Carlene W, Reviewer
Last updated on 02 Jul 2018
The A Love Story standalone series continues with Tap, giving readers the story of Cade and Sistine. Cade’s never had that desire to settle down, no woman has made him want to buy a house and raise babies, he’s happy with tending bar and running Foghorn Brewery with his brothers. That is, until some unexpected feelings for Sistine are stirred up. Sistine has a secret and she knows she’ll be judged for it, so she hides it away even from the man who makes her heart sing. They both recognize the feelings, but Sistine pushes for a friendship that Cade knows is meant for something more. Not used to the chase, Cade stumbles his way through wooing and trying to win the girl.
"It was kind of like when they were kids, but deeper in his chest. Cade wanted a life, a love, like his brothers."
I've held a personal flame for Cade since we first met him, he's the brother that seems so happy go lucky, easy to be around, and not necessarily serious about the future. Sure, the brewery and the bar are his brain child and are very important to him, but he’s definitely the ultimate bachelor of the brothers. There’s no better way to describe him, especially with how Tap starts out. Sistine is the quiet friend, she owns a knitting shop, is a member of the book club with all of Cade’s family and other friends, and has an interest in learning backgammon. She’s colorful and unexpected, the emotions she makes Cade feel even more so. I really liked Sistine, I liked that she was so much her own self, even if the secrets she kept hidden were not what I would’ve pictured her having. Their connection is obvious even if not to them; Tracy Ewens knows how to write chemistry that’s for sure.
"Who the heck was Sistine Branch? And why did the entire world suddenly seem so much more interesting?"
Though the brewery does play a large part in the story, in my opinion it took a backseat to the romance more so than the previous novels. Cade is so serious about the brewery, even if he’s often the one joking around, so seeing him put himself out there and do new things was fun. I laughed so hard when the chickens became more than just chickens, but this sign to Cade that maybe he was ready to settle. We see Cade be more than the bartender and Sistine is far more than the quiet knitter. We see these two in their element, both together and separate, but the moments they are together are my favorite. Each share so much of themselves, though it is apparent they both hold emotion back even if in different ways. I enjoyed them learning how to care for another, to accept being cared for, and figuring out that they can do so much more than is expected of them. The twist, though unexpected, didn’t surprise me once I made the connection. It was clever and made things interesting, especially towards the end.
"She knew there were still a few people scattered throughout the darkness, but the only things clear were his mouth and the weight in his voice she recognized as need. How had he come to need her?"
I breezed through Tap! I was so excited for Cade’s story and finding it a unique story that really stood out from the other sibling’s story was a nice surprise. Tap is the perfect casual romance read, taking place in a small California town with the bustling Foghorn Brewery as its centerpiece. It’s light without being fluffy, the romance realistic, the friendships meaningful, and the characters easy to connect with. I always recommend Tracy Ewens’ novels, but this one might be my personal favorite. All the novels can be read as standalones, though I recommend reading them in order just so you can meet all the fantastic characters Tracy Ewens has created. I can’t wait for the next, 2019 is full of promise already!