4 Star Review ☆ But First, Coffee (Love & Coffee Book 1) by Sarah Darlington




Reviewed by Jacqui

Already a fan of Sarah Darlington, I was excited to read the book. Once I started I had mixed feelings about it. At first I was expecting more of a rom-com based on the main characters names, Lana Bitterman and Joe Coffee. But it ended up being a little more serious than I expected.

Lana Bitterman, CEO of a coffee company and wearer of white pant suits. Wanting to expand her business, she seeks help from one of her stores best baristas, Joe Coffee. When she first meets him, the drop dead gorgeous barista is telling a story of spilling coffee on the white pant suit customer aka the boss. An awkward meeting later and Joe is helping her plan out her new store.

Joe Coffee is not who he seems. Yes, he makes a mean cup of coffee but his past is not what you would expect. Joe has been to law school, has ADHD, fell into drugs and alcohol addiction, lives a meager life and has trouble with intimacy and relationships, something that started after a blackout time in his life. A brother who will do anything to protect his younger sister Kitty, Joe is blackmailed into helping out a competitor and ex friend of Lana, who wants something from Lana. When the sparks fly between Joe and Lana, Joe knows what he needs to do. Help the woman he is falling in love with.

The plot and ending were not what I expected. It seemed too simple and easy and not much of a fight between Lana and her ex-friend Doug who has been blackmailing Joe. Although Joe and Lana get through their respective relationship problems and ended with a HEA, Doug is the big mystery as is Kitty. What will Sarah Darlington bring us with these two? I for one can’t wait. Thank you Sarah Darlington for bringing us Coffee.


Ready to expand her coffee empire, Lana Bitterman does what any smart and fierce CEO would do— she decides to promote the highest selling barista in her company. Joe Coffee. But Joe Coffee isn’t just a handsome barista with a great name. He also inexplicably has an engineering degree from MIT and an almost-degree from Harvard Law.
The more Lana researches Joe, the deeper into his past she falls. And from the moment he walks into her office, she knows she wants him.

Not just as an employee.

As more.

But little does she know, Joe has more secrets than a few unexplained degrees. He’s there because he was sent there.


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