Dirty (Dive Bar #1) by Kylie Scott
Friends, if you enjoy snarky POV heroines with curves for days and heroes that err on smoldering silence instead of chatting, then get this one right now.
We open on Lydia watching a video of her almost husband (almost as in she is in her wedding dress about to process almost) getting it on with his best man. All of a sudden, her world crashes in and she has to get out of there. After scaling a fence to which she sacrifices her dress, she collapses in a stranger’s bathtub, hoping the abandoned looking house in, indeed, abandoned.
She’s woken a few hours later by a large tattooed gentleman inquiring towards her presence. Vaughan, it appears, has just returned home to find a semi-nude lady in his empty bathtub and he is a touch confused. Just a touch, mind you.
As soon as he realizes that she’s not a danger to his person, they strike up a quick bond through which he manages to save her from the crazy family attached to that failed wedding and give her some space to land on her own two feet.
The Dive Bar bit in the title comes in because Vaughan’s sister owns said bar and Lydia ends up working there. This brings in the tribal aspects of their various friends and I feel for each one of them hook, line, and sinker. I cannot wait to get their other various stories as this book kicks off a new series. I’ve never read any of Scott’s other work even though it has been on my Kindle for about nineteen years without exaggeration, but I am booting her other books to the top of my TBR for sheer pleasure.
Even though I said at the top that I can’t get fully behind insta-love, and I can’t, this one almost works. And it’s not really that I’m opposed to insta-love, but I get skeptical. I just know that love is a choice, a choice you make every day in small ways and large, in ways you know consciously and unconsciously. The emotions and the sexual chemistry and all of that make the choice easier or harder but love is fundamentally a choice. A choice to be patient, kind, passionate, trustworthy, respectful, and a host of other things.
Before I get on a really long rant, let me just say this. I can get behind insta-love tropes when the author does the work to make me believe the couple will continue to make the choice for each other after the buzz of pheromones has worn off and the mortgage is due. That’s the brand of love I want to believe is in the future for our all romance couples and Scott does a great job projecting Lydia and Vaughan’s for me.
Highly recommended for folks who like small-town contemporaries littered with orgasms and a tribe of friends we get to enjoy in later books.