Tag Archives: PTSD

Three More Vino & Veritas Releases Out Today

Today there are three more books out in Sarina Bowen’s Expanded World of True North‘s Vino & Veritas setting from Rhys Everly, Kate Hawthorne and A.E. Wasp

Series Page: https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/vino-and-veritas

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Insatiable | Rhys Everly

Vino & Veritas #11

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Release Date: May 10th, 2021

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

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/35VqhrX

READ MY REVIEW

Blurb

It was just a bet . . . until feelings got involved.

This job sucks but someone’s got to do it. My readers expect me to chronicle my very real, very steamy encounters in my novels. I’d never want to disappoint my fans, but the creative well has run a bit dry. Burlington, Vermont, seems like a good place to fill it up. This town offers a tempting array of artists, craftsmen, farmers, lumbersexuals . . . and so many beards.

But no one prepared me for Brody. He’s young. He’s hot. He’s definitely a grump. And he’s getting under my skin. Where I want him is under my bedsheets.

When my friend bets I’ll never be able to get Brody there, I make winning my mission. Turns out being with Brody is more than a plot device. He’s so very wrong for my life . . .  but is he right for my heart?

Insatiable is a standalone book in the Vino & Veritas series by Heart Eyes Press and contains a big/small, grumpy/sunshine pairing, a bed-hopping author, a jilted sugarmaker and a reluctant fake relationship.

Insatiable+-+Destination

Excerpt

“And? Have you found the object of your ‘affection’ yet?” Harrison asks. “Current company excluded, of course.”

I shrug and turn around, taking in the bookshop, but someone outside catches my attention, coming out of a restaurant across the street.

Brody Mercier. I’d love to see him sprawled out in my bed, hanging onto my lips as if they are sweeter than maple, and have him shout out my name as I take him six ways to Sunday, effectively turning that frown upside down.

“I think I have,” I say, looking back at my friend with a smirk.

Harrison checks over his shoulder for who I’d been looking at, then turns back to me in horror.

“Oh God. No. Leave the poor man alone. He’s got enough to deal with without you chasing after him,” he says.

I take another sip of my coffee—delicious, by the way—and sit back on the stool.

“The way I see it, he’s got a bad case of the sadsies and could use a…smile,” I say. Or a dick in his mouth. Same difference.

“You’re an idiot.”

Harrison shakes his head, and Oz grimaces.

“What? You think you can get him? Good luck with that. That man has been in a rut for three months now,” he says.

“Is that a challenge?” I say, addressing both of them.

Harrison rolls his eyes and sips his coffee.

“Do you ever not…um…think with your dick?” Oz asks.

“Probably not,” I say.

“I know you’ve had a lot of ‘adventures,’ but Brody Mercier isn’t the type to fall under your spell. He almost got married for crying out loud,” Oz says.

“All the more reason to have some fun and rebound. Hard,” I say. “Hey! That could be the title of my next book. Hard Rebound with the Sugarmaker.”

“I still don’t think Brody is a guy who will want a quickie in the restroom or a BJ behind the bushes.”

“Maybe not at first.”

“Maybe not ever,” Oz counters.

“Wanna bet on it?” I ask, the cogs already turning in my head.

I love nothing if not a challenge, and from the sound—and look of it—Brody Mercier may just be exactly what I need to get me out of my own rut. And we can both have fun in the process. And a bestseller at the end of it.

That’ll show those bloody critics.

“Bet on it?” Oz asks, hesitantly.

“Yeah. Bet. You say I can’t get him, and I’m telling you that I can have him in my bed by the end of the month, if not the week.”

“Gosh, I knew you based your stories on real life, but I didn’t realize all you think about is sex. When was the last time you went without sex for longer than a week?” Oz asks, leaning forward, a hand under his chin, brown eyes staring right at mine.

“A week? Jeez. Does anyone go through such torture?” I ask.

Harrison lets out a surprised wow next to me, but both Oz and I ignore him.

“I’ll tell you what. I’ll bet you can’t get him into bed, and if you lose…” Oz scratches his chin and purses his lips before he speaks again. “If you lose, you can’t have sex for three months.”

A knot forms in my throat, and I start coughing on the coffee dregs still in my mouth.

“What the hell? Three months? That’s plain torture.”

Oz stands up straight again and shrugs.

“Well, if you’re scared—”

“I’m not scared,” I say before he can even finish. “Why would I be? I can get him like that.” I click my fingers, and the snap seems to give me back my confidence.

Getting guys in my bed is what I do. I never fail. The guy to resist me hasn’t been born yet. And Brody Mercier is no exception. He may be a challenge, but he’ll be begging for my cock before long.

“If you say so,” Oz smirks. “But if you lose, you go celibate. Three months.”

“Fine. I lose, I go celibate.” A shudder passes over my entire body at the mere suggestion. “But if you lose, I get your respect for my skills and charm.”

Oz raises an eyebrow and crosses his arms.

“That’s it? That’s all you want from me? Respect? I thought you were going to ask for something naughtier. You, Mr. Graves, surprise me. And…” He reaches for my hand and we shake on it. “You’ve got yourself a deal.”

Insatiable+-+Kiss

Daybreak | Kate Hawthorne

Vino & Veritas #12

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

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/38YImHR

READ MY REVIEW

Blurb

When a sunny young musician gets stranded with a grumpy mechanic during a snowstorm, a lack of heat is the least of their problems…

Liam Luckett is on an adventure. He’s dropped out of his Master’s program without telling his overbearing parents and set off on a road trip across the country. Armed with little more than his guitar, he’s looking for his best life. He never expected his car to break down in the middle of nowhere Vermont with a huge storm pending, leaving him stranded and at the mercy of a hunky local mechanic.

Jasper Cunningham is in a holding pattern. Three years after the death of his husband, he still hasn’t moved on. A hot, younger, stranded tourist is exactly the sort of complication this mechanic has been avoiding. But he also can’t leave him in the snow. He brings Liam home and lets him sleep on the couch. The air is heavy with more than snow, and when the power goes out, the two men become closer than either of them expects.

Every silken note Liam sings on that guitar thaws Jasper’s heart a little.  Suddenly, Liam’s itchy feet aren’t so eager to move on. When their feelings get too big to ignore, the bond they’ve formed is tested. Will daybreak leave them going their separate ways?

This opposites-attract, hurt/comfort romance features a grumpy widower who is only soft for one specific blue-eyed musician, a remote farmhouse, a friendly dog, and enough snow to knock the power out until love catches fire. 

Daybreak+-+Future+Past

Excerpt

I reached up and wiped my face, and Liam laughed, standing up and coming around the table. He batted my hands away and notched himself between my spread thighs. He reached up and swiped his fingers over my cheeks, looking down at me with eyes that looked a little scared and a little sad. 

“That’ll do,” he said, threading his fingers through my hair.

A rumbling groan fell from my mouth and I leaned into the touch. He kept touching me, working his fingers from my hairline to the back of my head over and over until I felt heavy and hazy with sleep.

“You were out there awhile,” he murmured, “considering you only crossed one thing off your list.”

I sighed and rolled my neck, pressing my forehead against his stomach and bracketing my hands around his slender hips. 

“I finished your car,” I told him.

“So…” His voice was barely louder than a whisper. “So, it’s all fixed, then?” 

“Fixed.” 

The confirmation had my chest tightening, my organs suddenly too big for my ribs, the curved bones constricting around my lungs, my heart.

“You gonna take off?” I asked, even though the words sliced my tongue as I forced them out.

“Uhm…” Liam joined his fingers together at the back of my head, tight enough that I couldn’t not be aware of the pressure he used to hold our bodies together. “Not quite yet, if that’s okay with you.” 

“Yeah.” I breathed in the smell of my soap on his skin. “That’s okay with me.”

Daybreak+-+Touch

Heartsong | A.E. Wasp

Vino & Veritas #13

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

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

READ MY REVIEW

Blurb

The best music comes from the heart.

Sean Anderson has spent his life waiting to get the hell out of West Virginia. His plans got derailed when his dad shipped him off to “pray the gay away,” but he’s over it, ready to prove that he’s a grown-ass man who can take care of himself. Of course, he’d have a better chance convincing himself if he could stop lusting after his grumpy roommate.

Army veteran Cooper Hill returned to Vermont minus one leg and one career, but determined to build a new life. When an army buddy asks Cooper to keep an eye on his nephew, a junior at the local college, Cooper can’t say no. He’s expecting a sheltered kid. What he gets is a gorgeous young man whose brilliant poetry gives voice to everything Cooper’s been trying to express. He wants Sean more than he’s ever wanted anything. And somehow, miraculously, Sean wants him too.

But wanting each other isn’t the same as being good for each other . . . especially when past pain threatens to write its own verse in their song.

A stand-alone novel in Sarina Bowen’s True North world, HEARTSONG contains first love, found family, kisses around the campfire, and two caring men who discover they make beautiful music together.

Heartsong+-+Bones

Excerpt

Head down against the driving rain, body hunched over the injured dog, I don’t see the taillight of the car pulling out of a parking spot until it’s almost too late. Oh fuck. I close my eyes, turn the dog away, and brace for the impact.

Strong hands clamp down on my upper arms and yank me back. My back slams against a hard, broad chest, and then all three of us, me, my rescuer and the dog, are stumbling into the back bumper of a minivan.

The hands around my arms tighten, and I lean against this stranger’s body for a second. The guy is almost the same height as me, but much broader, his chest wide and warm against my wet back. The feel of stubble against my cheek and warm breath blowing over my ear makes me shiver.

“Sean?” he says, voice deep and smooth.

Oh, holy hell. Can it be?

“Cooper, get the hell in here!” a second man calls from behind us.

A’course it is.

I straighten up and try to pull away. I swear his hands tighten on my arms, tugging me back against him for a glorious but far too brief moment before he lets me go. When I look over my shoulder at him, our eyes meet and my words lock in my throat as a sizzle of electricity shoots down my spine. It’s so real, I swear lighting must have touched ground somewhere. By the way his eyes widen, Cooper feels it, too.

I can’t hear anything except our breathing and the rain pounding on the gravel parking lot, soaking my thin t-shirt, and plastering Cooper’s hair to his head.

In my arms, the dog whimpers, and still I can’t look away from Cooper’s piercing gaze. What the hell is going on?

He starts to speak, and I sway towards him, holding my breath.

Those dark, intense eyes narrow and he scowls. “Don’t you fucking know how to drive?”

Speechless, I reel back and he grabs my arm again to keep me from losing my balance.

“Jesus Christ,” the older man says. “Don’t either one of you idiots have the sense God gave a goose? Get the hell inside.”

Cooper drops my arm like it’s scalding him, and I tear my gaze away from his angry face. An older guy with dark-brown skin, grey beard, and salt-and-pepper dreadlocks tied behind his neck waves at us from the open doors of the diner.

Grateful for the save, I walk carefully to the doors and into the diner.

“What happened?” the man asks as I pass him.

“This kid hit a dog and then almost got hit by a car himself,” Cooper answers from behind me.

“Are you always such a dick or is today special?” I snap at him.

Heartsong+-+Off+limits

Series Page

https://shor.by/vino-and-veritas

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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.

View all my reviews

Release Blitz: Pinot & Pineapple Lumps by Jay Hogan

Pinot & Pineapple Lumps | Jay Hogan

Southern Lights #4

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Release Date: March 19th, 2021

Universal Link: https://readerlinks.com/l/1743520

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57063819-pinot-pineapple-lumps

READ MY REVIEW

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Blurb

Penn from Adelaide. That’s all I knew.

We shared a single kiss over a year ago, and I can still remember every toe-curling second of it. He thought I was too young for him. I thought he was running scared. But that kiss was the first time I’d felt alive in a long time, and I’ve been chasing the feeling ever since—doing my research, a lot of research, a lot of men. Something my protective older brother isn’t too happy about.

I’ve been through more than most guys my age, and I still bear the scars. My head’s not always my best friend, but I’m building a life, PTSD be damned. I can’t turn back the clock, and I’m not sure I want to.

Except maybe to that moment when Penn kissed me. I mean, the odds of us ever meeting again were slim to none, right?

Yeah, about that.

But this time I’m ready. I’m a year older, an ocean of therapy wiser, and I know exactly what I want.

Kurt, one of the main characters in this book, lives with PTSD as a result of a fire and a traumatic incident in his past (not sexual). Within the story there are instances of flashbacks relating to this, and descriptions of triggering events.

Latin young good looking handsome backpacker traveler male with beard, drinking in a fine glass cup with red wine served by generic wine glass bottle, in a lake shore in Chilean Patagonia, wearing a grey jacket and blue jeans. On back, Los Andes mountain range near to Torres del Paine National Park and Bariloche, Argentina in a sunset afternoon. Medium Shoot landscape with a copy space.

Excerpt

“Okay, then for your first tip, only take a small mouthful.”

Kurt sniggered. “I’m more of a take the whole lot to the back of your throat and swallow kind of guy, but I’m sure I can adapt, just for you.”

Sweet Jesus. “I have every faith that you can make the necessary modifications,” Penn deadpanned.

“Excellent redirect.” Kurt chuckled. “Must be those eleventy-billion years longer you’ve spent on earth than me.”

“For fuck’s sake, just take a damn taste and tell me what you think.”

Kurt laughed. “There are so many, many ways to respond to that question—”

“Just do it.”

“Yes sir. Okay, I’m going in for a sniff, but you have to promise not to get mad if I pick up a lot more than you. It’s to be expected. Nasal hairs flatten as you age, it’s not your fault.”

Penn wondered how difficult it would be to arrange a long slow death for the young man.

Kurt took his time. “Mmmm, aha, interesting—”

Tipsy Kurt was too damn cute.

“Okay, okay, I think I’ve got it,” Kurt pronounced, sounding exceedingly pleased with himself. “It’s kind of . . . earthy, and oh, oh, oh, I know . . . it’s got a spicy thing in there. Damn, I recognise it, I just can’t—it smells like Ethan when he’s been bak—cinnamon! That’s it.”

“Huh.” Penn had to hand it to him. “Pretty good. Anything else.”

Kurt sniffed again and Penn’s mind went straight where it shouldn’t.

“Nope, that’s all.”

“Okay. Not bad for a rookie. Now take a sip and roll it over your tongue and around your mouth to pick up all the flavours.”

“Then I can swallow, right? I like to swallow.”

“Yes, Kurt. Then you can swallow.” Death by killer bees.

“My favourite part.”

Penn banged the back of his head on the tree trunk a couple of times as a variety of suggestive noises spilled through the phone, most of which he’d never heard in any wine tasting he’d ever attended, and all of which went straight to his traitorous cock. Death by a million needle pricks.

“Damn that was a big mouthful but I got it down safely—just thought you should know.”

Good lord.

“And I’m pleased to say I have more answers for you.”

“I can’t wait.”

“Okay, here goes.” Kurt cleared his throat. “Berries.”

“I believe we’ve covered that.”

“Hush. And chocolate—”

“Chocolate?”

“Not chocolate, chocolate. But you know those chewy Roses’ ones? Hard something—”

For fuck’s sake. “Caramel, yes, very good. A lot of people miss that one.” Kurt’s palate actually had potential, who’d have guessed?

“See? I told you I’d ace this.”

“I wouldn’t go that far.”

“But there was also something nasty.”

“Nasty?” Penn snorted. “Oh I cannot wait to hear this.”

“No, I’m serious,” Kurt protested. “Like sharp and just . . . blech. Like paint stripper. You don’t notice it when you drink it like normal people, but when you drink it slowly, it’s right fucking there.” He shivered dramatically for effect.

Penn could barely keep his shit together and had to clear his throat. “I believe you’re talking about tannin. And actually, Pinot Noir tends to be lighter in it than a lot of other reds. But trust me when I say it’s not usually described as a gaggable commodity. Most people love it.”

“A gaggable commodity, huh? You seem familiar with the phrase. You want to expand on that?”

“No, I do not.” Penn’s cheeks heated out of sheer ridiculousness.

“Surprise, surprise. Anyway that’s all I’ve got.”

Latin young good looking handsome backpacker traveler male with a beard, sitting on wood bench enjoying the landscape view in lake shore in Chilean Patagonia, wearing a grey jacket and blue jeans, drinking a fine glass of red wine, near to generic wine glass bottle. On back, Los Andes mountain range near to Torres del Paine National Park and Bariloche, Argentina in a midday. Open Shoot landscape with a copy space.

About The Author

jay hogan logan

I am a New Zealand author writing in MM romance and romantic suspense. I have traveled extensively and lived in the US, Canada, France, Australia and South Korea. In a past life I have been an Intensive Care Nurse, Counselor, and a Nursing Lecturer.

I’m a cat aficionado especially of Maine Coons, and an avid dog lover (but don’t tell the cat). I love to cook, pretty damn good, love to sing, pretty damn average, and as for loving full-time writing, absolutely… depending of course on the day, the word count, the deadline, how obliging my characters are, the ambient temperature in the Western Sahara, whether Jupiter is rising, the size of the ozone hole over New Zealand and how much coffee I’ve had.

Welcome to my world.

Find Jay in all the places: https://jayhoganauthor.contactin.bio/

concept alcohol glass / beautiful glass, wine restaurant tasting aged wine

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