ukulele rich happy-ever-after.
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
Length: 53,000 word approx.
Campo Royale Series
Okay, first, I have to start off by saying that I haven’t read the others in this series and I’m coming in completely blind… but I saw a single dad and I’m a sucker for those, so I had to give this one a chance!
So, first, we meet Cord, his mother who is also his neighbor and babysitter and cuter than cute toddler, Paloma. Cord is a single dad, with a lot of help from his family, but he’s working every single day of his life trying to support his darlin girl because, well… we all know how expensive life is, especially now days, but Paloma also has a form of down syndrome that the state will only half provide for, so he’s working himself to death to keep her in a special school that is better equipped for her needs.
He’s a good dad, you can see that right off and I’m so glad he has his family right next door.
Also, he’s the barkeep in this scenario 😛
Next we meet Jagger in his bookstore, along with his besties, Wattley (his brother) and Nate, (a billionaire) who are hilarious together and Jagger’s people. Oh, and his little pupper Hamish as well. He’s the bookseller and a handsome and sweet, semi-damaged one at that. So, you know I’m gonna love him right away! I did.
I hope these other boys have their own stories because I want to read all of them now! Nate, might be the one I’m most looking forward to, so fingers crossed for me on that one!
So, okay…their meeting is cute and their dynamic as the complete opposite of what I kept expecting and I really enjoyed them getting to know each other and then spending time together when Cord works so much and has a daughter to take care of full time … it wasn’t always easy, but I loved Paloma’s relationship with Jagger and the way that developed and just the whole.
It was so very very cute.
I’m honestly about to go check out the others in this series because I must know more about all of these people. I enjoyed all of them, they were all meddlesome and pushy and overbearing, but in all the best ways that your bestie-made family can be. It’s their job, right?
I loved how supportive everyone was even though there are a few references to past trauma, I just found myself wanting to hug both of these guys, the cute girl and wiley puppy too. It was a super cute story, would definitely recommend! Off to see who’s next!
4 Pieces of Eye Candy
First off, this is book 3. I haven’t read book 1 or 2 and I was completely fine. ALSO the cover is exactly as Jagger is described and I love that.
Jagger has some serious damage. And while there are glimpses and one story told of what he went through with his ex, a lot is left unsaid. But it’s made clear that he was in a very abusive relationship and it has had lasting effects on him.
Cord is a pretty well adjusted guy considering his dad died, the mother of his child took off, he is raising a special needs child and he gave up his career dreams. He is the first to say that giving up that dream was completely worth it if it meant keeping his daughter. Which he did.
This is a very slow burn romance. But I really loved that it was. There was flirting and romance. Innuendos and smoldering looks across a bar. I feel like they got to know each other and people and friends first. Which also gave Jagger a look into what Cord’s life was really like. Living with his mother and grandmother and daughter.
And his mother and grandmother are really great strong women. I love seeing strong women like them represented.
Back to our couple. I love how in tune to Jagger Cord was. I think a lot of that has to do with his daughter and how he needs to be in tune with her needs. But he was never condescending. He was just chill.
I adored Jagger’s best friend Nate and seeing that his book is next made me happy.
If you don’t fall a little bit in love with Paloma, Cord’s daughter, there might be something wrong with you. I kid, I kid.
There was a happily for now vibe but I kind of wish it went further into their relationship to see how things progressed. But maybe we will get some hints in future books. That is why 3 1/2 rather than 4. I needed more at the end than I got. Too many “but what about…” questions.
3.5 pieces of eye candy
USA Today Bestselling Author V.L. Locey – Penning LGBT hockey romance that skates into sinful pleasures.
V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, Torchwood and Dr. Who, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a pair of geese, far too many chickens, and two steers.
When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in one hand and a steamy romance novel in the other.