ARC Reviews,  Reviews

A.E. Wasp’s Heartsong ARC Review

Thank you to A.E. Wasp, Sarina Bowen, Jenn Gaffney and the rest of the team at the World of True North for the advance reader copy of Heartsong, the thirteenth story in the Vino & Veritas world.

After reading this blurb I was so excited to jump headfirst into the latest installment from The World of True North and Vino and Veritas. This story deals with trauma, different types of it and different responses to it. Making it a really important story in this world.

Check out the Goodreads synopsis…

“It just figures that the first guy I’m bringing back to my place is cute, single, and totally off-limits…”

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.

Check out my more detailed thoughts below…

  • Characters: Sean and Cooper are the main characters of Daybreak. Sean feels like an outsider in his hometown so that is the impetus for his move to Burlington. His uncle gets him a place to stay with his fellow veteran Cooper. Cooper is Sean’s opposite in many ways. He is much older, 12 years or so. He is much more experienced, he was even somewhat out of the closet when he was in the military.
  • Setting: The story is set in Burlington, Vermont. Much of the story takes place at either Cooper’s house or at Vino & Veritas. The bar is such a lovely setting in this story, it represents exploration for the couple. For Sean, it is his first real experience with a place that is accepting of everyone no matter who they love. For Cooper it is a place he can sing, to express himself around others despite the solitary life he leads.
  • Pacing: The pacing is my slight complaint around this book. I just did not get why there are things in the blurb for the story that is not revealed until much later in the book. It just made it so the shock and awe of the reveal of the true extent of Sean’s complicated past did not effectively land a good hit.
  • Romance: One can really tell that both boys are shocked by their immediate attraction to the other. I love how Cooper expected this young kid and instead, he has an attractive yet inexperienced man waltz into his life. This love story is really a story of acceptance. The acceptance of one’s past, of being out and proud, of loving another, of being worthy of that love, of accepting your faults. The boys learn why it is so important to accept themselves and they do it by loving each other. Plus they have off-the-charts sexual chemistry. So all in all a stellar book about two broken boys finding love and acceptance together.

Daybreak receives four out of five stars.

You can pick up the story below…

Thank you again to A.E. Wasp, Sarina, Jenn and the rest of the team for the review opportunity. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog!

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