A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Craft Brew (Trouble Brewing #2) by Layla Reyne

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

I enjoyed this story much more than book one. First, because I knew the MCs, and second, because past characters came into this story slowly and their backstory was filled in. Building on the drama surrounding Nic’s father and the events of book one, this story added more, but it appears the resolution to that will not occur until book three.

The early section of the story surrounds Nic and his father’s debts and his budding relationship with Cam. On the heels of Cam asking Nic to move in, Nic takes a temporary 5-week assignment in San Diego, in other words he chooses to run from the commitment, making the moving in a moot point. On his return, someone sets fire to his apartment building—another disaster in a long line that seems to be following Nic wherever he goes. He worries that if he lets his relationship with Cam become common knowledge, whoever is causing the trouble for him might go after Cam.

With no choice after losing his apartment, though, he agrees to move in with Cam. Then just as they start to settle in, Cam’s past comes crashing down around him. His mother has had a heart attack and when he flies home to Boston to see her she asks that he solve the cold case of his sister’s disappearance twenty years before. A disappearance that Cam feels personally responsible for since he was supposed to pick her up the day she disappeared, but he blew her off, leaving her to head home alone.

What he finds when he starts to investigate is that his sister may have been the first of a long line of girls to disappear in that area, and he calls Nic to help. Cam also needs his love and support, but since he’s not out to his family, he has to hide those needs and simply introduce Nic as a friend and colleague. Of note, Nic was super mature in his support of Cam and didn’t throw a hissy fit or downgrade his love for Cam just because Cam couldn’t face coming out.

The action is fast-paced and interesting, involving both brainwork and footwork and involving Jamie from the previous series. Since I didn’t read that series, I appreciated the author’s handling of his insertion in this story and the background information we were given. It was much easier to assimilate and in fact I do believe I’m going to have to purchase Single Malt to see what all the fans are raving over.

I digress. Cam and Nic do solve the mystery, and Cam does come out to his family, unable and unwilling to hide his love for Nic from the world. That was a great scene as was the family support in putting Erin’s body and memory to rest. We had a lot of opportunity to get to know Cam’s family, and I’d sure be happy to see either Bobby or Keith or both show up in a future book.

This doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, but it’s quite evident that Nic’s story—involving his father’s finances and a gangster who doesn’t seem to take no for an answer—will continue into the next book. I’ll be in line for that one, for sure.

The cover for this book features a head shot of one character with another standing in the background. The artist used a yellow and purple color filter which throws the left side of the close-up in yellow, the right in purple. To be honest, I don’t like it at all. It makes the MC look angry and unappealing—not at all how I pictured him.

Sales Links:  Carina Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: October 8th 2018 by Carina Press
ISBN139781488097119
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Trouble Brewing #2

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