Read my reviews of previous books in the In Vino Veritas series:

Wildfire by Garrett Leigh | Counterpoint by J.E. Birk | Unmanageable by Leslie McAdam

Read my reviews of the previous series set in the same world, Vino & Veritas.

This book has the feel of elements of an opposites-attract romance, but differing circumstances in life don’t necessarily create opposing characters. Ty and Landon are both animal lovers and both definitely attracted to each other, but they are coming from vastly contrasting positions in terms of background and privilege, which still means a lot to overcome for a relationship. Luckily, neither one necessarily wants a relationship because each man feels that there is too much stacked against them to manage one. Attempting a “friends with benefits” arrangement between a boss and employee doesn’t necessarily make things less complicated for either of them, especially since Landon’s parole status means that’s not where the power imbalance ends.

Another thing these men definitely have in common is that their emotions were way ahead of their brains. The initial pining each experience for each other got a bit repetitive at times and also verged on excessive even after they got together physically. However, the angst they felt at why they would be unable to pursue a “real” relationship together was genuine enough that I never wanted to smack either man upside the head, which is my general litmus test for communication issues in romance.

The romance arc ties directly into an excellent internal mystery, both of which lead to a dark moment that emphasizes both characters’ fears. Though the literal answer was a bit predictable, the journey to solving it and the resolution included enough surprises that I didn’t mind. Overall, I loved Ty and Landon apart almost as much as I love them together, and the lovely epilogue was a delicious dessert to a beautiful story.

Rating: 4.5 (out of 5) stars
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