Book Reviews, Contemporary Romance, Year of Reviews - 2021

Review – Bastard Bartender by Jeannine Colette and Lauren Runow


Bastard Bartender; Falling For The Stars – Gemini 
(A standalone within a series)

Publication Date: May 23, 2021

Genre/Tropes: Friends to Lovers/Contemporary Romance

Authors: Lauren Runow and Jeannine Colette

Review Rating: 5 Gold Stars



A fun and flirty, with a rush of adrenaline, contemporary romance.

Another great addition to the astrological stars series by these two great writers. Each one has been extremely different and this setting in Sin City with a alphabet dating theme was a really fun twist. Evette and Nic both live in Las Vegas and know how hard it is to actually meet someone, not that Nic is actually looking, but he does sympathize with Evette when she comes to the bar he works at on the night she is searching for her “P”.

You see most people in Las Vegas are there for vacation or a weekend/business trip, so finding someone to really connect with for the long haul is tricky. Evette doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to men ,so with the help of her best friend, they came up with dating rules which include dating men according to the letters of the alphabet. Evette was all the way down to the letter P when she meets Nic, already past the letter N, because Nic is a fun guy, but being the helpful bartender he is, he also joins in on her adventure and becomes her extra wingman thus beginning their friendship.

Even though Evette is attracted to Nic and multiple times wishes she hadn’t already met an “N” man, Nic is also the kind of man she is trying to avoid.  Nic is fun, flirty, loves adventure, isn’t clingy, obviously has a job, loves his family…however, aside from not falling into the correct letter of the alphabet when she needs it…he’s also a huge commitmentphobe. He believes in living life to the extreme and that means no relationships and unfortunately that is why Evette is searching through the alphabet. She’s tired of being alone, so she refuses to give up on her quest.

No matter how much fun these two have as friends and circle each other, is there any real hope of a future when they both want different things?

I love to read each month and see what these two authors have cooked up as this series continues. Each one is a complete standalone and the only recurring theme are the traits around the astrological sign. They are all so different and I love it!


Meeting a man in Vegas is easy. Finding one to settle down with? Not so much.

When I relocated to Sin City for my job, I decided this was my fresh start to get away from old habits, including my penchant for dating the wrong type of guy. Namely, bad boys.

So, I came up with an experiment to make me expand my dating horizons. I can only talk to men whose name begins with a certain letter of the alphabet. After I meet them, we hang out, and we might date for a short period of time, but if he’s not the one I move on to the next letter. It’s easy, and it leads me to meeting all kinds of new men until one night at the bar, a very sexy bartender discovers my little plan.

The cocky bastard of a bartender is Nicolás Antonio Santiago, and he’s as gorgeous as his name.

Enthusiastic, charming, and clever, Nic takes to my love life with interest and helps me with my pursuits. We become fast friends, and he whisks me on his wild adventures. His impulsive ways become addictive, and while I’ve been trying to stay away from bad boys, I find myself falling for one.

As our relationship grows intense, I have to push my desires aside and stay the course. Nic doesn’t do love or relationships. Even if the sexual tension between us is palpable, I have an experiment to finish, and the next letter in my list is far from N.

They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. My fear is when I leave, my heart will stay here too.

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