Thank you to Garrett Leigh, Sarina Bowen, and the World of True North team for the advance reader copy of Heartscape, the second standalone in the Vino & Veritas series.
The next installment in the World of True North features two strangers brought together by the Vino & Veritas wine bar. An emotional friends-to-lovers romance is what anyone and everyone needs right now.
Check out the Goodreads synopsis…
“From award-winning author Garrett Leigh comes a gorgeous new romance in the True North world! Think: great food, burly men and good times. Beards are optional but encouraged.
I’m not the obvious choice to run Burlington’s coolest wine bar—quiet, brooding, clueless about tannin content, and always one wrong turn away from another downward spiral.
But no one seems to mind that I’m a wreck. Besides me. I just focus on getting through each shift until the night a beautiful stranger appears, looking as lost and damaged as I feel.
When a mutual friend calls in a favor, the sexy newcomer winds up crashing on my couch. I don’t know if it’s his melodic Cornish accent, or his ocean blue eyes, or the rock-hard body with the mysterious scars, but I get the feeling whatever happened to him runs far deeper than those wounds.
Having Jax in my home makes my chest warm. Makes me shiver. Makes me want more. But I’ve got a pile of baggage and I don’t want to be a burden on anyone let alone a man who seems to have enough demons of his own.
Our chemistry is off the charts. His arms feel like home. The last thing I want is to screw this up. Is it wrong to hope we can heal each other? Or will one of us die trying?
HEARTSCAPE is a heartfelt MM friends-to-lovers romance in the True North world, with a brooding bartender, a rugged outdoorsman, sweet angst and lots of Shipley cider. Triggers: contains mentions of depression, suicidal ideation and PTSD recovery.”
Check out my more detailed thoughts below…
- Characters: The main characters of this story are Tanner and Jax. Tanner is the manager of the wine bar side of Vino & Veritas and is from Vermont. He has always lived in Burlington and he went to high school in Colebury where the Busy Bean is. Tanner has a much more fluid sexuality. He described his love life of majority-women when he was in high school and majority-men into his adulthood. Tanner’s brother is in love with a girl named Eve who introduces Tanner to Jax. Jax needs a place to crash after settling in Burlington and Eve recommends Tanner’s couch. Jax hails from Cornwall and he came to the US after dropping out of the uni in the UK that he met Eve at. Jax settles in Burlington to be the videographer for an outdoor adventure hiking company. Both boys have trauma that I will not go into much detail about, you need to read this if you wanna know.
- Setting: Vino & Veritas is located in downtown Burlington, Vermont. I love how much time we got to spend at V&V in this book. From karaoke nights to drinks at the bar, Vino & Veritas is becoming such a fun setting in the World of True North.
- Pacing: This story progressed really well. It is the type of story where the character development and learning the secrets of the boys was what made the story great. Every reveal and every new piece of info came at the right time and place.
- Romance: Tanner and Jax had instant chemistry. They both had not been in a committed relationship in awhile. Jax has some interesting history as he had been married before and he had to escape that marriage. This is all very connected to his trauma. This relationship started off as two guys who purely loved spending time together outside of the bedroom, then they realized they were great together in the bedroom. The cutest part was how others around them like Eve and Molly, who work at the bar quickly became their biggest cheerleaders. I just absolutely loved these guys.
Heartscape receives four out of five stars.
You can pick up the story below…
Thank you again to Garrett, Sarina, and TWOTN team for the review opportunity. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog!