Series: Cowboys and Angels 03
Author: Sue Brown
Length: Novel (189 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (29 Oct 2019)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts
Blurb: A gentle bartender might have what it takes to mend a relationship-phobic detective’s broken heart… but first they have to admit they’re dating.
Keenan Day could kick himself for letting the hot, dark-haired stranger he met outside a strip club get away. Instead of a phone number, he gets a punch in the face—from the boyfriend of his prospective employer at the Cowboys and Angels bar. When two cops come to check up on him, one is the sexy stranger, Detective Nate Gordon.
The initial attraction hasn’t cooled, and though Nate is leery of commitment, one hookup turns into another until they’re seeing each other in everything but name. After a recent nasty breakup, Nate balks at being part of a couple, and Keenan agrees, even though that’s all he’s ever wanted.
Just as they reach a standstill, a crisis shows them what their friends have known all along—they’ve already moved way past hookups. Now they just have to decide how to move forward.
Review: Slow Dating the Detective is the third book in Sue Brown’s series, Cowboys and Angels. I’ve become quite a fan of Brown’s writing, particularly after her Island Medics series and her contributions to Dreamspun Desires. I find the characters so relatable and easy to sympathise with, I also love the romance, which isn’t insta-love and is sometimes a slow burn.
The world of the Cowboys and Angels series is based around the world of a city bar called Cowboys and Angels, which is owned by Gideon, whose story kicked off the first book in the series. Even though both MCs of this book are completely new to the series, I still recommend that this series be read in order. The four men who were the MCs of the previous books, plus a couple we sort of met in the second book but never saw their romance properly, are very strong secondary characters. Also, how both the present MCs, Keenan and Nate, are brought into the Cowboys and Angels family has strong ties to these characters. I’m sure it would make sense as a standalone, but I feel that reading this without reading the first two books will do all the characters an injustice.
Keenan is dragged to a strip club by his sister. He’s having a tough time. An attack and resulting brain injury means that Keenan doesn’t have many career options open, but enjoys his job with a family run construction company. Now, the company was folding and has been brought out by a much larger corporation and has resulted in Keenan, as well as other employees, losing their jobs.
This is why Keenan’s sister has taken to a club to enjoy some talented male exotic dancers. The club itself had been brought out by the owner of the Cowboys and Angels bar by the end of book 2 in the series, and the club manager is a stripper who goes by the stage name Lionman, aka Cris. That night happens to be Lionman’s last hurrah on the stage as he takes over the day to operations of the club. But Keenan doesn’t know any of this yet, instead he sees a man he likes but is too shy to get the man’s number.
However, at the club he gets a lead on a possible job, even if it is bar tending at a local red neck bar, Cowboys and Angels, which has ties to the same guy who now owns the strip club. Keenan doesn’t have much choice and takes the dive. When he goes for his job interview he is greeted by a fist to his face from the bar’s ex-owner (Gideon, because he gifted the bar to his partner), and an offer for a trial period by the bar owner (Dan). And if the situation doesn’t just keep getting worse, two cops step in. One of them being Detective Nate Gordon.
Nate is a commitment-phobe. He comes by it honestly after having his heartbroken and struggling with the idea of putting his heart on the line again. Nate is a nice change from many cop storylines in MM romance where homophobia in the workplace is the least of his issues. After all, one of the other detectives is dating a guy (Mikey, who features in both books 1 and 2). He’s not ready for a relationship and after being honest with Keenan about not dating, Keenan is willing. These guys have a lot of complex emotions to come to terms with before they can think beyond to labelling whatever it is they are having. But there is no doubt that of the two men it is Nate whose baggage is the heaviest.
This was an excellent addition to the world of Cowboys and Angels. I love how closely connected all the characters are (I suppose Gideon’s millions of dollars and given so many business interests help this fact along). I love how there is a friendly, family feel to this series. The characters are relatable, and I love the spark between Nate and Keenan. They are both pretty lost when we first meet them, but they have so much potential together and the possibility of many new friends to add to their circle.