5-star reads,  Delicious smut,  M/M

Unguarded (Vino & Veritas #10) by Jay Hogan

Release Date: May 6th

My my! This book was a pure joy to read. It was the perfect combination of opposites-attract, warm and cosy, sizzling sexytimes and with just the right amount of adversity for the two MCs to overcome.

Synopsis: There’s Tai, a displaced New Zealander, who’s left his cheating ex in a hurry and ended up in Burlington, Vermont. With only his crappy car and wearing some skimpy club clothes. In desperate need of a job, he’s lucky enough to get hired at the local vet clinic, run by the delicious (but probably straight) Emmett. Only the tension between Tai and Emmett suggests the sexy vet swings his way, despite him having a kid. But Tai is determined to not make the same mistake twice and rely on a boyfriend. And Emmett is a caretaker who doesn’t do casual. So now what?

The sexual tension between Tai and Emmett was unbelievable. I was so frustrated! In a good way that is. And what’s more, despite a large part of the story taking place over just a few weeks time, it didn’t feel forced or insta-lovey at all. So for a romance, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Okay, it’s worth saying again. The nookie was awesome! And the combination with Tai’s attempts to stand on his own two feet while Emmett was trying his best to look out for him was such a delight. Both characters are very well rounded and just the right amount of imperfect. It’s sweetness all around. Apart from the shenanigans, that is, which were perfectly and unapologetically rude.

I particularly liked how the big blow-up (that inevitable one that’s always about 75% in) was not caused by Tai’s or Emmett’s insecurities or miscommunication between them (which is too common, and frankly often irritating), but it was caused by an external party.

The one thing that maybe was a bit over-played was the insistent way Tai refused to accept even an ounce of help from anyone. I can absolutely respect anyone wanting to make it on their own, but there’s a difference between being self-sufficient and being stubborn bordering on recklessness.

Giving back a gifted crappy car (registered in one’s own name) to the ex who cleaned out your account? Stupid.

Refusing the offer of a pull-out bed for a night at your colleague’s place after giving away your car and sleeping-place? Stupid.

And I’ve noticed this is definitely a theme in American books. Apparently you’re supposed to refuse all kinds of help when down on your luck or you’ll be considered, what? Weak? Like you take advantage? Like it’s cheating at life? This is despite, of course, that everyone in these stories would offer other people help, because it’s the right thing to do. But accepting said help is a big no-no? So weird.

People aren’t islands, and what are society and friends even for if not to help each other.

I know, I’m going on a tangent here, but I can’t help myself. Because I can’t for the life of me understand how this kind of extreme (yes, bordering on stupid) self-sufficiency can be considered an ideal in a society where such enormous circumstantial gaps exists between people directly from birth. It’s not like the 1% started from scratch and made it on their own.

Okay. I’m done now. Back on topic. This is an awesome read. It’ll give you all the warm fuzzies and I can’t recommend it enough.

* A free copy of this book was kindly provided by Heart Eyes Press *


I'm a Swedish book nerd reading mostly steamy English romance novels. And since there is so much good stuff out there, and so much shitty stuff too. I just want to give credit where it's due (and diss the rest).