Monday 10 May 2021

πŸ’œ VINO & VERITAS #11 #12 #13 🏳️‍🌈 Small-Town M/M Standalones #Excerpts πŸ’œ

     ©  Bianca ✰ Janeane 

The New Vino & Veritas Series is a complete standalone series, but it is part of the new World of True North Series and slightly connected aka a spin-off to Sarina Bowen's True North Series!
So if you're weird like us - read Sarina's #Bittersweet first ☺

• Book #11 in the Vino & Veritas Series
 • 10 May 2021
• Standalone M/M Small-Town Romance
4.5 Stars

It was just a bet . . . until feelings got involved.


This job sucks but someone’s got to do it. My readers expect me to chronicle my very real, very steamy encounters in my novels. I’d never want to disappoint my fans, but the creative well has run a bit dry. Burlington, Vermont, seems like a good place to fill it up. This town offers a tempting array of artists, craftsmen, farmers, lumbersexuals . . . and so many beards.


But no one prepared me for Brody. He’s young. He’s hot. He’s definitely a grump. And he's getting under my skin. Where I want him is under my bedsheets.


When my friend bets I’ll never be able to get Brody there, I make winning my mission. Turns out being with Brody is more than a plot device. He’s so very wrong for my life . . .  but is he right for my heart?


Insatiable is a standalone book in the Vino & Veritas series by Heart Eyes Press and contains a big/small, grumpy/sunshine pairing, a bed-hopping author, a jilted sugarmaker and a reluctant fake relationship.

ARC received for an honest review
Oy! Insatiable is not really the word I would use for our guy Logan.

I think the correct Aussie words for him would be root rat!

He didn't make the best first impression, and then the bet thing came into it, and I knew it would cause a lot of unnecessary drama.

However, Logan turned things around, and then I couldn't wait for he and Brody to get their HEA.

Oh Brody, how I adored you.  I wanted to stab people wit my pen as I was reading - you know who you are, character! - and the way he was treated broke my heart.

But never fear! Of course the good guy wins, and I loved the way he got his comeuppance!

I also loved the changes in our Logan - see, you can teach an old dog new tricks!

Now I want something  maple - don't care what it is, I want it all!


Logan + Brody
Logan is a pretty famous erotic author. He came all the way from England to Vermont to find some inspiration. Male and naked preferably.
Enter Brody. His ex left him at the altar and now he's sad and angry and broken. But he also needs to sell his beloved maple wine. And it's not going as good as it should.

As soon as those two meet at Vino & Veriatas  ... Logan is super intrigued and he needs Brody to be his next book inspiration.


I was a bit unsure when I read the blurb - the bet thing. I don't like those scenarios at all. You just know that it will come to this silly moment when he finds out and then the fight and break up. ☹ It could all be explained with a short conversation. But every story needs a bit drama. And it wasn't so bad!
 And then our darling Logan ... he doesn't really make the best first impression... πŸ˜‚
But I really liked the story. A lot.
It was so sweet and argue-y and sparky and maple-y. I just loved those two together!
I also need some maple wine stat!
Ugh. Talking about the wine. I felt soo sad for Brody! I almost cried a few times when he said that nobody wants his wine. Ugh. That poor guy! But alls good - people want the wine now - big time! 🍷 #SkΓ₯l

Super sweet romance!

Like I always say when it comes to books in the True North World: I could read these kinds of books every day for the rest of eternity!
And I also wouldn't mind seeing this whole world on Netflix one day!

Can't wait to get more Vermont soon!

INSATIABLE was such an adorable + sparky + maple-y M/M romance! I loved it! Run to your nearest amazon for your own Brody + Logan- they'll be sold out in no time!


“And? Have you found the object of your ‘affection’ yet?” Harrison asks. “Current company excluded, of course.”

I shrug and turn around, taking in the bookshop, but someone outside catches my attention, coming out of a restaurant across the street.

Brody Mercier. I’d love to see him sprawled out in my bed, hanging onto my lips as if they are sweeter than maple, and have him shout out my name as I take him six ways to Sunday, effectively turning that frown upside down.

“I think I have,” I say, looking back at my friend with a smirk.

Harrison checks over his shoulder for who I’d been looking at, then turns back to me in horror.

“Oh God. No. Leave the poor man alone. He’s got enough to deal with without you chasing after him,” he says.

I take another sip of my coffee—delicious, by the way—and sit back on the stool.

“The way I see it, he’s got a bad case of the sadsies and could use a…smile,” I say. Or a dick in his mouth. Same difference.

“You’re an idiot.”

Harrison shakes his head, and Oz grimaces.

“What? You think you can get him? Good luck with that. That man has been in a rut for three months now,” he says.

“Is that a challenge?” I say, addressing both of them.

Harrison rolls his eyes and sips his coffee.

“Do you ever not…um…think with your dick?” Oz asks.

“Probably not,” I say.

“I know you’ve had a lot of ‘adventures,’ but Brody Mercier isn’t the type to fall under your spell. He almost got married for crying out loud,” Oz says.

“All the more reason to have some fun and rebound. Hard,” I say. “Hey! That could be the title of my next book. Hard Rebound with the Sugarmaker.”

“I still don’t think Brody is a guy who will want a quickie in the restroom or a BJ behind the bushes.”

“Maybe not at first.”

“Maybe not ever,” Oz counters.

“Wanna bet on it?” I ask, the cogs already turning in my head.

I love nothing if not a challenge, and from the sound—and look of it—Brody Mercier may just be exactly what I need to get me out of my own rut. And we can both have fun in the process. And a bestseller at the end of it.

That’ll show those bloody critics.

“Bet on it?” Oz asks, hesitantly.

“Yeah. Bet. You say I can’t get him, and I’m telling you that I can have him in my bed by the end of the month, if not the week.”

“Gosh, I knew you based your stories on real life, but I didn’t realize all you think about is sex. When was the last time you went without sex for longer than a week?” Oz asks, leaning forward, a hand under his chin, brown eyes staring right at mine.

“A week? Jeez. Does anyone go through such torture?” I ask.

Harrison lets out a surprised wow next to me, but both Oz and I ignore him.

“I’ll tell you what. I’ll bet you can’t get him into bed, and if you lose…” Oz scratches his chin and purses his lips before he speaks again. “If you lose, you can’t have sex for three months.”

A knot forms in my throat, and I start coughing on the coffee dregs still in my mouth.

“What the hell? Three months? That’s plain torture.”

Oz stands up straight again and shrugs.

“Well, if you’re scared—”

“I’m not scared,” I say before he can even finish. “Why would I be? I can get him like that.” I click my fingers, and the snap seems to give me back my confidence.

Getting guys in my bed is what I do. I never fail. The guy to resist me hasn’t been born yet. And Brody Mercier is no exception. He may be a challenge, but he’ll be begging for my cock before long.

“If you say so,” Oz smirks. “But if you lose, you go celibate. Three months.”

“Fine. I lose, I go celibate.” A shudder passes over my entire body at the mere suggestion. “But if you lose, I get your respect for my skills and charm.”

Oz raises an eyebrow and crosses his arms.

“That’s it? That’s all you want from me? Respect? I thought you were going to ask for something naughtier. You, Mr. Graves, surprise me. And…” He reaches for my hand and we shake on it. “You’ve got yourself a deal.”


• Book #12 in the Vino & Veritas Series
 • 10 May 2021
• Standalone Sexy M/M Small-Town Romance
4.5 Stars

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.

ARC received for an honest review
Awww, Daybreak was so sweet and lovely and adorable.

Jasper is still so heartbroken, and it itakes the ray of sunshine that is Liam to bring him back to life,

This reader was on a high, looking on as our lovelies fought their attraction to each other, fought the HEA that was right in front of them.

Again, as with other books in this series, it does cover a quite short time period, but is so well written and I was so engrossed in the story that it didn't feel rushed or too insta-lovey.

I loved getting more of Emmett and Tai from Unguarded, and I loved Jasper's best friend Devon.

I adore this series, and I want them to keep on coming forever.

Jasper + Liam.

We already met Jasper in a previous book. He's been a widower for three years now. After having been with his Michael since highschool!
But people keep telling him it's time to start living again.
He's not so sure - but maybe they're right.
Enter Liam.
He's a young and pretty California guy with a broken down car.
And it just so happens that Jasper is a mechanic.


Poor Jasper is still so sad and broken. But he knows it's time to start living again. He can't stay at home with his dog all alone forever.
And Liam. He kinda ran away from home. From his famous family.
Jasper and Liam are so perfect for each other. But of course it will take a while for them to realize this. But the reader has an amazing time watching them fight for their happily ever after.
I really loved reading this. I wanted to move into Jasper's beautiful house with the adorable dog and ugh. Beautiful story!

Can't wait to get more Vermont soon!
I could really read books like these every day!

DAYBREAK was a such a sweet and sparky and wintery gay romance! I loved reading it! Run to your nearest amazon for your own Jasper + Liam - they'll be sold out in no time!


I reached up and wiped my face, and Liam laughed, standing up and coming around the table. He batted my hands away and notched himself between my spread thighs. He reached up and swiped his fingers over my cheeks, looking down at me with eyes that looked a little scared and a little sad.

“That’ll do,” he said, threading his fingers through my hair.

A rumbling groan fell from my mouth and I leaned into the touch. He kept touching me, working his fingers from my hairline to the back of my head over and over until I felt heavy and hazy with sleep.

“You were out there awhile,” he murmured, “considering you only crossed one thing off your list.”

I sighed and rolled my neck, pressing my forehead against his stomach and bracketing my hands around his slender hips.

“I finished your car,” I told him.

“So…” His voice was barely louder than a whisper. “So, it’s all fixed, then?”


The confirmation had my chest tightening, my organs suddenly too big for my ribs, the curved bones constricting around my lungs, my heart.

“You gonna take off?” I asked, even though the words sliced my tongue as I forced them out.

“Uhm…” Liam joined his fingers together at the back of my head, tight enough that I couldn’t not be aware of the pressure he used to hold our bodies together. “Not quite yet, if that’s okay with you.”

“Yeah.” I breathed in the smell of my soap on his skin. “That’s okay with me.”



• Book #13 in the Vino & Veritas Series
 • 10 May 2021
• Standalone Sexy M/M Small-Town Romance
4.9 Stars

The best music comes from the heart.


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.

ARC received for an honest review
Almost heaven, West Virginia....
I couldn't help but be singing "Take Me Home Country Roads" the whole time I was reading this installment.

Sean was just the most adorable thing, with all his gay life questions. He made me laugh out loud more than once,

Cooper is beautiful and lovely and not quite broken, but definitely a little bent.

And when they meet, you can feel the sparks fly, and as much as they are so different, they are so perfect for each other.  They made me  smile hard.

Though these books can all be read as stand alones, this one did have a bigger connection to earlier books than others.  You won't miss much if this is the only book in the series, but if you have read other ones you will like seeing these guys again.

This series just makes me want to travel to Vermont (*shakes fist at COVID stopping international travel*)

I could read these WoTN books forever,


Sean + Cooper.

23 year old Sean has finally made it out of West Virginia. His new gay college life can finally begin - right here in Burlington, Vermont.
His uncle organzied a place for him to stay at an army buddy's of his.
Cooper. He's finally home after almost giving all to the military.
Time to start the rest of his life.
And now he has to babysit a college kid?



Sean is such a sweet and innocent guy. But he's also so curious and interested in all things gay and dating. I just adored his endless questions. Too funny! But also heartbreaking. The poor guy. 
And poor Cooper too. He lost so much in the war. But he's still alive and now he has this beautiful boy living with him and helping him renovating his house. LOL!
Those two were just too adorable. Those three really - with their new dog! 😍
Such a sweet love story with some very serious themes.
I loved reading this.

What I didn't love-love was the extreme connection to another of the author's series. I don't like things like that. I'm so weird with my reading that I always feel pressured to read everything else too - which I'm not doing this time - that would be way too much with all the authors in the True North world! Even though she really teased us with the uncle and his husband and dog :/
And because of the many mentions of the other series - this book ended up being a bit short - or it felt a bit too cut.
But - I still really liked Sean and Cooper's story...

Like I always say: I could read these kinds of books every day for the rest of eternity!

I also wouldn't mind seeing this whole world on Netflix one day!

Can't wait to get more Vermont soon!

HEARTSONG was such a sweet + sparky + sexy + heartbreaking + just beautiful love story! I adored it! Run to your nearest amazon for your own Sean + Cooper - they'll be sold out in no time!


Head down against the driving rain, body hunched over the injured dog, I don’t see the taillight of the car pulling out of a parking spot until it’s almost too late. Oh fuck. I close my eyes, turn the dog away, and brace for the impact.

Strong hands clamp down on my upper arms and yank me back. My back slams against a hard, broad chest, and then all three of us, me, my rescuer and the dog, are stumbling into the back bumper of a minivan.

The hands around my arms tighten and I lean against this stranger’s body for a second. The guy is almost the same height as me, but much broader, his chest wide and warm against my wet back. The feel of stubble against my cheek and warm breath blowing over my ear makes me shiver.

“Sean?” he says, voice deep and smooth.

Oh, holy hell. Can it be?

“Cooper, get the hell in here!” a second man calls from behind us.

A’course it is.

I straighten up and try to pull away. I swear his hands tighten on my arms, tugging me back against him for a glorious but far too brief moment before he lets me go. When I look over my shoulder at him, our eyes meet and my words lock in my throat as a sizzle of electricity shoots down my spine. It’s so real, I swear lighting must have touched ground somewhere. By the way his eyes widen, Cooper feels it, too.

I can’t hear anything except our breathing and the rain pounding on the gravel parking lot, soaking my thin t-shirt, and plastering Cooper’s hair to his head.

In my arms, the dog whimpers, and still I can’t look away from Cooper’s piercing gaze. What the hell is going on?

He starts to speak, and I sway towards him, holding my breath.

Those dark, intense eyes narrow and he scowls. “Don’t you fucking know how to drive?”

Speechless, I reel back and he grabs my arm again to keep me from losing my balance.

“Jesus Christ,” the older man says. “Don’t either one of you idiots have the sense God gave a goose? Get the hell inside.”

Cooper drops my arm like it’s scalding him, and I tear my gaze away from his angry face. An older guy with dark-brown skin, grey beard, and salt-and-pepper dreadlocks tied behind his neck waves at us from the open doors of the diner.

Grateful for the save, I walk carefully to the doors and into the diner.

“What happened?” the man asks as I pass him.

“This kid hit a dog and then almost got hit by a car himself,” Cooper answers from behind me.

“Are you always such a dick or is today special?” I snap at him.


Books by Sarina Bowen:

🍎🍏🍎 True North Book #1 πŸŽπŸπŸŽ

🏳️‍🌈 Wes & Jamie πŸ³️‍🌈

Good Boy

The Company Book #1

Hockey #6

YA Rockstar Romance-ish

Sarina Bowen writes steamy, angsty Contemporary Romance and New Adult fiction from the wilds of Vermont.

She is the author of The Ivy Years, an award-winning series set amid the hockey team at an elite Connecticut college.

Waiting for more Ivy Years? You can read more about upcoming volumes in the four book series at

Also, the Gravity series.

Sarina enjoys skiing, espresso drinks and the occasional margarita. She lives with her family, eight chickens and more ski gear and hockey equipment than seems necessary.

To be kept abreast of new releases, please feel free to sign up for the mailing list at

Or visit the her Facebook page, or tweet her @sarinabowen.