Thank you to Kate Hawthorne, Sarina Bowen, Jenn Gaffney and the rest of the team at the World of True North for the advance reader copy of Unguarded, the twelfth story in the Vino & Veritas world.
It’s time to visit Burlington, Vermont in the winter. This allows for the fun premise of Liam getting stranded outside Vino & Veritas. There is a lovely juxtaposition of Jasper the icy, secluded man opening his home to the warm, sunny California boy Liam.
Check out the Goodreads synopsis…
“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.“
Check out my more detailed thoughts below…
- Characters: Jasper’s character had been teased in an earlier installment in the Vino & Veritas story and so I was very very excited to finally get his story. Jasper’s character really feels like he has a dark cloud hanging over them as he is still very much in mourning the loss of his husband some years ago. Liam is a California boy who escaped his life there and is currently road-tripping across America. It does really feel like Liam is running from his existing life while Jasper is stuck in his current life. This is why they are the best partners for each other.
- Setting: The setting for the story at its core is Jasper’s secluded home. It was the home Jasper had lived with his late husband for decades, as they had gotten together when they were quite young. And now he lives in this big house alone, it really does not feel like home anymore. While Liam’s home really rejected him so it was beautiful to see him make a new one with Jasper by breathing new life into the old home.
- Pacing: The pacing is quite quick in this story. It feels like they fall really fast for each other and this sure shocks Jasper. Jasper is startled that he is feeling something for someone again. Yet it is making him come to life again. A fact that is so apparent and so so satisfying to the reader.
- Romance: This romance is one worth fighting for. Jasper had such an army behind him made up of Tai, Emmett and Devon who were protective of him and only wanted the best for him. Once they saw the life Liam was breathing into Jasper they really got on board with them hooking up. This starts as your classic we are only hooking up how dare you to suggest this is anything more. I loved that as the story went on it became harder and harder for the guys to deny the gravity of their feelings for each other. Overall, this was a lovely, beautiful story.
Daybreak receives five out of five stars.
You can pick up the story below…
Thank you again to Kate, Sarina, Jenn and the rest of the team for the review opportunity. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog!