Title and Author: Anna Zabo
Published by: InterMix/Berkley Publishing Group
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Reviewed by: Anya
What to Expect: Sweet romance without much angst and with a side of coffee puns.
Plot: Brian Keppler, owner of Ground N’At, the coffee shop beneath SR Anderson Consulting, doesn’t have time for a relationship. His most recent girlfriend broke up with him because he’d become married to his shop, which is falling apart without his favorite barista, Justin.
As he struggles to stay afloat, the arrival of handsome British high-tech whiz Robert Ancroft becomes another complication. Rob quickly becomes a fixture at the shop with his sharp wit and easy charm, and Brian soon finds himself looking forward more and more to Rob’s visits—to the point where his heart skips a beat when he walks in.
But will Brian be able to come to terms with his previously unexplored sexual identity and find happiness now that he has a chance?
Review: Daily Grind is a fourth book in Takeover series but can be read as a standalone. This is the first book I’ve read from this author and I am definitely going to follow-up read Just Business (Takeover #2) because Eli and Justin are awesome secondary characters and I’m curious to find out how their relationship started.
Brian’s story begins when he replaces one of his baristas who called in sick and an intriguing guy with a British accent shows up in his coffee shop looking for a java fix. Good-looking ginger hottie with freckles and an accent? SIGN ME UP. Sparks fly between them from the start despite the fact that Brian is slightly unsure about having a serious relationship with a man. Rob is confident, sharp, and funny, and it’s no wonder that Brian falls head over heels for him pretty damn fast. And Rob clearly cannot resist a delicious Tall Americano. The sex scenes in Daily Grind nearly melted my Kindle with their intensity and they get even better when more intimacy is coming into play as the story progresses. I love that Brian doesn’t have a lot of reservations when it comes to getting down and dirty with another guy and Rob takes good care to ensure he enjoys every moment of it. They even get a little adventurous with some toys from Rob’s fun box in the closet.
Beyond their sexual compatibility, they also have a lot in common: both of them work hard to keep their respective businesses successful; they love art, biking and hiking around the city. I adored the scenic description of Pittsburgh during Rob and Brian’s outdoors dates. Even lazybones like me, who needs a pep talk to take out trash, was inspired to check out hardcore hiking in Pittsburgh, LET’S GO!
I really appreciate Anna Zabo creating such a glorious and vivid scenery in this novel.
Family also plays an important part in their budding relationship. While Rob seems to be all alone in the world after his parents passed away, Brian has a wonderful, caring family. I have nothing but love for Brian’s family in Daily Grind. They are a fun, witty and boisterous bunch that are very accepting at the same time. Brian’s parents pretty much adopt Rob when they discover he has no relatives in the area and go out of their way to make him feel included. Brian is somewhat anxious at first about coming out to his parents, but they surround him with unconditional love and acceptance after he tells them. I might have teared up a bit reading that scene.
I absolutely enjoyed the development of the relationship between Rob and Brian throughout the book. Both of them start out having trust issues (Rob as a result of previous heartbreak and Brian because his obsession to control everything about his coffee shop). I think each of them learns a valuable lesson about love and trust and as a result they are able to take their affection to the next level. And there are a lot of adorable moments between them that will just make your heart melt.
What you might not like/doesn’t work for you: There are a lot of coffee puns. And I mean A LOT. At times that felt a little repetitive to me.
What you will love: Off the charts sizzling sex between MCs, cool coffee shop vibe, Pittsburgh scenery, and coffee drinks you will want your barista to replicate. This book has everything going for it and it’s such an enjoyable read.