REVIEWED by Caroline
SERIES: Brawlers #1
AUTHOR: JM Dabney
PUBLISHER: Self Published
LENGTH: 129 Pages
RELEASE DATE: March 21, 2017
Welcome to Brawlers Bar…
A quick pit stop for a comfortable bed to sleep turned into an eight-year stay. Vincent “Crave” Butler hit the road the day after college graduation and hadn’t looked behind him since. He’d swore to never stop moving, but the night he drove into Powers, Georgia changed the course of his life. He’d hit a bar called Brawlers with its rundown exterior and pride flag beside the door, the next day he had a job. Second in command to the Head of Brawler security, Crave found the place he didn’t have to run from. No one would call Crave sane. He lived to make people as uncomfortable as possible just for his own twisted amusement. That all changed when a certain cute as fuck bartender walked in for an interview.
No one wanted Twitch Harrison around. He was small, femme and annoying on his best days, downright abhorrent on his bad ones. When college turned out to be a no-go, and the parents canceled his credit cards he’d needed a job. Walking into Brawlers, the roughest gay bar in his hometown, was like a game of pick the thing that didn’t belong—him. The two owners, Scary and Tank, hired him on and four years later he was still that thing that didn’t belong. No one made it more apparent than bouncer Crave Butler who didn’t hide the fact he barely tolerated Twitch’s presence.
Crave threatened every man who thought they’d get the pretty Twitch but would Twitch rather be in their beds than his? Only one way to find out and he hoped Twitch was ready for forever because that’s what Crave was determined to have.
Brawlers is a kind of spin off of this authors Twirled World Ink series which I read and reviewed recently. Although it’s not absolutely necessary to have read that series first I would recommend that you do as the characters and their lives are all entwined and they have built their own crazy, protective and very badass family. There is never a dull moment at Brawlers Bar – the customers are as crazy as the staff and it’s not often a night goes by without someone throwing punch and all hell breaking loose.
When Crave left home he was driven by a need to never stop running – this worked well for him until he stopped one day at Brawlers Bar and got offered a job. That was the first thing that changed the course of his life. Crave’s childhood was abusive and to this day the effects of that abuse run deep. He’s a giant of a man with a quick temper and he’s never felt ready to trust himself in a relationship. Then Twitch walked into Brawlers and started work as a barman. That was the second thing to change the course of his life.
Twitch is small and femme and looks completely out of place working in a bar as rough as Brawlers but he can more than hold his own and he knows every drink going. He’s another one that stumbled across this group of men when his parent’s withdrew their support because he was gay. Taking away their financial support wasn’t the first time they had tried to determine how their son was going to live his life – they began that years ago when they sent him off to be abused in conversion therapy. The horrors he suffered still plague him today and he wears the scars of what that time in his life did to him. Twitch has all sorts of issues when it comes to his body and sex and he is resigned to the fact that he will never be enough for the man he wants.
It was interesting to watch this pair get together as they were so different and both were wary about a relationship. The whole Twitch and sex thing was resolved a little too easily in my opinion but it was good to see how his confidence grew and how he managed not only Crave but also Psycho and Bull. The huge and unruly men were like putty in his hands and they were all falling over themselves to make sure he was ok.
As with the books in the Twirled World Ink series Brawlers would have benefited from further proof reading and editing. I have chosen to ignore the errors and they are not reflected in my rating. I really enjoy the world and characters this author has built and I am looking forward to seeing the rest of the men at Brawlers meet the men who will eventually tame them!