Rum and Rendezvous (Love and Libations #1) by Raquel Riley

Two of the most clueless MCs ever, in a sweet romance with dating shenanigans. Rum and Rendezvous is the first book in a new series by Raquel Riley.

From the blurb:

What do you get when you combine terrible dating advice and a bottomless supply of consolation cocktails? Garnish with banter and sweet baked goods and you have the perfect recipe for love.

After a string of failed dates, I was ready to give up on love.

Carson Carrick was the bangable bartender who was out of my league, barring one disastrous night turned perfect.

I was blown away when my one night stand stepped in to help change my luck. Under his careful direction, things went from bad to worse. I’ve started to wonder how someone could be so charming but suck at dating.

Maybe I was the problem after all?

I had no idea what I was doing when I offered to help Ryan find his match. But he was hot, gullible, and desperate. He needed me—I mean—he needed my help.

I should never have touched him, because now I couldn’t keep my hands off him. And the more I helped him look for the right guy, the more I became convinced that it was me.

I was beginning to think he had seen through my lame attempts at coaching him on dates. But why should he even bother looking for Mr. Right when I’m right in front of him?

How could I make him see I had more to offer than rum and rendezvous?

Rum And Rendezvous is the first book in the Love And Libations series. This opposites attract, friends with benefits gay romance features a dating coach with terrible advice, a tragic serial dater with a run of bad luck, and nosy family members who like to meddle.

Nedra's Review:

As usual, Raquel brings the heat with fireworks erupting with yet another remarkable release! The humor and growth from these characters was solid, keeping me engaged throughout. And, updates with Reid was appreciated lol. 

“𝕃𝕠𝕠𝕜 𝕒𝕥 𝕪𝕠𝕦, 𝕒𝕝𝕝 𝕕𝕣𝕖𝕤𝕤𝕖𝕕 𝕗𝕠𝕣 𝕓𝕖𝕕. 𝕀𝕤 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕨𝕙𝕖𝕣𝕖 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕨𝕖𝕣𝕖 𝕙𝕠𝕡𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕥𝕠 𝕖𝕟𝕕 𝕦𝕡?”

Ryan and Carson’s relationship, though completely unconventional and total opposites, was excitedly hot!! From the beginning, the tension could be felt, consistently increasing overtime. Their chemistry was enticing, but their growth was more. Witnessing both trust and confidence grow within these two is what romance is about, and, of course their scenes were filled with filth and a nastiness that left me shivering. 

“𝔹𝕦𝕥 𝕗𝕚𝕣𝕤𝕥 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕗𝕠𝕣𝕖𝕞𝕠𝕤𝕥, 𝕪𝕠𝕦’𝕝𝕝 𝕒𝕝𝕨𝕒𝕪𝕤 𝕓𝕖 𝕞𝕪 𝔹𝕠𝕪𝕥𝕠𝕪.”

I am ecstatic for this upcoming series! Raquel brought the heat with the first two, preparing for the future releases! (Let me quit, I’m here for everything nasty 😋). 

Rating: 5 Stars

Lori C's Review:

What starts as friendship with a side of dating advice becomes more for Ryan. All he sees is the life he wants to build with Carson in every failed date he goes on. One of my favorite lines is from Graham, Carson’s Uncle, “You definitely need new friends. But sometimes, you have to have patience with the dumb ones and give them extra leeway until they pull their head out of their ass and see what they’re missing….Hang in there, Ryan. You look like a patient guy. My nephew, he’s one of the dumb ones.”

This is only my second Raquel Riley book and I’m so glad I found her. Her stories bring me joy and they make me laugh. I’m looking forward to this new series and the Carrick clan. I want to know what is up with Shannon and Gordy? Why are they so cranky with each other? And hello Carly, why are you being so weird with Rory? These are the questions that haunt me at the end of a book especially if the books is in a series. Please give me more soon, I really want more. 😊🤩

Rating: 4 Stars

Sheena's Review:

Rum and Rendezvous was a first from this author for me, and the start of a new series. I read this as a standalone but I think it's set in a pre-existing world. there were a couple of references I didn't get and I was a little confused at, but nothing to mar the enjoyment of the book.

These are two of the most clueless MCs ever 😂.  I mean really. That's not a bad thing, and it was kind of fun actually. Ryan in particular is not only clueless but hopelessly naive at times, and he was so sweet I hated seeing people take advantage of him (which even Carson kind of did, honestly). There was such an instant connection between Carson and Ryan, and it was hot. I loved Ryan's efforts at dating, the mishaps were kind of fun and I did giggle a little at Carson's attempts to undermine them.  

Honestly these two were just so perfect together, and so utterly clueless. It was fun watching them dance round each other, and everyone else could it see it miles away. Ryan, for all that he's clueless and naive when it comes to dating, also has a hidden spine of iron, he knows what he wants and seeing that come out from time to time was great.

I really enjoyed this and look forward to Carlisle's story.

Rating: 4 Stars

Reedkaye's Review:

I enjoyed this story.  It is light hearted enough with more than a few funny events that I would recommend this to anyone needing to escape for awhile.

I love it when there is a dating app that just doesn’t work so in steps a dating coach. That is what happens to Ryan. He is getting desperate to have a special someone. He does what a lot of people do, try a dating app. Being safe, he agrees to meet his date at a local bar. After things just don’t work out the way he wants he meets the bartender Carson who believes Ryan just needs to get more in the dating game and proceeds to help. As these two get to know each other a friendship develops and they find they really enjoy each other’s company. The only thing holding them from trying a date is Carson realizes Ryan is from the high class part of town and has a personality that shows he has lived the better things while Carson doesn’t even have a college education and his career as a bartender is probably as good as it gets. 

Carson has a twin who I also really enjoyed. This author is able to describe the locations and characters so it’s easy to picture them. Even the interaction between twins was funny. I am glad to see this is the beginning of a series because I sure can use a good story and laugh.

Rating: 5 Stars

Heather's Review:

Pining.. and mixed drinks - a one night stand after a dating disaster becomes a friendship where two men pine for each other until it all finally comes to a head... and I was totally there for all of it!  This was a delicious read with a fair amount of angst, excellent steam and just the right amount of reader frustration with the situation...

I read this story in one sitting and loved every minute!  I can't wait to see where the rest of the series goes and when Carly gets his HEA!

Rating: 5 Stars

Miki J's Review:

Brilliant and funny !! I adored this book - from the disastrous beginning and right to the HEA.  The banter between the MC's is just sublime and rollicking good fun - subconsciously, they totally get each other. It just took a while for them to actually realize it - with some bad dates and even worse dating advice along the way.  

I couldn't put the book down - looking forward to the next one in the series.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Rum and Rendezvous is available to buy as an ebook, paperback, or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.