The Bar Next Door (Barflies, #1),
by Katia Rose
Publication: August 22, 2019
About the book:
Sometimes you take the shot, and sometimes the shot takes you.
As the manager of Montreal’s most infamous dive bar, Monroe—and it’s just Monroe, thank you very much—is used to serving up her signature pearls of wisdom alongside an array of shots, pints, and pitchers. In fact, she thrives on it. Taverne Toulouse is a mighty ship, and she it’s fearless captain, trusted by patrons and bar staff alike to steer them through choppy waters.
If only she’d been given a little warning before a full-on tsunami swept in next door.
Julien Valois’ wining and dining empire is making waves. The next item on his agenda is opening a trendy lounge right next to Monroe’s beloved Taverne Toulouse—one that’s meant to run the dive bar out of business so he can buy up that property too.
His plans did not include falling for a five-foot-nothing brunette with an impressive vocabulary and an even more impressive ability to manhandle drunk frat boys twice her size.
They’re rivals in every sense of the word, but when Monroe and Julien are in a room together, the battle lines fade away. Their defenses lower, their hearts get louder than their heads, and the burn between them goes down like just the right shot—intense, intoxicating, and able to sweep their priorities away with a single taste.
Until reality decides to slap up a big ‘For Sale’ sign and force them to remember those priorities all too clearly.
The Bar Next Door is part of the Barflies series, a set of standalone romantic comedies that chronicle the lives and loves of the staff at a Montreal dive bar.
I’m so excited to bring you my review for this fresh and unique romantic comedy, The Bar Next Door. This first in the author’s Barflies series is about Monroe, who is the manager of a dive bar Taverne Toulouse, and her experiences trying to keep the failing bar afloat while the sexy restauranteur Julien Valois buys the space next door for something new and exciting. The attraction between them is instant, however, Monroe initially spends time with Julien just to get intel about the new bar. But it doesn’t take long until the attraction between them is too strong to fight. Not only that, they are intellectual soulmates with a love of literature and all things academic. Sounds perfect right?
This was such a fantastic novel! I enjoyed everything about it from beginning to end, which doesn’t happen as often as I would like. I’ll start with Monroe, who reminds me of a great friend that used to manage the dive bar down the street from us. Monroe is crazy smart, beautiful, kind, caring, and driven. Is she utilizing her Master’s degree? Not exactly. However, she’s passionate about her little dive bar and wants it and its employees to succeed. Then there is the completely swoon-worthy Julien. One of my favorite things about him is that he initially seems pompous and uppity, but as the story progresses, you start to learn that he’s very sweet, kind, and at times – insecure. Between his love of all things wine and his love for his sweet dog, he won my heart very early on.
Besides the romance and relationship between Monroe and Julien, this novel is also about standing up for what you believe in, preserving little gems like Taverne Toulouse, and the amazing bonds of friendship. Monroe seriously has some great supporters in this novel and at times those relationships overshadowed the Monroe-Julien storyline. But it worked, was relevant, and made me love the book just that much more.
Somehow, this is my first time reading Katia Rose. I’m not sure why/how this happened, but I am now a fan for life. Her writing style is brilliant, yet relaxed and laid back making you feel as if you are just sitting back watching and listening to your friends as they tell you a story. The characterization was beautiful – completely bringing everyone to life. The plot was fast-paced and complex without being overly so. But most importantly, I fell in love with the storyline, the city, the bar, and especially all of the characters. I cannot wait to read what comes next in this must-read series.
*Thanks to the author for providing this review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.