Monday, January 23, 2017

ARC Review: Hipster Brothel by K. A. Merikan

From The Blurb:
--- The lumberjack of his dreams is now available for rent. --- 
Mr. B has always been a safe guy for Jo to crush on. He’s the cutest bearded lumber-god to salivate over. Add to that his friendly, outgoing personality, and Mr. B might just be the first guy Jo would be willing to kiss. Fortunately, Mr. B has been in a relationship for years, and Jo is no home-wrecker. 
But when Mr. B breaks up with his partner and all of a sudden is single, available, and talks about his plans to be sexually adventurous, Jo isn’t so sure anymore if he has the guts to come out as bisexual. 
After a sour breakup, Mr. B wants to show his ex that he’s independent, exciting, and can do very well without him. His best friend Jo is there to the rescue, and they come up with a great new business venture. One thing they lack to start their own line of artisanal boozy jams - money for the investment. 
After a drunken brainstorming session, Mr. B finds a way to both gather the cash and show the middle finger to his ex. He will create a one of a kind Hipster Brothel - The Lumbersexual Experience - offering wood chopping lessons, pipe smoking, and a reclaimed wood bed where the magic happens. It’s bound to be a success… if only Mr. B can go through with it, because the mixed signals from Jo are making him wonder if his best friend is as straight as he always seemed. 
Themes: Hipsters, sex work, friends to lovers, bisexuality, post-breakup issues, coming out, first time, alternative lifestyles, lumbersexual bear, commitment 
Genre: M/M contemporary romance 
Length: ~50,000 words (standalone novel) 
WARNING: Explicit content, strong language. A shameless amount of buzzwords. May cause second-hand embarrassment.

Karen's rating:

This one was sweet and I really enjoyed it....

I just didn't "LOVE" it. 'Hipster Brothel' is a cute story about two opposites for all outward appearances. Mr. B, yes that is his name of choice. Mr. B 's relationship with his partner of several years on both a personal and professional level has recently ended so he's at a bit of a personal and professional crossroads.

It's after spending an evening with his supposedly straight, best friend and secret crush...Jo, that Mr. B  and Jo decide that they're going into business together making boozie jams. This is all well and good except they need finances for said business and in a less than sober state of mind Mr. B decides that he should open a 'hipster brothel' to raise finances and expand his sexual experience by offering client's the lumbersexual experience.

From this admittedly questionable decision springs an avalanche of miscommunication between Mr. B and his bestie Jo. Who might also have a secret crush of his own. Jo is Asian and wears his long dark hair in a bun and his unique sense of fashion only adds to his appeal and if you ask Mr. B he's hot...seriously H-O-T! and s-t-r-a-i-g-h-t and therefore unavailable. Jo's never admitted his bisexuality to anyone because until Mr. B there's never been anyone worth doing it for.

One of the things that threw me off kilter was the whole Mr. A and Mr. B monikers. It just sounded weird and while I had thought it would eventually just seem like a character quirk and I'd be ok with it...this just never quite happened. I did like both Jo and Mr. B.  I just didn't click with them the way I have other characters. I did however really like that their friendship was solid and the biggest reason that they were able to work out their miscommunications and find their the relationship that they both really wanted.

I liked the lack of family drama over both Mr. B and Jo's sexuality and enjoyed that Mr. A turned out to be not such a bad person at the end of it all and I developed a whole new appreciation for warm, woolly socks. But, I think my favorite part of the story though was Mr. B's living accommodations I've long been a fan of quirky and unusual homes and I admit to spending an extraordinary amount of time on my computer googling images of train cars that have been converted to homes.

'Hipster Brothel' was definitely a light, cute, fun and enjoyable read and while I admittedly wasn't WOWed by it, I was certainly entertained and enjoyed the light hearted and unique quirkiness of this story.


An ARC of 'Hipster Brothel' was graciously provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review.,13786303

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