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But First, Coffee

(Love & Coffee #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  256 ratings  ·  179 reviews
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 in
ebook, 300 pages
Published September 10th 2018 by Sarah Darlington
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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  256 ratings  ·  179 reviews

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Natalie ✩★ The Biblioholic ★✩
The Blog Tour + Giveaway ➤

This was a dramatic story that seemed to be more about the minor character, Doug, than the main characters themselves. Joe and Lana were obviously supposed to be the focus of this book, but everything seemed to revolve around Doug that they kept feeling more like background characters. Doug was the puppetmaster while Joe and Lana were his marionettes. Because of this it was hard to really form a connection with what this story was supposed to be a
DJ Sakata
Favorite Quotes:

Joe Coffee. His name sounded like a cartoon character from the 1990s.

I gave up on the possibility of love and romance years ago. My last encounter with a man had been a blind date, set up by my mother, where I drank too much wine and ended up crying on my date’s shoulder by the end of the night. Needless to say, I never heard from that guy again. Until I saw him, awkwardly enough, at my parents’ Christmas Eve party last year. He avoided me like I had a highly contagious flesh-ea
First, let's just stop for a moment to admire this cover... It's just amazing! Totally addicting to keep looking at. Hahaha

Anyway... I was really glad to read a book where the male character, the hero, was not a self-centered jerk. Joe Coffee was a man that had a rough part of his life and he is traumatized in several aspects of his life because of that time of his life. He only wants to be seen more than a hot body. It was so interesting to read about a guy that had confidence and insecurities
"On my resume, I could write.... Skills: knowledge of useless law facts, makes a mean cup of coffee, and champion of bar games." --Joe Coffee

Hmm... 3.75 stars....

I have mixed feelings about this novel. I love Sarah as an author and have been betaing for her since her very first novel He Belong With Me four years ago, which I adored. And while I really enjoyed certain aspects, I found myself getting caught up on other points.

I loved the MCs themselves--Lana was a strong, no-nonsense businesswom
Carlene Inspired
Find this review and others at Carlene Inspired.

3.75, but rounding up to a 4.

Lana Bitterman: creator of Java Bean and wearer of white pant suits.
Joe Coffee: handsome barista and recovered addict.
The two might've never met, Lana doesn't venture into her coffee shops, though she's heard of the handsome man and his ability to make a cup of coffee faster and better than anyone else. Her research shows he's capable and her mind says it's the right thing to do, so she promotes him unaware that he's b
Superfly Gibson
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Just started BETA reading this 🤗🤗
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Chemistry, conspiracy, and coffee- Sarah Darlington stirred it all together into a spectacular brew I didn’t want to put down. (Too many coffee puns? Never.)

Ready to expand her burgeoning coffee empire, Lana Bitterman does what any smart and fierce CEO would do- she invites the highest selling barista in her company to help her in an office capacity. Because Joe Coffee isn’t just a handsome and charismatic barista with a great name, he’s also got a secret past that inexplicably involves an engi

Hang on just a minute while I grab myself a Venti Grande Double Shot Extra Whip Pumpkin Spice Latte. Just kidding, I don’t drink coffee! But that didn’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying But First, Coffee by Sarah Darlington!

But First, Coffee is a little different from Sarah’s previous novels- not the normal sexy and angsty New Adult stories we’re used to seeing from her, although there is plenty of sexy and definitely some angst and drama. This book is more of a romantic suspense with mystery an
Sep 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Lana Bitterman wants to expand her company so she promotes highest selling barista Joe Coffee. They mutually feel a chemistry but can they make it work when there are secrets between them?

It was ok for me. I felt like i liked the storyline but Joe and Lana's attraction was insta and I find myself wanting more from books. I am interested to see where Kitty, a minor character in this book, storyline will go
So, I’m going to be honest....I was drawn to this book by ummmmm.......well.....okay.....the cover!!!! What an amazing cover!!!! The title also drew me in because I love coffee!!!!

I loved the storyline and of course I loved Joe and Lana’s chemistry together. The intrigue/mystery drew me in as well, because who doesn’t love a good mystery with some romance????

This was my first book from Ms. Darlington and I look forward to reading more from her.

Reviewed by: Dana D.
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lana Bitterman started Java Beans from a she'd in her father's backyard. It was her baby. She spent her life working it from the ground up. She called in Joe a barista to hopefully talk business and give him a promotion. Joe, who is being blackmailed by Doug with evidence he has on Joe's sister Kitty. But the closer Joe gets to Lana, the more he falls. Joe is left wondering what to do. Help protect his sister, or protect the woman he is quickly develping feelings for? It's a no brainer- he needs ...more
Elsa Gomes (BookishAurora)
Rate: 3 / 5 stars

This book caught my attention with that sexy and enticing cover, and the blurb held my interest. But getting into this book you know right away that it is much more than an office romance. Joe Coffee does not have pure intentions and his job at Java Beans is nothing more than a set up. You see Joe is being blackmailed. with his sister's sex-tapes, by someone from Lana's past that wants to destroy her, and he is there in hopes to learn anything about her that will help in that
Peggy M
I received an ARC of this book and this is my voluntarily, honest review of it.

There are two things that I enjoy very much in life and that’s reading and drinking coffee. So you can imagine my delight when I read the title of this book and then the blurb. It sounded like a story especially writing for me.

This story managed to surprise me. I thought that I knew what this book was about and in a way I was right but what I didn’t expected was for the male character Joe Coffee to be so ‘complex’ and
Emily (Mrs B's Books)
**My thanks to the author for providing me with a free copy for an honest review**

This book contains romance, suspense happy endings and the openings into book two of the series.

Joe Coffee is being interviewed by Lana Bitterman the owner of Java Bean as he has a reputation in her company and she wants to promote him, however things are not quite what they seem.

The chemistry between the two right from the beginning has the flames leaping of the pages and even though he is a little younger it does
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
So, I’m going to be honest....I was drawn to this book by ummmmm.......well.....okay.....the cover!!!! What an amazing cover!!!! The title also drew me in because I love coffee!!!!

I loved the storyline and of course I loved Joe and Lana’s chemistry together. The intrigue/mystery drew me in as well, because who doesn’t love a good mystery with some romance????

This was my first book from Ms. Darlington and I look forward to reading more from her.
Kelly (the book hussy)
”I’ll be your risk, and you can be my safety.”

Quick read with some drama and suspense. I have mixed feelings with this one. I liked Lana and Joe together. Joe’s backstory was a bit hard for me to believe. But it added to his vulnerability with Lana, which was nice.

The storyline with Doug is confusing. Doug is the “villain” in the story. All the drama and suspense didn’t end up going anywhere and I was left scratching my head by the end of the book.

Overall, it was entertaining. Easy to read. I
Books with Brittany
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I should probably start this off saying I do not drink coffee lol!!
"He's young. He's confident. He's cocky." That one sentence told me everything I needed to know about Joe Coffee!! You can feel the love from the first chapter, the characters may didn't know it but I DID! Who can turn down drama, love with some hot sex scenes, and suspense?! I have one problem, I NEED book 2 NOW!!
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a really nice, light, quick read with just a little hint of suspense and drama thrown in.

It is a wonderfully written book, with some great characters, although i did feel they maybe could have done with a bit more developping, they are a bit bland. I did like how the usual stereotypes have been flipped and the woman is the rich, powerful CEO. I also really liked the relationships, particularly that of Joe and Lana, they really do work perfectly together and it's heartwarming to read.
Isha Coleman
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Darlington gives coffee and conspiracy, a cute makeover. Who knew the business of coffee brewing was so cutthroat? But First, Coffee goes from light and fluffy to sweetly romantic and intensely suspenseful. Lana is the brains behind Java Beans, a thriving business that specializes in coffee. Joe is a barista that enjoys his job. Not all is sweet in the world of coffee and Joe could find himself on the losing end. His heart or protecting his sister. Which will he choose? The twists are plentiful, ...more
Sona Via
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Coffee shop--check
great romance possibility ----check
vulnerable hero--check
wonderful heroine--check
hot and filthy sex-- sex
great story with twists--check
100% smutt satisfaction--check

It is one of the rare romances where we have a hot dude with severe traumatic experience and super vulnerable side that needs healing. Yes yes yes and yes.

Highly recommending!!!!!
Anne Z.
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My first book by Sarah Darlington and most definitely NOT the last. I am officially a fan!

All characters had charm and were original. There was plenty of chemistry, charm, drama and unexpected moments to keep you on your toes.

Loved It!

Full review coming soon!
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Weronika -  Little Steamy Reads
Coffee- what an amazing invention. With a cup of this magical drink you are able to overcome a bad mood, forget about bad weather and wake up to life.

Lana Bitterman is a woman of success. She runs a company that produces and sells coffee, which she created from scratch. In order to further develop her company, she decides to promote a barista working in her company - after all, who knows the coffee better than the person who serves it?

And here comes Joe Coffee (I love the variation on the hero's
ARC kindly provided by the author. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

I really, really enjoyed this books (just as much as I enjoyed previous work by Sarah). It's an easy going and light read.
Our main characters are the charismatic Joe Coffee - a barista gone Vice President of Growth and Development - and his boss and CEO of Java Beans, Lana Bitterman - hell a girl boss.

He is sexy, tempting and sweat, trying to please Lana. Soon taking a lot of own responsibility, having Lanas back and not shying away from b
Pavitra (For The Love of Fictional Worlds)

Disclaimer: An eARC was provided via the Author as part of the Bookstagram Tour. The Thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are therefore, my own.

This is my first book by Ms. Darlington – and I am honestly in two minds about this one.

But First, Coffee is all about coffee
(which honestly, is my lifeline) & the main reason why I actually signed up for the bookstagram tour. This book is an older woman / younger man romance; for those who would like to know.

I adored the hero &
A Book Obsessed Brit
My first novel by Sarah Darlington and I am a self confessed cover whore, so of course this book had me on reveal day! Once I read the blurb it gave me the impression this was something a little different to the normal workplace romance, to see the heroine as the CEO and the hero as her employee was a refreshing change.

The story centres around our Heroine Lana Bitterman, the 30 year old CEO of Java Beans, a coffee franchise she has built from the ground up. Lana is an insecure and very lonely wo
Michelle Abascal Monroy
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
But first, Coffee by Sarah Darlington is a book that when you read the blurb looks like an office romance but once you start reading it you know is more than that!! First we have Joe and Lana our couple that let me tell you the thing that it most capture my attention was that the heorine was older than our hero, but i have to confess that reading the book i couldnt notice that so much, because once you read this book and know the characters you will understand that they have really different per ...more
Joy Novel Thoughts
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-unlimited
But First, Coffee was a cute book low on the angst, although it had potential for more fall out than there was, and I read it all in one day.

I think what I really adored the most about this story was Joe. He was a breath of fresh air hero! In fact, he's the complete opposite of the the jerk alpha heroes I've read lately and I couldn't get enough of him. He was sweet and romantic and tender. And goodness I just want to hug him!

Lana was a little more difficult to figure out, I liked her well enou
Twinsie Talk Angie J
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Check out this review and others at
Newsletter :

I received this book from the author for an honest review.

I love Sarah’s books and sign up to review them when I get the forms. Something about the way she writes and her kinda but not really insta-love….dude its romance and I like it.

So Joe and Lana……ok when I read the blurb of the book I thought it
Amazeballs Book Addicts
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this one. It's a must one click. All of the characters are interesting. Lana is the CEO of Java Beans. She's thought of as a tough boss. She's strong but she's also sweet. Joe Coffee is barista for one of her coffee shops. He's sexy and smart. He's kind of a little mystery and has a past. He's being blackmailing by Doug to help him take Lana down. Things don't go to plan when Joe and Lana actually meet. There is so much chemistry from these two. Joe opens up to her about things he hasn't ...more
Anna Reads Here
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, kindle-reads
First off, I should probably tell you that I'm allergic to coffee, so I don't even understand the coffee obsession. But all that aside, the book is so cute! I also received this ARC and I'm going to review it, because it's worth a review.

(view spoiler)
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I'm Sarah Darlington. I write Contemporary Romance books that are both steamy and sweet, with a touch of agnst. I love creating book boyfriends you won’t soon forget.
My latest... Joe Coffee☕️

I’m a mom to two young kiddos, both on the spectrum, so my days are never the same and always busy.

😘Sarah Darli

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Love & Coffee (2 books)
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