Review: Man Buns by Shari J. Ryan

man bunsTitle: Man Buns

Author: Shari J. Ryan

Year of publication: 2018. The author kindly gave me a copy to read and review

The heroine: Lifeguard Kai ?

The hero: Ex-Marine/waiter Denver Rossdale

The blurb: I got out of the Marine Corps to give my daughter a better life. I’m a strong and capable single dad. I got this, right? Not so much.

The one thing my daughter wants is the hardest to find—a mom. It’s not like they’re selling hot intelligent women at Walmart these days, and with the amount of baggage I’m carrying around, I might be out of luck.

Yeah, so.

We moved from Oahu to Maui. I needed a job, a place to live, and to get us settled. I thought it would be simple, but let’s just say . . . mistakes have been made.

· Mistake #1: I took the first job I was offered. (Should’ve probably asked a couple more questions about the required uniform.)
· Mistake #2: I flirted with Kai, the first attractive woman who crossed my path. (So far out of my league she might as well be a Hawaiian princess.)
· Mistake #3: I fell head over heels for that woman. (See Mistake #2.)

Now I’m standing here showing my butt—no, literally. It’s the required uniform at Man Buns, the restaurant I’m working at. (See Mistake #1).

In any case, I can tell you one thing—it’s damn near impossible to convince the woman I can’t live without to take me seriously when I’m serving up burgers, half-naked, and women are constantly ogling my assets.

I’ve gotta try, though. Because Kai is the woman for me, and she’s perfect with Aya. I’ve just gotta get these man buns in gear and figure out how to win her over.

Standalone or series: Part of the Man Cave series but can be read as a standalone

The review: This was a cute book. Denver, a Texan boy, has left the Marines in Hawai’i to take care of his young daughter, Aya. His ex charmingly walked out on them a few years back, so Denver’s a single dad who is trying to balance work, being a parent, and being a man.

When an old friend, Noa, offers him a job and a house on Maui, Denver moves Aya there from Oahu. What Noa doesn’t tell Denver is that the job is working as a waiter at Man Buns, the male equivalent of Hooters. The uniform consists of teeny tiny shorts that leave nothing to the imagination. Denver’s not thrilled with it, but he takes it until he can find something else.

Denver is entranced with the beautiful lifeguard he meets at the hotel pool where he and Aya are staying. Turns out that Kai is the soon to be sister-in-law of Noa. Kai has been looking after her younger sister, Lea, since they lost their parents when Kai was eighteen, and as a result she’s missed out on a lot. She’s never dated or had anyone special in her life because her sole focus has been her sister.

I enjoyed this book, but some things didn’t quite gel for me. Denver mentioned a few times how much he needed the job to support Aya, but later on in the book it’s revealed he has several hundred thousand dollars stashed away from his days as a Marine. The romance between Denver and Kai was a really slow burn, but when they finally got together it seemed to happen very quickly and then the book was over. I would have loved to see more of Denver and Kai actually together. But I did love the last page, which had a cute spoiler. This is a nice, lighthearted read if you’re in the mood for such a thing.