Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Review - Booklover by J.E. Birk

by J.E. Birk
SeriesVino & Veritas, #6
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Release Date: March 29, 2021

Jamie Morin’s college GPA drops every time a cow breaks through a fence, but he’s determined to get his degree and keep his parents’ Vermont dairy farm afloat. He’d rather be reading than milking, but he can’t let his family down…not the way his brother did. So the last thing he needs is distraction in the form of an irresistible bookseller with a mysterious backstory.

Briar Nord has a lifetime of experience proving that happily-ever-afters only happen in his favorite books. But his luck might be changing. He’s got a great job at a bookstore, and he lives in a city that puts maple syrup on everything. But Briar knows not to trust anything--or anyone--too closely, and that includes a gorgeous farm boy with soulful eyes and too many obligations. 

When Jamie joins Briar’s romance novel book club, they both feel an instant connection and soon they’re turning pages long into the night. But Briar’s past was bound to catch up with him. Sometimes, though, it takes two heroes to write a new ending . . . 

“Books about relationships are filled with conflict, and relationships in real life are filled with conflict. Happy endings, in books and real life, are always just stopping points before the next conflict comes…”
“And that’s okay” … ”That’s why books have sequels. That’s why people do, too.”
There was a lot to love about this book and I really enjoyed it. It had a lot of emotion and angst, which, for me, tends to slow the book down a bit since I need time to process all of it, so it did take me a bit longer to get to the end. There was a bit of danger and suspense wrapped up in this story, as well as family drama, and I really enjoyed how that all played a part in bringing Jamie and Briar to their happy ending.

Both Jamie and Briar were interesting characters. Jamie is trying to take on the responsibility of three people, juggling school, work, and his family obligations. Briar is running from a past that always seems to catch up with him - literally and figuratively. And in typical romance book fashion, the more these two try do deny anything more than a FWB arrangement, the deeper they fall for one another.

I really loved the supporting cast and characters. Jamie’s family and friends were all unique and fun. I also loved the setting and stories surrounding Moo U - having visited Burlington, VT it was fun to have the area brought to life by the author.

I’m not normally a fan of younger characters, but both Jamie and Briar were mature beyond their years but also maintained a bit of the naivete of their youth, giving both their characters additional depth. The author added nice touches with the shared love of a particular book/author between Jamie and Briar, and I also loved the inclusion of so many food scenes - maple sugar season is a great time of year! I’m a sucker for books with chapter titles and loved how the author incorporated those into this book as well.

This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I will definitely be looking to read more - this is one you should definitely check out!

I received an advance reader copy from the publisher but also read this in Kindle Unlimited.

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