Thank you to L.A. Witt, Sarina Bowen, Jenn Gaffney, and the rest of the team at the World of True North for the advance reader copy of Aftermath, the fifth story in the Vino & Veritas series.
This has been one of my favourite instalments in the Vino & Veritas series. Brent and Jon’s story is a lot more emotional, painful, and broken. It is not an easy path for these two but it is a read well worth it.
Check out the Goodreads synopsis…
“Brent Weyland was the life of the party until an injury ended his hockey career. Now he’s retreated alone to a lakefront house, trying to make sense of a life and body that don’t feel like his anymore.
Jon Norquist was happily married right up until he wasn’t. Now a single father in his forties, he’s trying to figure out what comes next. In the meantime, he pours his heartache and regret into the lyrics he sings for the wine bar crowd a couple of nights a week.
When a friend coaxes Brent out for a night of wine and music, he puts Brent and Jon on a collision course. Their chemistry is instantaneous. Jon gives Brent’s battered body a much-needed remedial lesson in pleasure. And Brent gives Jon a reason to smile again.
Multiple reasons, actually. Neither man wants anything serious, but love has a habit of showing up whether it’s welcome or not. No matter how hard they try, the two can’t help having feelings for each other, even as life continues to throw them curveballs.
But they’ve both got baggage to unpack and hurt to move past, and if they can’t leave their pasts in the past, they might just miss out on an amazing future.”
Check out my more detailed thoughts below…
- Characters: Jon and Brent are the main characters of this story. Brent is living a bit like a hermit right now because he is in recovery from a surgery he had a year ago. Brent was a professional hockey player before he was in a car crash that ended his career. A broken pelvis, hip replacement, and a year of physical therapy later Brent has a recovery journey that he is only just starting. Brent is 29, Jon on the other hand is in his 40s. Jon is a massage therapist by day and at night a country music singer at Vino & Veritas. Jon is navigating a divorce and raising his son. Both boys have heavy things they are dealing with, so there is no one better than each other to lean on.
- Setting: Burlington, Vermont is the setting for all Vino & Veritas books. The wine bar is what brings the boys together. Brent is willing to check out Vino & Veritas after one of his friends pushes him to get out, and that night he can’t help but be smitten with the singer, Jon.
- Pacing: This was a slightly longer story for this series, but so worth it. There was really a lot of time to let the story breathe and let the journeys of recovery and love take their course.
- Romance: I loved these guys together, as Jon was such an understanding partner for Brent. The story really starts with a bang with Jon being flirty, Brent blushing, an exchange of numbers and a hotel booked. They have such hot chemistry, they were so electric on the page. Brent struggles to perform and he gleans some more information on the extent of the difficulties that came with the pelvic injuries. Jon was always cognizant of avoiding more pain for Brent, by going slow or using the hot tub for some fun times. The way Jon cared and showed that care never felt like it came from a place of pity rather it was such a true form of love.
Aftermath receives four out of five stars.
You can pick up the story below…
Thank you again to L.A. Witt, Sarina Bowen, Jenn Gaffney, and the rest of the team for the review opportunity. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog!