Book Review: Love & Rum (The Cocktail Series Book 1) by Dani McLean

Love & Rum (The Cocktail Series Book 1) by Dani McLean

A Romance Novel published by Mood Publishing (07/06/21)

First reviewed through Reedsy Discovery


It’s been one year since Audrey got her divorce and she’s ready to move on. Jackson has never been in a serious relationship because he’s too busy acting in a hit TV show and he’s never wanted more than a one-night stand. Audrey just wants something casual and Jackson is just the man for the job! First, the one-night stand turns into something casual. Then they start to develop feelings for each other. Is Audrey really ready to move on? Is Jackson really ready for a long-term relationship?


Steamy, Sex, Romance, Cocktails, Drinking, Best Friends, Dual POV, Actor, TV Show, Divorced, Overworked, One Night Stand, Relationship, Past Emotional Abuse


My Review:

Love & Rum is a slow to develop romance for the reader even though it is hot and fast for the two main characters. The two main characters, Jackson and Audrey, are complex, fully formed, and well-rounded characters. During the course of the novel, they both grow personally as well as together in their relationship. There is a perfect balance of narrative devoted to their separate lives and their growing relationship together as a couple. When they are together, a lot of the focus is on their physical relationship. This makes sense since they originally met as a one-night stand and progress to casual sex at the beginning of their relationship.

Though a lot of the time Jackson and Audrey spend together is spent physically, the scenes are exceptionally well written. The sex scenes are very steamy but still feature consensual and communicative sex as the norm. I really, really enjoyed the emotional component and the running commentary of the characters during these scenes.

Both Audrey and Jackson tell their story with their own chapter POVs. The POV switching was seamless between the two characters and balanced quite well by the author.

Understated but not overlooked is the diversity of sexual preferences in this book.

Though I absolutely loved both Audrey and Jackson as well as their individual journeys, I could not get enough of best friend Tiff. Everyone needs a best friend like her and I can’t wait to read her story (assuming she has her own book in this Cocktail Series. 

The plot appears simple but the story is told well, the characters are emotionally gripping, and the scenes are well chosen. I could see where the climax was coming from immediately but the ending was emotionally satisfying and optimistic. The extra chapters at the end that tied up the narrative serving as an epilogue were well placed and I appreciated having a completed and full ending.

This romance novel will appeal to most romance readers who enjoy dual POV, lots of steamy sex scenes, and a happy ending.

I can’t wait to read the next novel by this author and/or in this series.

This novel was published by Mood Publishing on 07/06/2021 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 5.00

Links for more information:


Dani McLean’s Website