The Bartender’s Pride by T.J. Dallas

The Bartender's Pride (Pride Trilogy #1)

The Bartender’s Pride by T.J. Dallas

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I honestly did not know what to think of this book as I was reading. It jumps between several character points of view throughout reading. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what the plot was early on. I was enjoying each character, they all had interesting personalities. The main protagonist of the story Lara, however, seemed fairly irrelevant and the least developed of them all.

Closer to the end though, things started falling into place. Things that seemed unimportant made sense in the grand scheme of things and Lara finally felt like she had a legitimate purpose. I won’t lie, I was indifferent to the book until this point. I liked the plot twist and how it shook everything else up and change everything, including character dynamics.

It did feel like this book was mostly just setting up for a bigger story that I hope continues in the rest of the trilogy without the need for as much of it in them. This book started out a little bit weak, but ended strong and has me curious for the next one.

Full Review with Spoilers

I didn’t have very much knowledge about this book when I started it. As promised it is indeed an erotica. Though I was a bit lost on the plot in the beginning of the story.

Lara is a young woman struggling with her sexuality due to being raised in a close-minded environment. In need of a job, she begins working as a bartender at a gay club. Realistically, Lara didn’t really feel like much of a main character. The chapters jump around to follow different characters, each a human incarnation of one of the seven deadly sins. (Though you don’t get to follow each of them just yet in this book.) Because of this, Lara doesn’t really seem very important and to be honest, her chapters didn’t feel like they had a great deal of character development other than everything just going wrong for her.

Each of the other characters we follow throughout the book though all have very distinct personalities and I found myself enjoy each of them and their complicated relationships with one another.

Up until maybe three fourths of the way through the book I was a little indifferent. The sex scenes varied greatly and were all well written, but that really felt like the biggest draw of the story. Out of nowhere though, the big plot twist occurred as we meet the counterparts of the sins, the virtues, and we learn of a rather devious plot to use Lara against Pride who is the leader of the Sins. In causing Lara to essentially hit rock bottom, Pride takes a heavy blow to her psyche. This throws off the delicate balance that is in place. I liked the supernatural aspect that underlines everything through the book too. It becomes more and more prominent as the story progresses.

By the end of the book I was genuinely invested. It’s a very character driven story which I always enjoy. This particular book was paced a bit slow in terms of the overall story but worked well to set up the next two books in the projected trilogy. It’s an interesting concept tangled within a supernatural erotica story.

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