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This book was super cute and full of love, but being written by Eden Finley I knew it would be. I really enjoyed this book. It’s only about 250 pages, so sometimes things were a little rushed. Not Whit and Rainn’s relationship, that I had to wait for, but Whit is a virgin and Rainn is “straight.” Chalk up to crazy chemistry, but they did jump heavily into the steamy bits once they started. It’s not totally unbelievable or anything, because yes these two do have good chemistry and I love, love the humor shared between them. If you’re up for a super cute love story with 0 angst give this one a shot!
This was such a beautiful story. I loved the almost begrudging friendship between Rainne and Whit, and how quickly it grew into a deep friendship and then love. I also liked that Rainne was so comfortable so fast with realizing his feelings for Whit. Once he was in he was pretty much all in and so was Whit, even with the slight angst and them working to overcome that. I do wish we had gotten a bit more of Rainne’s family but overall this was such an enjoyable book. A great edition to the Vino and Veritas series.
A really great story! It has such a fun pair of guys and what they go through as they figure everything out feels truly real and was a lot of work that was beautiful to read!
This story gets into the future, plans for it, and when it all changes. Having a set future, one that not many get, is big enough. Then having it all taken away in one little moment and changing all those plans makes for a change of thinking that can be hard to handle. Add in meeting another person who has those same abilities and chances but has their own different plan for life and it can throw a real wrench in everything. This was what was going on in this story and it is well explored, from the grief and anger of that loss to the fear of change both if plans and of how you think of yourself. It was a great book and a truly enjoyable read!
This is a beautiful love story about Rainn and Whit. It’s a friends to lovers, bi-awakening, virgin tale with a side of a stalled life. At its heart, it’s a story of a damaged and bruised but not broken man who is befriended by a man who is happy with his life path except for one tiny portion who together find love and a way forward. Rainn was a college hockey star being scouted by the NHL until a career ending injury ended all his plans. Now he’s working at Vino & Veritas as a bartender/bookstore clerk. Whit is a farmer who plays college hockey. He’s also a gay virgin who’s ready to move that part of his life along. Whit already is attracted to straight Rainn when Rainn takes pity on him and volunteers to be his wingman. The slow and measured pace of Rainn and Whit’s journey from strangers to friends to lovers to their HEA is a masterfully crafted tale of three dimensional characters who grow together. The book has a little bit of everything - sweet moments, steamy scenes, strong friendships, supportive family, some chuckles, painful pasts, and all the heart squeezing love. Expect to feel all the feels - you’ll laugh, swoon, cringe, smack your head, and cry. The story included witty dialogue, three dimensional characters who grow, and an engaging storyline. I will definitely keep reading more of this series.
Headstrong is exactly what I was looking for: sweet, no angst, relaxing fluff. Rainn “The Grump” Richardson and Whit “the 22-year-old and panicking virgin” are just cute – together and apart. They’re both nice, decent guys and they have a pretty straight forward friends to lovers relationship trajectory. 26-year-old Rainn is a grump because he’s heartbroken. He played college hockey and was looking at a draft to the NHL until experiencing a career ending injury. He never got over it. He didn’t finish his degree, he cut off his family in Rhode Island and he stayed in Vermont eking out a very meager existence working at a queer friendly and queer owned bookstore and wine bar. While he identifies as straight, he’s been reading gay romance to learn about the LGBTQ community so as not to unintentionally offend one of his customers as he is “not so aware when it comes to everything rainbow”.
Whit (or Leighton Whitaker) is 2 months from his 22nd birthday. He has recently come out to his family and his hockey team, and he wants to get this show on the road. Aside from being in the closet, he’s been too busy with hockey and working on the family farm to date, but he definitely wants to turn in his V card before he turns 22, or at least before he graduates. Whit likes hockey but he’s not planning to make a career out of it. His passion is the family farm, which he and his brother have plans to take over and expand.
Whit hits the local queer friendly bar Vino & Veritas and strikes out all over the place. It’s just that he has an issue with oversharing and boundary crossing and doesn’t know when to shut up. Rainn takes pity on him (despite that Whit is obviously hockey fanboying all over him and Rainn despises and avoids anything even remotely hockey related) and somehow ends up being his “wingman” to help him successfully hook up. Whit tries really hard to not crush on his straight friend and Rainn tries to make sense out of why Whit starts looking really good. There’s not a lot of angst between “Hey, I may not be straight, straight” and relationshipville. Despite being younger, Whit is very clear about what he wants, and he helps Rainn sort through the emotional baggage of his past and finally start moving forward.
Headstrong take place in the CU Hockey Universe but is not part of the series. Coincidentally the epilogue connects Rainn with the non-profit hockey camp for underprivileged kids run by T.J. Beckett and his partner Chris(Topher) Jacobs from book 2 of the CU Hockey series which is the only book I read.
Whitt is one of those characters sunshine you cant help but baske in, because he is always unapologetically himself. Rainn is heartbroken from the loss of hockey, but with Whitts help he shows his true nerdy self and you can't help but want to cuddle him and make all the things better in his lonely life.
I have long been a fan of Eden Finley’s and quickly read anything and everything she publishes. When I heard that she was going to be part of this series with other amazing authors I knew this series was going to be amazing! I was not wrong, friends. RUN do not walk to read the other 3 books in this series. While I did not read the books in order, I can see where that would be very helpful! I love how the release dates are staggered, but still close together.
After reading this series a visit to Vermont definitely is on my bucket list! I adored the college small town feel of this series. We first meet Rainn as he is working in an LGTBQ friendly bookstore/wine bar. Since working in the bookstore has become an avid reader, especially MM romance novels. From the get go he is grumpy and so closed off. Something for sure got this boy down. Whit is a college hockey star at the local Moo University (another series that you will want to check out for sure!) a family man, and farmer. A chance encounter at the bookstore has both of them drawn to each other. They cannot seem to stay away from each other.
Whit is recently out to his family and friends is wanting to check off items on his “gay bucket list”...what he needs is a wingman. He can’t flirt, he doesn’t know what to say and he is a total mess. Who would be a better wingman than a flirty straight former hockey player/bartender. Rainn objects but for some reason cannot stay away from Whit. Watching these two build a great friendship was so fun to read. And it leaves Rainn questioning everything all while Whit is falling for his straight friend.
I really really loved this book. I love how the two built an easy friendship and Whit was really able to pull Rainn out of his shell. How Eden brought these two on the journey of finding themselves, falling in love and becoming a partner that another person needs was beautiful. I love how those around them not only supported them but also challenged them to be better people and partners. I absolutely loved reading their story, and I hope to see more of them in this series! ALSO- you also DO NOT want to miss the extended epilogue- for real it is AMAZING. Trust me Sidney is a show stopper!
If you are new to MM romance, I think this series is a perfect place to start. The characters, the setting, and stories are heartwarming and genuine.
I haven’t read anything in the vino @ veritas series. For whatever reason I did not get drawn to the stories but I picked up this one on a whim because of the positive rating & I liked the blurb. Did not disappoint. Liked Rainn & Whitt. I liked their chemistry & the open communication. The hockey drama towards the end was unnecessary but did not go on long enough to be annoying or distract from the story. The sex was also well balanced. I enjoyed this. 4 🌟
Whit needs a wingman when he goes to Vino and Veritas. Rainn the bartender gets volunteered. Things get strange when they both realize that they really want each other. So maybe the straight guy isn't all that straight.
Whit a college hockey player from Moo U has finally come out to friends,family and his fellow hockey players he's about to graduate and he wants to know longer be a virgin and with his birthday coming up now is the time so he decides to try the local bookstore and wine bar Vino and Veritas. One big problem he doesn't know how to even get a guy to like him long enough to get to that next step he is failing epically when his idol on the ice former player Reinn decides to be his wingman. This would be just perfect if Reinn wasn't his straight wingman because Whit has made the biggest mistake ever don't fall for your straight friend.
Reinn hates hockey when he used to love it he can't understand why he's willing to help the college guy score but then he starts to like Whit there friendship is great so why is it when Whit looks like he mite be into another guy why dose he get agitated and mad its not like there can ever be something between them but then he went and kissed Whit now what not only is Reinn's life a dumpster fire of unpersuid opertunity after a career ending injury he may have ruined the only true friendship hes ever hade.
Whit why did Reinn kiss him its all he's ever wanted but now signals are getting crossed they can't just go back to being friends. Reinn and Whit have alot of things to get threw past disappointment and lost dreams. Whit and Reinn are good for each other they have friendship, humor and really belong together Whit thought his plan A in life was nolonger being a virgin and working the family farm Reinn thought his plan A was hockey then it wasn't so his second plan being a lonely grump who works at a bar forever sometimes in life option B is the best plan ever when you get a chance at love and happiness.