Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 1/2
Annabeth Albert’s Featherbed is the perfect start to the Vino & Veritas series in the Sarina Bowen World of True North universe. This series features MM and FF stories, thus adding a level of diversity to this particular universe. As its first book, Featherbed treats us to the story behind the man (and mother) responsible for opening and owning Vino and Veritas, a bookstore/coffee bar/wine bar. This business is a place where diversity is celebrated.
Harrison is a Manhattan transplant and everything you expect of an uptight, former lawyer, city transplant. He’s sophisticated and severe. The story begins when he accidentally receives a shipment of chicks. After some investigation, he determines that these chicks were meant to be delivered to Finn Barnes, the owner of a family farm, Puddlebrook Farms. On meeting, Finn and Harrison are attracted to each other; however, neither of them is interested in a relationship, but it doesn’t mean that they can’t explore something more casual. As the story progresses, what happens is they realize a growing need for the other. There are issues, though. Finn’s farm is his priority, while Harrison has a fear that keeps him from wanting more from Finn. At least, until he can no longer deny his growing interest in him.
What is most lovely about Featherbed is its introspection about the idea of living. In Finn and Harrison’s lives, they have made choices that have kept them closed off from living a full life, more specifically, a life of love. There are reasons which this book divulges that make sense to Albert’s heroes. These reasons make for the connection between the book’s ideas and its readers. We have all lived in fear, and that fear has kept us from making choices for deeper relationships with others or new jobs or new experiences. Albert deftly illustrates the danger of wrapping ourselves in that fear as a denial to living more abundantly. It’s an essential message in any book, as it’s a challenge to be open to new experiences and people.
Additionally, I am a massive fan of the opposites attracting trope. Finn and Harrison are so entirely different, but they challenge the other to be better. From the chemistry wrought through this type of coupling to the steam of the bedroom, Albert electrifies her story through Finn and Harrison’s undeniable attraction.
As my first Annabeth Albert story, Featherbed was a delight. Acting as the foundation for the Vino & Veritas series, this book has set the bar high for the undeniable attraction of future stories in this world. There are a vulnerability and sweetness to Albert’s Featherbed that will absolutely steal your heart.
In love and romance,