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A lovely addition to the In Vino Veritas series

CounterpointBirk_ebookCounterpoint by J.E. Birk

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is essentially a companion piece to J.E. Birk’s previous Booklover as it follows along with Jamie’s brother Aaron and best friend Jeremy but it will work as a standalone.

I liked this book, I found it to be a perfect blend of the anxieties of new adulthood (both are in the final years of their university education, Aaron at Harvard Law, Jeremy at Moo U) and the carefree nature of youth.

Jeremy is a complex character and, while I loved his joyful spirit, I also found him intensely frustrating as he vacillated between his carefree give no damns attitude and the vastly more true to his real personality as a caring and giving young man dealing with what’s essentially unresolved trauma.

Aaron is, on the face of it, more of an open book, he’s responsible, he’s determined but inside he’s still vulnerable, anxious and suffering from fear of failure and disappointing his family.

Together they’re an opposites attract mess of lustful feelings but also honest and true support and I loved reading them navigating their way through their secret summer romance and falling in love along the way.

The tension drivers in this book all come from outside the relationship in the main. There is some brief angsting over their longevity past the summer but it’s clear to the reader, if not to them, that it won’t be the issue they think it is.

Jeremy’s secret is one that made my heart ache for him, I felt his fears and his stubbornness was perfectly justifiable but I was also very pleased at the direction things went with his family.

Like with book one, each chapter has a title which gives you a clue what might occur during it and I found them both amusing and insightful.

With guest appearances from Briar and Jamie and the gang at V&V, this is a lovely addition to the expanded World of True North series.

#ARC kindly received from the author via Sarina Bowen’s Heart Eyes Press in return for an honest and unbiased review

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Release News: World Naked Gardening Day Gay Romance Novellas

World Naked Gardening Day Gay Romance Novellas | Various Authors

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Release Date: May 7th, 2022

Publisher: JMS Books LLC

Introduction

Welcome to World Naked Gardening Day!

The World Naked Gardening Day stories are a collaboration between Holly Day, Nell Iris, A. L. Lester, K. L. Noone and Amy Spector.

They comprise five MM romance novellas between sixteen and twenty thousand words, featuring being naked in a garden somehow, somewhere, to mark World Naked Gardening Day on May 7th, 2022.

Ofelia Grand (who also writes as Holly), Nell Iris and A. L. Lester write together in the early mornings in our Online Office. This involves a fair amount of chat and discussion about what we’re working on.

As Holly, Ofelia writes stories to mark all the different holidays throughout the year and one day in December Nell and Ally were teasing her about what she should write next.

They joked that World Naked Gardening Day would be an excellent idea…and lo and behold, here are five of us writing on a similar theme.

Warning! Deep Water! by A. L. Lester

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Editor: Lourenza Adlem

Links: Goodreads :: JMS :: UBL

Celebrate World Naked Gardening Day with gay romance, 1940s England, hurt-comfort, swimming & salad vegetables!

It’s 1947. George is going through the motions, sowing seeds and tending plants and harvesting crops. The nursery went on without him perfectly well during the war and he spends a lot of time during the working day hiding from people and working on his own. In the evening he prowls round the place looking for odd jobs to do.

It’s been a long, cold winter and Peter doesn’t think he’ll ever get properly warm or clean again. Finding a place with heated greenhouses and plenty of nooks and crannies to kip in while he’s recovering from nasty flu was an enormous stroke of luck. He’s been here a few days now.

The weather is beginning to warm up and he’s just realised there’s a huge reservoir of water in one of the greenhouses they use to water the plants. He’s become obsessed with getting in and having an all-over wash.

What will George do when he finds a scraggy ex-soldier bathing in his reservoir?

What will Peter do? Is it time for them to both stop running from the past and settle down?

The Death of Digby Catch by Amy Spector

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Editor: Lourenza Adlem

Links: Goodreads :: JMS

It had been more than eighteen years since August Catch’s uncle Digby had disappeared to the Cape to mourn the death of his sister.

So, when August arrives at Arachne’s Loom to collect his late uncle’s things, he wasn’t expecting to find stories of a man larger than life. Or the very real possibility that Digby’s death may not have been from natural causes.

Theo Webb has had few people in his life that he loved, and fewer still he could trust. But the estate groundskeeper, Digby Catch, had been one of them. Returning home for his funeral, he’s thrown together with Digby’s nephew, and the attraction is instant. But so is Theo’s certainty that things surrounding Digby’s death don’t add up and that at least one person isn’t telling the truth.

Discovering a killer is difficult when someone is desperate to keep more than just their identity a secret. And when all the clues point in one direction, even Theo isn’t sure what to think.

The two of them must work together if they’re going to solve a murder, and not let the thing growing between them be a distraction. But then, maybe a distraction is exactly what they need.

The Hermit of Aldershill Manor by K.L. Noone

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Editor: Lourenza Adlem

Links: Goodreads :: JMS

Charlie Ash is ready to start a new job and a new life at Aldershill Manor. As a historian, he’s thrilled to dive into the estate’s archives.

And he can hide from all the memories of his messy break-up back in California, where the man he’d thought he’d marry left him instead.

He can find solace in exploring Aldershill’s famous gardens…until he’s caught in the rain, and found by a gardener.

Lionel Briar enjoys making people happy, as long as he doesn’t have to talk to them.

He does not like tourists, small talk, or social obligations.

But he does like plants and history and his job, taking care of Aldershill’s historic gardens, helping beauty grow.

So when Lionel discovers the estate’s adorable new historian caught in a summer thunderstorm in his gardens, he offers Charlie the shelter of his home on the grounds…a moment of rescue that could bloom into more

Strike a Pose by Nell Iris

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Editor: Trace Edward Zaber

Links: JMS Books :: Goodreads : : UBL

Less Gardening, More Nakedness

Didrik would do anything for his best friend, Filip, including taking pictures of Filip’s dad, Johan, for a charity calendar.

Naked pictures, of beautiful, irresistible, wonderful Johan, who was single-handedly responsible for Didrik’s gay awakening.

He was also happily married and unavailable…until he wasn’t.

After losing his husband five years ago, Johan finally seems ready to move on, and as they start the charity project, everything changes.

With every meeting, every conversation, every pose for the camera, the attraction between them swells and grows, until it burns hot and threatens to consume them.

Their interactions, their relationship is surprisingly easy, but it’s not without its challenges.

The age difference for one thing. Telling Filip for another.

Is their connection enough to last? Can they overcome the hurdles to get the happily ever after they deserve?

Perfect Rows by Holly Day

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Links: Goodread :: JMS Books :: books2read.com/PerfectRows

Everything would’ve been perfect if Grayson hadn’t been forced to share his garden with Cam.

Everything would’ve been perfect if Grayson Dawe hadn’t been forced to share his garden with Camden Hensley. Grayson has everything he needs in life—a job, friends, a house he loves, and a garden.

He wants to grow enough vegetables to cover his needs over the summer, and he has a plan for how to achieve it.

Camden Hensley loves his garden. He loves beautiful flowers in perfect rows, sweet scents and buzzing bees, but his neighbor, Grayson, messes everything up. He mixes vegetables with flowers in the growing beds and is incapable of placing plants in straight lines.

And when Cam pulls out the plants growing in the wrong place, Grayson snarls at him.

Grayson doesn’t want to fight with Camden, but he’s completely unreasonable.

Cam only wants Grayson to stop creating chaos and to grow flowers instead of vegetables.

Neither of them is willing to back down, and days in the garden usually end in shouting matches, at least until Grayson realizes he can shut Cam up by kissing him.  But will they ever be able to agree about what plants should grow where?

About The Authors

You can find out more about The World Naked Gardening Day writers on our websites:

Holly Day, Nell Iris, A. L. Lester, K. L. Noone and Amy Spector.

We hope you have as much fun reading the stories as we did writing them.

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Blog Tour: Encore by Eden Finley

Encore | Eden Finley

Famous #4

Release Date: September 9th, 2021

Cover Design: Cate Ashwood Designs

Cover Photo: Wander Aguiar Photography

Model: Griffin

Universal Link: https://geni.us/aARf

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3r0NYIZ

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Blurb

BLAKE

Never make a bet with Jordan Brooks. That’s how I’ve ended up here, doing a movie that risks my entire acting career.

Taking on a gay role when I’m straight is problematic in its own right, but when production gets put on hold, and a fabricated story breaks out in the media, Jordan and I have to go into hiding.

Our livelihoods are put on the line all because of an ill-timed photo and Jordan’s bitter ex-boyfriend.

Scandals, lies, and PR nightmares. Welcome to Hollywood.

JORDAN

Why am I always drawn to the straight ones? You’d think I’d learn my lesson, but when our movie is delayed, I repeat old patterns.

My plan to bury my hurt and anger toward my ex by “method acting” with Blake Monroe is foolish. But Blake is as irresistible as he is good-looking, and he settles into his role easier than I thought he would. In fact, he likes it a little too much.

There are too many PR problems hooking up with Blake for real would bring, especially when the media thinks he’s the reason my relationship fell apart. Yet, I can’t walk away from him, and it seems, he can’t walk away from me either.

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Famous #1

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About The Author

Eden Finley

Eden Finley is an Amazon bestselling author who writes steamy contemporary romances that are full of snark and light-hearted fluff.

She doesn’t take anything too seriously and lives to create an escape from real life for her readers. The ideas always begin with a wackadoodle premise, and she does her best to turn them into romances with heart.

With a short attention span that rivals her son’s, she writes multiple different pairings: MM, MMF, and MF.

She’s also an Australian girl and apologises for her Australianisms that sometimes don’t make sense to anyone else.

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