If only life were as simple as a clever pickup line.
Cade McNaughton is the last man standing. His brothers have all found love. Despite his recent oh-so-revealing Instagram nightmare and his family's subsequent disappointment, Cade is ready to fall for a woman who cares more about the last book he read and less about his body. But amid the buzz and banter of tending Foghorn Brewery's bar, Cade is not exactly settle-down material. All that's about to change, starting with buzzing off his fauxhawk and sporting a cardigan that has everyone talking.
Sistine Branch has more bills than money, yet she's fine eating barbecue chips for dinner if it means keeping her knitting shop open. But when her lights go out and the electrician puts a ten-thousand-dollar price tag on renovations, Sistine's back is against an old and crumbling wall. For the past two years, she's relied solely on herself, which makes selling out to the one woman from her past who can ruin everything the worst decision ever.
Cade and Sistine are backgammon and end-of-the-bar friends. One rejection, a literal fall into Cade's arms, and a dinner date with farm animals has them enmeshed in feelings neither thought possible. But, it only takes one lie, a literal fall from grace, and a date with the she-devil to unravel everything they've come to know.
If they want a real shot, they'll need to start from the beginning and realize that love is often a tangled mess, sometimes a funny T-shirt, but never perfect.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
After reading Brew and Smooth, I had a feeling there was something happening between Cade and Sistine. I hoped Ewens would write their story and I’m so glad she did! Cade and Sistine have been firmly in the friends camp but as is wont to happen, they start seeing each other in a different light. Cade is a hot bartender and has no problem with being unattached but it’s quickly clear that he’s more than his good looks. He listens to grammar podcasts, for crying out loud! And yet he’s rarely taken seriously by his family, even though he runs a third of their brewery. I was really frustrated on his behalf when his family and friends couldn’t truly see him. At the same time, Cade needed a push to take himself more seriously as well. After an ex posts a half naked photo of him on Instagram, Cade starts thinking it might be time for a change. He gets two hens and a rooster who will be the brewery mascots and starts taking social media and blogging more seriously. And he also starts thinking about whether it might be time to settle down and consider marriage and a family. But then he also has to think about whether his bad boy playboy image impacts his ability to find a woman worth marrying. I really liked this examination of the image he presents to the world and how it helps and hinders him. That same examination is at play with Sistine. Sistine owns Knitterly, a knitting shop in financial straits. She’s quirky but also confident in who she is and who she is not. At the same time, she keeps her secrets and her troubles to herself, even though she has a great group of friends she could lean on. This was really hard to see because Sistine essentially makes a deal with the devil to get out of debt. I never fully understood her reasoning, especially once the truth came out. I can understand desperation and I can understand making hard choices that land you in hot water but she needed to do much more due diligence first and this made me super frustrated with her. Cade and Sistine are both more than who they seem and I loved how they could truly see and appreciate one another. Even though Sistine was reluctant to get involved, there was no resisting Cade in the end. I loved his determined pursuit of her. Their relationship did progress faster than I would have preferred, particularly with the novel’s resolution, but overall I enjoyed this one a great deal. The books can be read as standalones but I think you’ll appreciate Tap even more if you read Brew and Smooth first. I adore this series! Disclosure: I received an advance copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Having read eight out of the ten books in this series, I can attest each one is a stand-alone that is connected by cameo reoccurring sub-characters, who one by one get their own HEA. You don’t have to read them in order, folks, but you’ll obviously have better background knowledge on the long list of book characters if you do. Tracy Ewens continues to give us couples whose chemistry and attraction feels sweet, genuine, and spicy at times, but knucklehead moments always seem to get in the way. This time around we have a sexy as sin bartender who is starting to long for his own family and finally be taken seriously by his siblings. I felt outrage on his behalf by what an ex-girlfriend did and even more so that his own family treated him like the culprit. Frankly, I’d like to have seen him tap into a little vengeful mojo and do something similar to that wicked witch. Pleading to undo the damage caused by such a selfish person only rewards their manipulative behavior and encourages them to do it again. She needed to be taught a lesson, folks. Along with another unsavory character that has been a thorn in the side of Sistine, the heroine, since college, who also gets off scott-free for being manipulative. Sistine was pretty but quirky/implied a tad bit nerdy and klutzy at times with not a lot of fashion sense, who got around town on a bicycle. Oh, yeah, she’s all about her knitting business, too, along with one huge hidden exception that seemed highly unlikely. Since I’m not a big fan of my heroines being downplayed and put in a situation where I’m shaking my head in dismay, I struggled somewhat to embrace her character portrayal at times. Her goodness and sweetness towards others, of course, endeared her to me. Everyone loved her, so really, how could I not do the same. However, I certainly couldn’t keep overlooking and forgiving her own stupidity and illogical thinking at times. Speaking of the business of knitting, I got tired of hearing about it! From all the various groups of people who came to her shop we were introduced to, down to how she handled things, etc...etc...etc. It stole main couple time and bogged down an already snail paced plot. A secret that was hidden basically by lying by omission felt out of place for this character. It didn’t fit the profile, folks. The former college roommate, who based on her description must surely ride a broom everywhere she goes, made the heroine look like a complacent doormat, which I’m not a fan of either. The storyline unfolded at a very leisurely pace and results in several back and forth pulling and pushing each other way. At 40%, there is still just a lot of talking going on and not much else. It isn’t until half-way through they finally have a first date. Yeah, the writing and storyline is extremely s-l-o-w moving. Too many meandering, lengthy conversations of no particular importance with subcharacters were included, which did not help. IMHO, the writing needed to be reigned in and stayed more focused. 66% into it is when I tapped out, my fellow romance book loving friends. I felt like I was spinning my wheels and my frustration over Sistine’s illogical decisions/behavior was more than I could tolerate. Knowing Cade would soon be taking the same turn soon killed my desire to read to the conclusion. Though I’ve enjoyed several books by this author, this one simply wasn’t as good as I had hoped. Title: Tap, Series: A Love Story, Tracy Ewens, Pages: 297, NetGallley ARC review
There is nothing more appealing to a woman than a HUNKY BARTENDER; even better is him being a friend. This is the third book by Ewens that deals with brothers running the Foghorn Brewery and finding their soul mates! I could tell you this is a stand alone but having read them all I can recommend starting from the beginning. Cade McNaughton is the last brother standing after his siblings have found their better halves and are filling their nests with little ones. With all the glasses behind the bar that he tends; Cade finally figuratively puts his on and notices Sistine who has been a friend at the end of his bar for months. Sistine Branch is a Yarn Shop Owner who is struggling with her business and the secret in her past that could jeopardize everything. She has to protect her heart and Cade by not letting their relationship knit together. "A copy of this book was provided by author via Netgalley with no requirements for a review. Comments here are my honest opinion."