Tag: LGBTQ (Page 2 of 3)

BOOK REVIEW: Showstopper (Vino & Veritas #17) by Regina Kyle

BOOK REVIEW: Showstopper (Vino & Veritas #17) by Regina KyleShowstopper (Vino & Veritas #17)
by Regina Kyle
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads


I swore I wouldn’t do this again. Mix sports, school, and sex. But right now the only thing standing between me and the NHL is six feet of frenemy packed into a pair of form-fitting jeans that have me thinking all kinds of things I shouldn’t. Mostly how to get him out of them.

I don’t just want Kolby. I need him. Because I’ve got to pass this theater class--yeah, I said theater--if I’m going to keep my spot on the team. When tutoring sessions turn into dates-not-dates over Shipley Cider at Vino and Veritas, I realize it’s going to be harder than I thought to keep my hands on my stick and off of Kolby. Worse, I think I might be falling for him. But I’m not ready for that. I want to keep this thing between us on the down-low for now.

But Kolby hates secrets. Especially his own . . .


I did not expect to be back at Moo U for this book and was so excited when that was the case! I can’t even tell you how many times at this point I have googled Burlington and surrounding areas so that I can some time take a trip over there and pretend like I could go to all of these places in real life (especially Vino & Veritas).

Kolby and Adam were a great couple that I knew I was going to like from their first run-in where they clashed a little bit (while also still both being super attracted to one another LOL). I love that they both were put in situations around the other where they weren’t at their top form (Kolby on the ice doing lessons and Adam in improv class) because I feel like that made them a little more vulnerable. I loved how once the team found out about the two, all but Slags immediately were super supportive to Adam. That’s what we need more of in this world. Those Moo U boys really are unparalleled.

Also, and I feel like this isn’t a HUGE spoiler since most romances have one side of the couple doing some kind of grand gesture at the end to make up for whatever they messed up, but I was super glad that Kolby just wasn’t having it and walked out. Sometimes I come to hate that formula. Why do they always need to do some big huge thing to be forgiven? Why can’t they just talk things out in a small and normal way? That’s what happened here and I felt like it fit perfectly and I wouldn’t have wanted to change one thing about it.

Finally, Regina Kyle, I love you. You added some really great pop culture references that I was obsessed with and even just a mention of a TV show and a book I love made me enjoy this book that much more. I’m a simple gal, what can I say? lol

Huge thanks to Heart Eyes Press for allowing me to read an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

BOOK REVIEW: Stronghold (Vino & Veritas #14) by Ana Ashley

BOOK REVIEW: Stronghold (Vino & Veritas #14) by Ana AshleyStronghold (Vino & Veritas #14)
by Ana Ashley
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads


A second chance at love? Or a second chance to ruin everything?

When Skyler spots the new bartender at Vino and Veritas, his body responds before the guy even turns around. But when he does, it takes only a heartbeat for recognition to set in and for sparks to fly. Judson’s been gone for ten years, but he’s the man Skyler never forgot. Or forgave.

The last place Judson wants to be is back home in Burlington, living with family. Not so long ago he was a world-class chef with the lifestyle to prove it. Now he’s serving drinks and flying under the radar until he can get the hell out again. But when his childhood best friend reenters his life, looking finer than any entree at a five-star restaurant, he wonders if it’s time to update his menu of life choices.

Working through past wounds with Skyler won’t be easy, though, especially with family obligations--and the occasional dairy cow--interfering. When their loyalty is tested, will their newly built stronghold be sturdy enough to withstand the storm?

Stronghold is a sweet and sexy Vino & Veritas romance with some creative use of maple syrup.


Okayyyyy everything about this was perfection. To this day I argue with myself about what I love best: friends to lovers or enemies to lovers. I think I just need to quit trying to decide and accept the fact that I love both equally but can be in the mood for either/or at different times. This one was a bit of a friends to lovers/second chance situation. Due to a misunderstanding their senior year (isn’t there ALWAYS ONE?!?) these former best friends hadn’t seen each other in ten years. Judson literally fled across the world to France where he attended culinary school while Skyler stayed home to help out his family after his dad almost gambled away their entire farm while also getting into the maple syrup business.

Fast forward to now–Judson is back due to a bad situation in France and is just trying to pick up the pieces of his life–again. The two run into each other and it’s obvious that whatever soul-deep connection they used to have, never went away. My favorite part about this book was that it didn’t take long for them to finally open up about what happened the night before Judson left. Sky had been left broken and confused when he left but quickly realized what it was that Jud had overheard him say. They quickly straightened that out and were able to build an actual romantic relationship from there. The fact that Sky was able to FINALLY, after all these years, tell Jud how he truly felt was so satisfying.

I cannot tell you how many romances were spoiled for me because these miscommunications are handled poorly because one half of the couple storms off before hearing the other side’s perfectly reasonable explanation or love declaration. OOOOOH it frustrates me to no end. This one however, has none of that. These two TALK and COMMUNICATE and also eat maple syrup off one another which doesn’t hurt anything, either LOLLLLLLLL. Loved, loved, loved.

Huge thanks to Heart Eyes Press for allowing me to read an eARC of this in exchange for an honest review!♥

BOOK REVIEW: Turnabout (Vino & Veritas #9) by Laurel Greer

BOOK REVIEW: Turnabout (Vino & Veritas #9) by Laurel GreerTurnabout (Vino & Veritas #9)
by Laurel Greer
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads


“Auden and Carter are the swoony heroes I didn’t know I needed in my life! Turnabout is spectacular, and everyone should read it.” USA Today bestselling author Sarina Bowen

I don’t have time for an unplanned visit home to help out in my father’s struggling letterpress shop. My stint in Vermont will have to be short, for a couple of reasons:

One, I’m a busy executive trying to climb the corporate ladder.

Two, my ex is still my dad’s right-hand man in the shop. And I am not over him.

Nothing has changed at the Burlington shop. Auden still has his infuriatingly sexy Scottish accent. He’s still hot, and still stubborn. Between operating the antique press with his shirtsleeves rolled up, and moonlighting at Burlington’s hottest inclusive wine bar, he pushes every one of my attraction buttons.

My falling-in-love-again buttons, too. Except I’m his polar opposite. I love change, and taking chances. Everything he avoids in life.

So why am I trying to convince him to reach for more than we’ve ever dreamed of—the possibility of forever?

Turnabout is a second-chance romance with interfering family, groveling, and a large helping of artisan stationery geekery.


Okayyyy I love this series SO MUCH. Every single one that I’ve read so far has featured such a range of characters and emotions and love stories that are completely unique and unforgettable. This one features a second chance romance between Auden and Carter. The two had met and fallen in love in college and are in the interestingly uncomfortable position of not ever having gotten rid of the other post-breakup due to the fact that Auden works with Carter’s dad at a his letterpress shop. Carter, who wanted to bring the shop into the 21st century and mayyyyybe didn’t present his ideas to his father in the best of ways, was heartbroken when his boyfriend and love of his life sided with his father instead of him.

Naturally, Carter, wanting to get the hell out, moved away to work with a bigger, more modern company and doesn’t visit home much. When he goes back temporarily to help both the shop (and Auden) and his parents’ marriage he finds himself thrown back into things with his old love and they find quite early on that even if their ideals on the shop still don’t align, those that they have about each other (in the attraction sense especially) pick up where they left off years ago.

I don’t know what it was about these two but between Carter’s bossy, white collared toned ass and Auden’s Scottish stubbornness I was entranced. On paper, the two shouldn’t make sense BUT THEY DID. Everything about them made my heart clench and expand. They both had their fair share of mental and emotional trauma to work through but of course, the power of love wins out. I loved every single bit of this story and I hope EVERYONEEEE make sure to pick this one up!

Huge thanks to Heart Eyes Press for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review!♥

BOOK REVIEW: Heartscape (Vino & Veritas #2) by Garrett Leigh

BOOK REVIEW: Heartscape (Vino & Veritas #2) by Garrett LeighHeartscape (Vino & Veritas #2)
by Garrett Leigh
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads


From award-winning author Garrett Leigh comes a gorgeous new romance in the True North world! Think: great food, burly men and good times. Beards are optional but encouraged.

I’m not the obvious choice to run Burlington’s coolest wine bar—quiet, brooding, clueless about tannin content, and always one wrong turn away from another downward spiral.

But no one seems to mind that I'm a wreck. Besides me. I just focus on getting through each shift until the night a beautiful stranger appears, looking as lost and damaged as I feel.

When a mutual friend calls in a favor, the sexy newcomer winds up crashing on my couch. I don't know if it's his melodic Cornish accent, or his ocean blue eyes, or the rock-hard body with the mysterious scars, but I get the feeling whatever happened to him runs far deeper than those wounds.

Having Jax in my home makes my chest warm. Makes me shiver. Makes me want more. But I've got a pile of baggage and I don't want to be a burden on anyone let alone a man who seems to have enough demons of his own.

Our chemistry is off the charts. His arms feel like home. The last thing I want is to screw this up. Is it wrong to hope we can heal each other? Or will one of us die trying?

HEARTSCAPE is a heartfelt MM friends-to-lovers romance in the True North world, with a brooding bartender, a rugged outdoorsman, sweet angst and lots of Shipley cider. Triggers: contains mentions of depression, suicidal ideation and PTSD recovery.


My favorite thing in immersing myself into this World of True North project so far has been that every book is so uniquely different. So many new authors, new writing, new characters–all wrapped up in a world I already know and love. Sometimes when you find yourself reading romance after romance, they start to blend together. I forget which names belong to which books and the tropes begin to loose that freshness they once had.

Something about this book was different. I don’t know if it was because I haven’t read a romance more on the angsty side in a while but Heartscape resonated deep within my bones. Tanner, manager of Vino and Veritas, and Jax, Cornish wildlife photographer both have their fair share of inner demons. Both have had terrible things happen to them at different points in their lives and bear those invisible scars the best they can. When a mutual friend and freak accident find them crossing paths, the two are immediately drawn to one another.

Leigh did an excellent job with drawing out both of their histories so that we only got little snippets here and there as Tanner and Jax became more and more comfortable around one another; more willing to open up. She also does an amazing job depicting all of VERY raw internal thoughts and feelings of both men. The different aspects of both of their mental heath issues are NOT taken lightly and I know I personally could tell she did her research.

Overall, while there weren’t many parts of this book that were “easy,” I felt that the way in which Tanner and Jax fell into a relationship was. It was quite obviously they were made for each other and even now, just thinking about how obvious their love for each other was just makes my heart so happy *cries* lol. Such a great book.

It’s Jax. It’s me. It’s the heartscape we’ll leave behind when we’re gone.

Huge thanks to Heart Eyes Press for allowing me to read an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest review!♥

BOOK REVIEW: The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie #1) by Marie Rutkoski

BOOK REVIEW: The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie #1) by Marie RutkoskiThe Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie #1)
by Marie Rutkoski
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads


Where Nirrim lives, crime abounds, a harsh tribunal rules, and society’s pleasures are reserved for the High Kith. Life in the Ward is grim and punishing. People of her low status are forbidden from sampling sweets or wearing colors. You either follow the rules, or pay a tithe and suffer the consequences.

Nirrim keeps her head down and a dangerous secret close to her chest.

But then she encounters Sid, a rakish traveler from far away who whispers rumors that the High Caste possesses magic. Sid tempts Nirrim to seek that magic for herself. But to do that, Nirrim must surrender her old life. She must place her trust in this sly stranger who asks, above all, not to be trusted.

Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s Trilogy, beloved author Marie Rutkoski returns with an epic LGBTQ romantic fantasy about learning to free ourselves from the lies others tell us—and the lies we tell ourselves.

Quotes are from an uncorrected eARC and are subject to change.

It is a midnight lie, she said.
A kind of lie told for someone else’s sake, a lie that sits between goodness and wrong, just as midnight is the moment between night and morning.

This book….met every expectation I could have had for it. The very first thing I want, no NEED to say in this review, though, is to leave every thought about the Winner’s Trilogy in the back seat. If people “ruin” another book by comparing it to its beloved predecessor or a similar series, I will lose my shit. Yes, this book is by the same author and set it the same world as the previous series, but it is its own entity with its own story and characters. We catch glimpses of old characters that I don’t know if everyone is going to like. I have questions but…I’m assuming we’ll learn more later on.

Anyhow, I was addicted to this book. I started last night and finished today (and that’s with work). I ate up every word, every line, every page. Her writing has cast a spell on me and I honestly don’t even want to be free of. Different aspects reminded me of a few other books, all of which I loved—mainly Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore. That book has left one of the biggest emotional impacts on me that no other back has even come close to. I don’t really want to get into what aspects are similar as that would ruin parts of this plot but I just wanted to mention it.

“Nirrim, I can’t be good to you.”
“Then be bad.”

The thing about this book is that you start out knowing very little. My eARC didn’t come with a map and I wasn’t sure if that was because it was an ARC or because that would have clued us in on certain things. Because I trust Rutkoski’s storytelling abilities, I figured there was a reason for us being left in the dark for a while. Having us figure out things as slowly as Nirrim was maddening at times but I got it, I really did. You could tell that she was the way she was, and thought the way she did because of her upbringing. You can’t just change how you see the world when you’ve gone your whole life in a routine along with all of the people around you. I would start to get frustrated with her and how childish and trusting she could be until I stopped myself and reminded myself WHY this was the case. I feel like I’m literally talking myself in circles right now BUT I DON’T WANT TO GIVE ANYTHING AWAY.

Other than the satisfaction of Nirrim slowly tearing the cobwebs from her eyes and figuring things out, my favorite part of this story was Sid. That cheeky lil flirt. OMGGGG. I loved her so much, many flaws and all. I think it’s great that this features its two female MCs in a relationship. You NEVER see that in YA fantasy by a popular author…ever. I’m assuming we’re going to start to see more and more as time goes on but for now, this is the first one that I can think of/ have come into contact with. Their relationship happened a lot quicker than Arin and Kestrel’s but man…I don’t even care. It was straight up lust at first sight and the sexual tension was….so addicting. I loved every single one of their interactions and I am dying to see where things end up in the next book *bites nails*.

This is going to be a book that you DON’T want to miss next year, you guys. Adding some comments under a spoiler tag below!

I realized that wanted in a kind of power even if you don’t get what you want. Wanting illuminates everything you need, and how the world failed you.

View Spoiler »

Huge thanks to Edelweiss and FSG Books for Young Readers for allowing me to read an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinions ♥

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