Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
I was a bit conflicted about whether I should even review this book, since I wasn’t really impressed with the first in the series, and it was kind of a chore to read Alpha Barman. But, I thought, it really can’t get any worse, and I usually like this author, so I’ll give her a chance to redeem herself.
Well, maybe she did. A little.
In Alpha Chef, Jake and Mitch are now back together, and running JT’s bar. And the rest of the team is still hanging out and sleeping on the floor of the bar (????? I didn’t get that at all. Didn’t they have anywhere to go? A hotel? Back home? At least an air mattress???) Which is convenient, because now Mitch’s little brother Greg is in trouble.
Greg has been in the witness protection program for 14 years, after witnessing an execution. Greg’s testimony put the murderer in prison, but he’s been moving from place to place, new identity to new identity, always looking over his shoulder as the gang keeps finding him. When his house and the diner where he works are both torched on the same night, he knows he’s been found again. When he can’t reach his handler in the US Marshal’s office, he heads for JT’s bar and his older brother Cole, AKA Mitch, whom he hasn’t seen since Cole left for the Army.
Colm Riordan is the most recent marshal in charge of Greg. There has always been attraction there, but neither man acted on it. But Greg is in more trouble than he ever was before, and the danger just ramps up both men’s desire.
So, I had many issues with this book. Greg and Riordan get together out of lust, and I could never see that there was more to the relationship. The whole background story of how Greg got into WITSEC in the first place was a little stretched. There were a lot of unnecessary (in my mind) sidebars – Wyatt threatening Moose, the parents showing up, etc. Even the original team being there in the first part of the book was superfluous since they left before any action occurred. The action scenes weren’t all that exciting. New men were introduced to the story near the end, and I guess if they are to be part of the next book in the series it makes sense, but otherwise they added nothing to this story. There were minor inconsistencies that had me scratching my head, as well as just enough grammatical errors that I got pulled out of the story. And on a petty note, I kind of object to the term chef being applied to a guy who has been a line cook at a few diners. But I guess Alpha Fry Cook doesn’t have the same ring to it…
Cover art by Garrett Leigh shows a good looking model, with an appropriately disturbed expression, that I feel represents Greg well. Except for the fact that Greg has long hair. Or was the model supposed to be Colm? Oh well, it’s a good looking model either way…
Kindle Edition, 250 pages
Published September 27th 2017 by One Hat Press
SeriesJ.T.’s Bar #2 settingWyoming (United States)