Reviewed by Susan65
Title: Alpha Barman
Author: Sue Brown
Narrator: Greg Boudreaux
Series: J.T.’s Bar #1
Heroes: Jake Tyler/Mitch Mitchelson
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 5 Hours, 4 Minutes
Publisher: Sue Brown
Release Date: February 14, 2017
Available at: Amazon and Audible
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Jake Tyler walked out of Covert Ops two years ago, a devastated, broken man after he discovered his sister brutally murdered by her husband, Riley. Since then he’s found a kind of peace running a rural bar. The last thing Jake Tyler expects is his former team to turn up with grim news. Jake’s ex-brother-in-law has escaped from prison and is heading Jake’s way. The team is here to protect Jake, whether he likes it or not – a decision reluctantly shared by their leader, Jake’s ex-lover Mitch Mitchelson.
Mitch is angry and hurting. The man he trusted – the man he adored more than anything – abandoned both his team and Mitch. Jake never gave Mitch a chance to help or come to terms with his desertion. Regardless of mission protocols, Mitch isn’t about to open his heart again to that kind of pain.
But the strong attraction between them can’t be denied. How are they ever going to work together when Mitch still resents Jake’s disappearance, and to Jake, the team represents everything that destroyed him in the first place? And meantime they wait for Riley to find them… and to settle the threat once and for all.
Review – Book: I totally loved this story and the performance was magnificent. I have always been a sucker for alpha males in a special forces slash covert operations setting, but add on an established couple and I am in heaven. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading about guys meeting for the first time and finding their footing, but there is something special about a couple who have passed the honeymoon phase and are now learning to coexist in the real world.
The real world for Jake (J.T.) and Mitch comes in the form of the near destruction of their team, a murderer on the loose, and splitsville for our loving couple. I completely understood where Jake was coming from when he took off. I don’t think it was right, and it was a brutal thing to do to your lover, but I still understood why he did it. Mitch, on the other hand, was completely blindsided and crushed beyond belief, and he had every right to throw shade and attitude all over Jake when they are reunited. But the murderer on the loose forces them back together as a team, and as a couple.
I loved the team dynamics, Mitch’s rule #1, and the relationship slash brotherhood between all of the men. The love and affection they have for each other is palpable, and knowing that the murderer on the way to them used to be one of their own just made the emotions between them run hotter and harder. You feel for the team, as a whole, but you ache for Mitch and Jake. They were the collateral damage left behind from the betrayal from one of their own…or were they? All is not as it seems.
Review – Audio: Greg Boudreaux nailed it in the performance and emotional feels categories. Having his voice slip when one of the guys was trying to keep it together during an emotional moment made this an amazing audio experience. I am finding that depending on the skills of the narrator, a mediocre story can become something amazing. In this case, the book reviews were a little low so I was not totally expecting to be wowed, but I was so invested in the storytelling that I think this might be a case where you need to hear it to actually appreciate it.
Looking forward to book two…and thinking I might just wait for that one to come out in audio, too.
Overall Impression: I really liked it!
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*