Title: Starting Over
Series: The Knights Club: Book One
Author: C.J. Baty
Length: 82 Pages
At a Glance: There are a few editing bumps in Starting Over, but not enough to take away from an entertaining start to this new series.
Reviewed By: Maryann
Blurb: Xavier Knight was starting his life over. A new city. A new club. The past was gone, and he had everything to look forward to… except… love. That ship had sailed, never to return. He was too old to play the games or stack up the one night stands. Until, an old enemy’s son walked into his club and his heart.
Sebastian Brady was through. Through with hiding who he was. Through letting his brother officers dictate his life. And completely through, with his family telling him who he was. He turned his back on his badge and his family’s heritage in the Atlanta police force. But, he never imagined that he’d be serving drinks in a gay bar and working for the hottest silver fox he had ever seen in his life.
Xavier and Seb have a lot to learn from each other. Hopefully, their growing love will survive Xavier’s past, Seb’s family, and a host of characters with secrets of their own, who all work at the Knights Club.
Review: Stoney Whitecastle lost his lover of ten years, Ian McAlister, and now, two years after the murder, Stoney is ready to move on from the memories. He’s selling The Gentleman’s Club, which he’d opened twenty years ago. Xavier Knight, friend to Stoney, has just bought the club and has big plans. He’s renaming his exclusive, members-only club The Knights Club, and it’s perfect timing too, after a breakup and a move to Atlanta gave Xavier a new outlook. He’s getting on in years and is not interested in a relationship, not when it comes to giving his heart away.
Sebastian Brady had followed in his family footsteps and joined the police force, but after ten years of harassment, he’s handed over his badge and gun and is now free. Just like his father and his brothers, especially Zach, they never accepted Seb being gay. He and his sister, Katelyn, who is his best line of support, share the house they inherited from their mother after her death, but now that he’s free, he wants to move on, and Katelyn would benefit from the proceeds of the sale. As Seb finds himself both in need of a job and an apartment while waiting for his pension to kick in, he calls in a favor.
Xavier gets a call from a longtime friend, Damien Fitzgerald. Damien is calling in a favor for a friend who needs a job and a place to stay, but Xavier is hesitant to give Seb a shot. He doesn’t do cops, even ex-ones. When Seb and Xavier meet for the interview, there’s a big misunderstanding when Xavier discovers that Seb is a Brady, but Seb keeps his cool and makes Xavier realize that he has faced just as much bigotry and abuse from his father. As Seb proves himself while working at the club, he and Xavier get closer, but not without some harassment from Zach Brady, who has now made captain on the force. Zach is controlling, a bigot, and is determined to shut down The Knights Club.
Starting Over is a nice start to a new series with lots of potential, and there are mentions of a few characters from the author’s Warfield Hotel Mysteries too, especially Damien, who brings great news about his husband Robert Wyler. Xavier and Seb have a nice chemistry, even though they’re eighteen years apart in age. Xavier, being fifty, has his worries about Seb not wanting to be with an older man, but they make for a sweet and understanding couple. Even though we get an in-depth look at both characters here, I’m sure we’ll hear from them again as Xavier also has his hands full with lots of colorful employees of the club. Xavier and Seb also find themselves dealing in a little bit of mystery when it comes to the bar, while Seb stays strong and doesn’t back down from Zach, who seems to think he can still run Seb’s life.
There are a few editing bumps in Starting Over, but not enough to take away from an entertaining start to this new series.
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