Tag Archives: PTSD

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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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

pinotpineapplecover

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

Kurt and Penn’s love story is an exceptionally beautiful romance

57063819._SY475_Pinot & Pineapple Lumps by Jay Hogan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every book in this series has not only brought something uniquely Kiwi to the table, they’ve also depicted the myriad of ways people meet and fall in love.

This book is even more special, because it’s Kurt’s story. He’s been an integral part of the series since the start and he’s been through things no-one should have to live with.

So I’ve been invested in his happy ever after for quite some time and, in Penn, he finds not only his perfect partner but someone he can be a strength and a support for.

Kurt’s empathy and his strength and determination to gain control back of his life are never treated lightly.

He doesn’t fall in love and his PTSD suddenly vanish. Jay treats his mental health with the same respect she always treats any medical issue, with understanding and sympathy and a thoroughly believable lived experience.

I can’t properly articulate how much I loved this book. The sense of place is so strong, I could hear the rumble of the glacial river running through Penn’s family vineyard.

The smells of the winery and the tang of the tannin are vividly expressed, and I loved all the characters associated with them.

Yes, even Penn’s dying father. Otis is such a complex man, his pride warring with his stubbornness, his fears and his worries. I wanted to hug him almost as much as I wanted to yell at him for being an arse.

There are so many outstanding moments in the narrative that if I outlined everything I loved, this review would be almost as long as the book.

It really is exceptional and Kurt and Penn’s love is a truly beautiful thing to witness, they fight hard for it and you just know it’s meant to be.

Oh, and they’re off the charts hot and I’ll leave the rest for you all to discover 😉

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

View all my reviews

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