ARC Review: BUT FIRST, COFFEE by Sarah Darlington

September 09, 2018

But First, Coffee by Sarah Darlington
She’s the boss.
I’m only a barista in her company.
I really don’t give a f**k about her one way or the other.

And then there’s Doug Maddox, a man with a lot of power over me. He’s blackmailing me. Making me spy on her. I’m supposed to find her weaknesses and destroy her. But the closer I get, the more the lines between us start to blur.

She’s sweet. She’s kind. She’s sexy as hell.
Why am I the only man who see’s this?

So now I’m stuck—between keeping my sister safe against Doug, because that’s what’s really at stake here, and these feelings I can’t deny for a woman who shouldn’t mean anything to me.

I know what I have to do. I’ll destroy her.
It doesn’t matter if I have to destroy my own heart in the process.

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My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a dramatic story that seemed to be more about the minor character, Doug, than the main characters themselves. Joe and Lana were obviously supposed to be the focus of this book, but everything seemed to revolve around Doug that they kept feeling more like background characters. Doug was the puppetmaster while Joe and Lana were his marionettes. Because of this it was hard to really form a connection with what this story was supposed to be about or its characters. I couldn't get behind the relationship developing between the characters. I couldn't feel the chemistry. I couldn't find the spark. I spent a lot of time confused, finding myself forcing the issue, trying to figure out what I was supposed to understand. The entire subplot of blackmail and the attention Joe's sister received made this seem like two stories in one, with neither of them complete. Overall But First, Coffeee was sweet and easy, aside from the dramatics, and I think it may be an example of one of those stories that may not be for me, but would be amazing for others.

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