✍🏻 Professor Romance 4 ⭐️ Review: Rhys Everly’s Insatiable, a Vino & Veritas story ✍🏻

Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

What do you get when you have a British silver fox with a need for hook-ups to inspire his writing and a younger, grumpy. jilted sugarmaker? Well, an INSATIABLE need for their happy ending. 

Rhys Everly’s Insatiable situates itself fairly in the Vino & Veritas world, offering up a slice of it that we, the devoted readers of this world, have yet to read. Given that this series is set in Burlington, Vermont, maple anything is the currency of this area. Enter Brody, a jilted maple winemaker, grumpy at life after being left at the altar. In this world, we have yet to meet characters who actually work with maple syrup in the way that Brody does, so Insatiable makes for an interesting read as it introduces us to this fare. When you add to that a pretty randy British erotica writer, you find yourself exposed to the very stories that the reader inhales from the world of romance. In many ways, Everly’s depiction of Logan feels like a meta-reflection on the artform of erotica. 

Brody and Logan are light and dark. Everly finds a balance between the two as Logan steps in to help Brody build his winemaking business, a business that is underwhelming at the book’s beginning. Logan initiates his help with the intent to bed Brody, given that their initial meeting is filled with some serious chemistry. Granted, Brody is unimpressed with Logan’s cockiness. However, he cannot deny his attraction to the older man. As Logan penetrates (pun-intended) Brody’s gruff, surly exterior, their attraction grows and turns into something deeper and more vulnerable, and it is in those moments where Everly’s Insatiable soars. 

Now, my biggest criticism of this book is how easily Logan, the playboy, falls for Brody. It causes unevenness in his characterization because it feels rushed and incongruous with his character at the beginning. In the beginning, Logan is a straight-up man-ho and seemingly replete in it. For him to quickly transition the other way undermines the credibility of his character development. 

Beyond that, though, Logan and Brody’s journey is a compelling contrast to Logan’s hook-up lifestyle illustrating the gravity of deep, abiding relationships. As Logan realizes how unfulfilled his life is in its temporanity, you can’t help but like him more. Even at the beginning of the story in his insatiable need to bed anyone, as he recognizes Brody’s pain and the reasons behind it, you know that there is more to his character. His compassion for Brody ultimately wins you over to his side especially as Brody’s surliness can put you off initially. 

Rhys Everly’s Insatiable is a great addition to the Vino & Veritas world. Brody’s reticence to trust Logan, and Logan’s revelation that he needs more from life draw you into their world with ease. By the end of this book, you’ll want more of Brody and Logan’s happy ending, and Everly is easy to oblige that. 

In love and romance,

Professor A

✍🏻 Professor Romance’s 5+ ⭐️ Review: Catherine Cowles’s Reckless Refuge ✍🏻

Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️+

“To truly experience life, you had to live it in community.”

Catherine Cowles, always true to her inveterate storytelling, has written a beautifully tragic story in her newest book, Reckless Refuge, that reminds you that a life half-lived or lived in the shadows is no life at all. What has become her signature, a tempest of emotion swirled in a teapot of romantic suspense, Reckless Refuge ingratiates itself into your heart by the sheer force of emotion. Every turn of the page wrings out story and character that grab at you, moving you forward when you want to hold off the ending because the story is so good. In fact, that’s probably my favorite part of Cowles’s book: her understanding of how to plot and sequence a story so that you want more while also wanting to hold off. 

In Reckless Refuge, Shay and Brody’s chemistry is clear from the moment they meet. Their connection is beautifully wrought, making you want more from them from the very beginning. Shay’s past, though, complicates their journey, although Cowles has crafted a stalwart hero in Brody, an artist with a sense for the darkness in people. When his soul recognizes its own darkness in Shay, you will find yourself lost in their love story. This is trademark Catherine Cowles: beautiful couplings born from tragedies. You cannot help but adore Shay and Brody in this book. 

Even more, the themes of this story underscore Cowles’s overall message of living abundantly: the idea of choosing your own family, along with the suggestion that trauma doesn’t have to stop life. In fact, Shay and Brody’s romance is the salve for Reckless Refuge because their pasts are shadowed by tragedy. As that portion of the story is unraveled, as a reader, you will find yourself clinging to the depth of their relationship in the book. The sustained suspense keeps you turning the page like you watch a horror movie: peeking through a hand that covers your eyes. Consider that your warning for Reckless Refuge. If you’re a Catherine Cowles fan, though, this won’t be a surprise. 
As is the case with every Catherine Cowles story I’ve read, I adored Reckless Refuge. From the character journeys of Shay and Brody to the inclusion of the Wrecked series gang to the intentional chronology crafted to sustain your anticipation to the most beautiful of happy endings, this book is an adventure, one that will drill into your soul and leave a piece of itself behind.

In love and romance,

Professor A

✍🏻 Catherine Cowles’s Reckless Refuge is LIVE, a beautiful story that shows the need to live life even after the pain of yesterdays. Grab this story quick. ✍🏻

“Addictive, truly suspenseful, and utterly romantic, this is a top read of the year!” –Samantha Young, New York Times bestselling author

Reckless Refuge, an all-new emotional standalone romance filled with intrigue and suspense from Catherine Cowles, is available now!

There were shadows I was running from.
Ones that haunted and taunted.
Ones that made it so I had no choice but to disappear.

I’d spent years hiding from the world.
My little island haven, the only assurance of safety.

It all changed the moment he showed up at my door.
The hint of pain in his eyes told me that something haunted him, too.
And I couldn’t help but be drawn closer.

But finding the person I needed most came with risks I never expected.
And when our ghosts find us again, neither of us may make it out this time.

Read now!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3o7tY4x
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/RecklessRefugeCC
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About Catherine Cowles
Writer of words. Drinker of Diet Cokes. Lover of all things cute and furry, especially her dog. Catherine has had her nose in a book since the time she could read and finally decided to write down some of her own stories. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring her home state of Oregon, listening to true crime podcasts, or searching for her next book boyfriend.

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✍🏻 AE Wasp’s Heartsong is HERE. Ready for another Vino & Veritas story? Then grab this one QUICK. ✍🏻


Purchase here → https://geni.us/AmazonHeartsong
Add to Goodreads → https://bit.ly/3bRqTTq
Series Page → https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/vino-and-veritas/
All the links in one spot → https://shor.by/vino-and-veritas

About the Book:

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.


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.

✍🏻 Oh how I’ve been waiting for Beckett Weaver’s story in Melanie Harlow’s Bellamy Creek series. Check out her H-A-W-T cover for Tie Me Down, coming May 24th. Preorder it NOW! ✍🏻

Tie Me Down, an all new friends-to-lovers sexy small town romance from USA Today bestselling author Melanie Harlow is coming May 24th and we have the H-O-T cover!

Just friends.
That’s all Beckett Weaver and I have ever been.
Sure, he’s a hot cowboy who left Wall Street behind to take over his family’s ranch. Yes, I’ve had a secret crush on him since we were seventeen. And who wouldn’t appreciate those strong hands, that massive chest, and the way he fills out a pair of Levis?
He makes a girl sweat just looking at him . . . and I look. A lot.
But I’m a single mom trying to move on with my life, and he’s running that ranch single-handedly while taking care of his elderly father. We don’t even live in the same state. I only returned to my hometown of Bellamy Creek to sell my late mother’s house, and he just invited me and my son to stay with him because he’s got a big heart.
That’s not the only big thing he’s got–which I discover the night I finally sneak across the hall to his bedroom and shed my inhibitions right alongside my pajamas. And once we give into each other, we can’t stop.
The hayloft. The bed of his truck. The dock by the pond.
Nothing has ever felt so right, but his past has taught him not to believe in happily ever after, and every perfect night I spend in his arms brings us closer to goodbye.
Like any cowboy, he’s good with a rope and knows exactly how to tie me up.
But what if I want him to tie me down?

Reserve your copy today!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3hc2Yke
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Cover Designer: Hang Le
Photographer: Michelle Lancaster
Model: Tommy Pearce

About Melanie Harlow

USA Today bestselling author Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she’s not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like Schitt’s Creek, Homeland, and Fleabag. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak.

Melanie is the author of the CLOVERLEIGH FARMS series, the ONE & ONLY series, AFTER WE FALL series, the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and pet rabbit.

Connect with Melanie

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2RPwr51
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Website: http://www.melanieharlow.com

✍🏻 It’s time for another Vino & Veritas story. Rhys Everly’s Insatiable is live. Think grumpy hero and his opposite which equals sparks on the page. Run and grab it NOW. ✍🏻


Purchase here → https://geni.us/AmazonInsatiable
Add to Goodreads → https://bit.ly/35VqhrX
Series Page → https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/vino-and-veritas/
All the links in one spot → https://shor.by/vino-and-veritas

About the Book:

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.


“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.”

✍🏻 Ready for 5 more stories in The Salvation Society? Gravity, Warrior, Shattered, Lethal, and Guardian are LIVE today! ✍🏻


Are you ready to return to Corinne Michaels’ Salvation series world?!?

THE SALVATION SOCIETY is a collection of books written by various authors, filled with Navy SEALs, strong heroines, CIA operatives, our first paranormal romance, plus so much more!!! Check out who are featured in the eighth set!


This set features:

Guardian by Stacie Santoro

Shattered by Bella Emy

Warrior by A.M. Brooks

Gravity by K. L. Jessop

Lethal by Tara L. Ames

Want to keep up with new books coming?

Sign up for the Live Alert ➜ geni.us/JoinSSociety

Hang out with us! ➜ geni.us/SSHangout

Guardian by Stacie Santoro

Featuring Aarabelle; ALL heroes

Genre/Trope: legacy trope and paranormal



Add to Goodreads:


Salvation Society Author Page:



She lives her life in the light.

Aarabelle Gilcher-Dempsey grew up wanting to make the world a safer place. So, when she leaves the FBI to be closer to her family and start her new career back home at Valor-Reed Security, she is both settled and excited. And she’s ready for her first assignment, investigating suspicious break-ins at the homes of the security firm’s exclusive art-collecting clients. But she didn’t expect a distraction in the form of her new colleague or the intense attraction she feels for him.

He’s lived most of his life in the shadows.

Lorcan Ryder, an elite guard for the Warlock King, is sent into the human world to find the exclusive painting holding the Crown Zenith, one of three power zeniths in existence and the source of power for all magicals. And he must find it before it falls into the wrong hands.

When Aarabelle and Lorcan are teamed up at Valor-Reed, their connection is undeniable and more powerful than either can resist.

Aarabelle is about to learn how unsafe the world can truly be.

Lorcan is about to realize that his mission finds him more than he was looking for.

When their worlds collide and danger surrounds them, difficult choices will have to be made.

And a guardian will have to rise.

Shattered by Bella Emy

Featuring Catherine and Jackson; daughters as secondary characters

Genre/Trope: Friends to Lovers



Add to Goodreads:


Salvation Society Author Page:



Falling in love with you was easy.

You came in, swept me off my feet, and promised me forever.

Everything was wonderful, beautiful… until one day it wasn’t.

The day I blinked, and you were gone, was the day you shattered my heart forever.

I accepted it. I promised myself I was never going to look back, and I moved on.

Or so I thought…

You waltzed back into my life like a whirlwind…

Could years of hatred be healed by one look, one kiss?

Falling in love with you was the easy part but finding forever with you may just be impossible.

Warrior by A.M. Brooks

Featuring Mark (works with CSF)

Genre/Trope: Second chance



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Salvation Society Author Page:




I fell in love with him when we were kids.

He promised me forever when we were teenagers.

Months later he leaves me without a care in the world.

One week during senior year was all it took for Colt Street to decide I was no longer what he wanted.

Then, just like his brother, Colt took off for the military, leaving the life we longed for, behind.

Eight years later he’s back, and now everything has changed. We’re both not who we once were… and I

don’t know if we ever will be.


Running into Lyric Taylor again brought back the reality of the situation I put us in all those years ago.

I left when my world came crashing down. Instead of letting her know what was going on, I chose to run,

and leave her behind.

This time I won’t make the same mistake.

She’s guarded.

I’m broken.

Now danger is waiting to tear us apart, and I’m ready to put my life on the line.

Whether she accepts it or not, I will always be her warrior.

Gravity by K. L. Jessop

Featuring Makenna (secondary character) and Mark

Genre/Trope: Brother’s best friend



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Salvation Society Author Page:



Nora Nelson invades my thoughts so strongly I find it hard to breathe.

However, she is my best friend’s kid sister, and that alone makes her forbidden.

When she leaves for college, it should be the diversion I need, except, I find myself craving her all the more.

In a world so frayed, she is the one thing that brings me hope—the guidance I never realized I needed—and when tragedy strikes, I vow to protect her with everything I have.

There is just one problem: her brother.

Torn between loyalty and love, I’m ready to fight the battle I know is coming.

Even if it has the potential to ruin everything.

Even if it means losing everything.

Even if it means losing her.

Lethal by Tara L. Ames

Featuring Mark and Charlie

Genre/Trope: friends to lovers/Military Romance



Add to Goodreads:


Salvation Society Author Page:



Jenn is the living embodiment of Cade’s past.

His neighbor, his friend… his partner in grief when they both lost their parents to 9/11.

He looks forward to their yearly reunion to commemorate that day as much as he dreads it.

Jenn’s sweet and smart, hot and sexy, the light at the end of his tunnel… a lethal mixture that threatens his resolve to keep his hands off her… but he must.

He knows his darkness is too much to ask her to bear.

Cade is the future Jenn dreams of.

He calls her family, all he has left, but she knows she can be so much more.

It’s been years since she kissed him, but she can’t forget how right it felt.

He’s her kryptonite, her weakness… she has loved him since she was five years old.

The SEAL in him says he’s protecting her by guarding his heart.

But when the unthinkable happens, only Cade can save her… even if it costs him everything.

✍🏻 Professor Romance’s 5 ⭐️ Review: Jay Hogan’s Unguarded, another Vino & Veritas story ✍🏻

Overall Grade: 5 ⭐️

I don’t know what it is about the name Emmett, but Jay Hogan’s Unguarded is the second story I’ve read in a month with a main character named Emmett whose characterization steals your heart. I’m not sure what causes that name to come with a character who offers big love to the other main character, but you will find it distinctly in Unguarded, another Vino & Veritas story. 

Tai has left his cheating ex-boyfriend, completely devastating his life. Finding escape in Burlington, Vermont, he comes to town with nothing except the ill-prepared clothes on his back and his car, his current lodging. After a night spent sleeping in his car, he happens upon Vino & Veritas, where he meets Briar (his story is told in another V & V book, J.E. Birk’s Booklover. While warming up in Vino & Veritas, a hurried, handsome man carrying a cat carrier enters the store, and Tai is drawn to him. When the man asks Tai to watch the cat so he can use the restroom, Tai finds himself intrigued with the man, who returns, taking the cat and departing the store. Briar notices Tai’s interest in the man and Tai’s need for a job. He recommends Tai for a position at the local vet’s office, where Tai runs into that man, the veterinarian, Emmett. 

At first glance, Emmett is also drawn to Tai. Incredibly handsome, Emmett knows that taking Tai on will complicate his life, but he also realizes that Tai needs the position and the money. Even more, he needs the help, so he hires Tai and helps him find start to work on his life. Emmett’s issue in his attraction to Tai is his single fatherhooddom and his closeted bisexuality. As the story progresses and Tai and Emmett fall deeper into each other, these issues become problematic, and you can’t help but wonder if they will find their way together. 

What is there to love about Unguarded?

Well as I mentioned above, Emmett is that type of hero who isn’t alpha in nature except in the bedroom. He tells Tai quite bluntly that he loves $ex, but his persona outside of the bedroom is a bit fumbling and a lot compassion. He helps Tai see his strengths and he encourages him in a way that makes for a lovely story between these two. 

While Emmett is all sweet and compassionate, Tai has an edge to him and humor that balances Emmett. He also cares for Emmett, ensuring that Emmett takes care of himself. Even more, he falls quickly for Emmett’s son, Leo, oftentimes acting as a conduit between the two. 

The story itself is a plodding journey where for half of it these two fight their feelings. However, once they fall, it’s all over for them. Instead, the story moves to more serious issues that surround Tai and Emmett individually. When Tai and Emmett choose each other, the tension of the story shifts keeping the reader in its thrall. 

And at its end, Jay Hogan’s Unguarded leaves its readers with a sweet epilogue and bonus epilogue with twines of Tai’s humor and Emmett’s deep abiding love for Tai. This story reminds its readers that love can overcome one’s circumstances if we allow it. 

In love and romance,

Professor A

✍🏻 Professor Romance’s 4.5 ⭐️ Review: Laurel Greer’s Turnabout, a Vino & Veritas story ✍🏻

Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️

I’m a relatively new reader of MM romance. With the creation of the Vino & Veritas world, my expansion into this romance has grown exponentially. Obviously, this limits me in that my breadth of knowledge about this sub-genre is limited. But what I’ve found in it has slaked my thirst for new aspects of romancelandia. 

In romance at large, one of my favorite tropes is second chances. There is the requisite angst of whether “they should or shouldn’t” renew their interest in each other. You find yourself lost in the tension that drives the story forward, a tension oftentimes not resolved until the last moments of the story. With these types of stories, there is an emotional investment because the two characters have been disappointed previously or driven apart by life’s events. With Laurel Greer’s Turnabout, all of these qualities find purchase in a story so delectable in its steam, so demonstrative in its message about forgiving the past to find a future, and decided in its insistence on a happy ending for its two main characters, Auden and Carter. 

At its core, Turnabout handles the difficult topics of familial acceptance and taking chances. Through the scope of Auden and Carter, the reader is treated to two entwined separate journeys that span a decade. Greer’s focus on the changes in Auden and Carter from their early twenties to their mid-thirties shows the ways that people change, how people grow. Yet, even in their growth, we find with Auden and Carter that feelings and thinking remain the same. After a decade apart, Auden and Carter are still madly attracted to each other, but their lives, their values, seem oppositional. As Turnabout progresses, what we find is Carter’s need to be accepted by his father, and Auden’s fear of failure. Both of these needs are wrapped in their past experiences, and it takes much of Greer’s story to bring about the healing that they each require. 

What I loved about this story is, firstly, its sensorial nature. Over and over again, Auden and Carter crave each other’s tastes, smells, and touches. It adds a profound sensory eroticism that isn’t often found in romance stories. It was profound enough in Turnabout to pique my intrigue at Greer’s choices in highlighting Carter’s “salty taste” at his throat. 

Even more, the tension that Greer so carefully builds keeps you suspended in her story. There is no guarantee that Carter and Auden will find a happy ending to their journey. In fact, all seems lost fairly late in her book, but then Greer crafts this beautiful grand gesture, and she rights the book in a multitude of ways. By the story’s end, your hunger for their happily-ever-after is satiated by her epilogue and bonus epilogue. For me, there is a maturity to Auden and Carter’s love that lends a gravity to the totality of the book, making the story feel soulful in its evolution. 

I am so thankful for stories such as Laurel Greer’s Turnabout. They aren’t incredibly flashy in their nature; instead, they hone in on truths about life and use the journeys of its characters to remind readers that an HEA can be found even when it seems impossible. Even more, Turnabout in itself is an apt reminder that being seen and loved are the greatest wants of people.

In love and romance,

Professor A

✍🏻 Have you grabbed The Insiders by Tijan yet? What are you waiting for? ✍🏻

“Obsessed from page one! Another addicting read from Tijan.”
— Jennifer L. Armentrout, #1 New York Times bestselling author

The Insiders, an all new page-turning and addictive romance from New York Times bestselling author Tijan, is available now!

Bailey is as normal as could be, with a genius IQ and a photographic memory. But still, normal for her. Then, things happen — a guy breaks into her house in the middle of the night to take her hostage. She learns her father is billionaire tech genius Peter Francis, the same guy she’s idolized all her life. She finds all this out when she meets dark, mysterious, and electrifying Kashton Colello. He’s also an associate of her father’s, and he gives Bailey two choices—go with him and meet her father or survive on her own because those kidnappers are going to try again.

It’s a no-brainer.

After this, three things become clear for Bailey:

1. She has to live at her father’s sprawling estate, complete with bodyguards and the best security that money can buy.

2. She’s no longer an only child. She has three siblings and has no idea what to do with them and vice versa.

3. She is being guarded by Kash himself. Personally guarded. And there is a lot of guarding going on there and some of it is going to drive her crazy.

A complete outsider in a world of wealth and decadence, Bailey has to find her way within a family that has more secrets than she could have imagined. One of these secrets could be deadly…

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We were heading out of Chicago, and maybe another half hour or so from the small town where my mom and I lived. 

Wait. Second thought—where we used to live? 

What would my mom do now? Could Chrissy Hayes remain in that house after I was just attacked, almost taken hostage? I called my mother by all kinds of names—Chrissy Hayes, Chrissy, or Mom. Or, well, a whole other kind of names too, because to say she’s a character is putting it mildly. And we have an interesting relationship to say the least. 

I might be deflecting here. 

Numb. I was numb. I should be pissing my pants, but instead I’m ruminating over how I refer to my mother. 

Could I stay in that house after what just happened? 

I’d been planning to spend time with Chrissy, helping with the house and working at the local computer store to make some extra money before I left for school. But now . . . fuck if I knew. 

Myriad curses went through my mind as I realized Chrissy would have to move. 

Shivers pierced me as I went over what had happened tonight, but then we were pulling into a driveway, next to a booth. A large gate barricaded us from moving forward. 

Official police business, my tech ass. 

Then again, nothing seemed official. I was told that I was being taken to my mother, but I left with two detectives. Bright and Wilson. They introduced themselves, then said she couldn’t see me in the hospital. They didn’t explain why, but I was to go with them to see her. 

I went. 

I was in the backseat of their unmarked car a few minutes later. 

Bright’s window rolled down. She flashed her badge. “We’re expected.” 

The attendant nodded, hitting a button. The gate opened, showing a campus of buildings behind it. Some made of dark red brick. Some seemingly made of reflective windows, top to bottom. Some painted totally black. A large parking lot sat in the middle of the buildings. “Phoenix Tech” was on a sign in front of the first building, but we went past, heading around it and toward a smaller building on the opposite end of the lot. 

My tongue was glued to the back of my throat. We were at Phoenix Tech headquarters. 

I had yearned to get an internship there every year since fifth grade, and then through college. I kept applying, but they kept denying. Some might say I was being desperate. I prefer determined. It’s a quality that I feel is honorable. Plus, I wasn’t above hoping they’d take pity on me one day. It worked, because while I might not have been good enough to walk their hallways, I was good enough for them to give me charity. They awarded me the majority of my grants for undergrad, so I’d been able to go to college debt free. I’d been expecting that to change for graduate school, but it hadn’t. Or, well, it kind of had. 

I was hired as a graduate assistant, starting in the fall, which gave me a stipend, but the rest was covered by another scholarship from Phoenix Tech. 

Phoenix Tech was one of the world’s leading companies on cyber security. I was going into information systems, which was close enough. A job here would be a dream. 

“My mom is here?” I asked, when Bright parked, and both her and Wilson got out of the vehicle. 

Neither answered. 

Bright opened my back door and motioned for me, slipping her sunglasses over her eyes. “It’s time for you to find out some answers.”

About Tijan

Tijan is a New York Times Bestselling author that writes suspenseful and unpredictable novels. Her characters are strong, intense, and gut-wrenchingly real with a little bit of sass on the side. Tijan began writing later in life and once she started, she was hooked. She’s written multi-bestsellers including the Fallen Crest series, Ryan’s Bed, Enemies and others.
She is currently writing many new books and series with a couple English Cockers she adores.

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