Tag Archives: cute dog

RJ crafts a beautiful slowburn recovery romance in this latest Ellery instalment

58663081._SY475_The Gardener and the Marine by R.J. Scott

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oops, forgot to come back to this one.

RJ originally released this as a newsletter serial week by week but I held off on reading it as I wanted to wait til it was done.

It was worth it.

This is a sympathetic portrayal of the effects of combat and survivor guilt and how someone can offer a way by which a life can be given new purpose – but not cured or ‘got over’ by some magic dick.

Harrison isn’t ever going to be free from the effects of seeing his Army buddies die and him being the only survivor.

But working with Toby in the gardens at the veteran’s centre ground him and provide a connection he’s not had with life for some time.

It’s a slow burn, and that’s as it should be, but there’s no doubting it once these two men throw their all into making it work.

One of my favourites in the series .

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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A lovely romance about a widower falling in love again

10_V&V_Hawthorne_ebook_FINALDaybreak by Kate Hawthorne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is super sweet, surprisingly angst free and quietly a bit kinky.

Although things happen over a very short space of time, it really doesn’t feel like instalove.

Instead, the reader can see the journey Jasper goes on when he begins to awaken from the self-imposed isolation he’s been living in since the death of his husband.

One thing I’ll mention here, and it’s probably a more “me thing” than any kind of issue, but I’d have liked to know more about Michael, the dead husband.

He’s clearly a huge part of Jasper’s life, from school through marriage at a really young age, to losing him.

But he remains only a kind of shadow in the narrative.

That may have been a deliberate choice, but for me, the lack of “why” Jasper falling for Liam was such a big thing (i.e. because of his devotion and devastation at Michael’s death), meant it didn’t have as big an impact as it could have done.

It’s the only thing that I wished was different though, as the rest of the book is just absolutely lovely.

Liam is a sweetheart, with his own issues he’s having trouble facing, but as he slowly falls in love with both Jasper and Vermont, you can see him realising something had to change.

The final chapters are glorious and very much the start of a wonderful HEA. There’s also a bonus Epilogue via a newsletter sign up.

#ARC kindly received from the publisher Heart Eyes Press in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Some niggles but the final ending left me happy

11_V&V_Wasp_ebook_FINALHeartsong by A.E. Wasp

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I’ve got real mixed feelings for this book. Most of them are positive but there was the odd niggle which stopped me from falling completely into the narrative.

Both Sean and Cooper are well crafted characters, I thought the PTSD elements of the story were very well done.

However, at times I was irritated by Sean and his youth, which is probably more a me thing than a fault with the book!

As the tale progresses, it becomes ever clearer that more is hidden under the surface than first meets the eye.

I became less irritated with Sean and more desirous of him finding the right path to take him forward.

Cooper though, him I fell in love with from the start. His own baggage makes him evoke feelings of protection, and I just wanted to hug him.

Their falling for each other is inevitable. The chemical attraction is clear from their first meeting. And while this all happens again over a relatively short time period, it doesn’t have a feeling of instalove.

It’s perhaps not as closely connected to the Vino & Veritas store as some of the others, but it still has the same Vermont feel.

Overall, it’s a satisfying romance, and I felt it had a lovely conclusion.

#ARC kindly received from the publisher Heart Eyes Press in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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