Review: Counterpoint (In Vino Veritas #2) by J.E. Birk

Rating: 4.75🌈

Counterpoint by J.E. Birk is such an excellent story. It’s the second in a new round of books about the Vino & Veritas bookstore and bar located in Burlington, Vermont. And a whole new look at the wonderful collection of characters and couples that appear in many of the novels.

The previous linked book here is Booklover https://www.goodreads.com › showBooklover (Vino & Veritas, #6) by J.E. Birk – Goodreads. Aaron Morin, is brother to Jamie, from Booklover and Jeremy Everett, the other love interest, is his best friend. We’ve met them all before if you’ve read that book. If you haven’t, you will want to. It’s amazing.

Honestly, each story now feels like a homecoming if you’ve become as connected to these people, their lives, this small town, from the bar and bookstore to Moo U, as I am.

Our two main characters here have known each other and been close friends for a while , along with Jamie , until a argument Aaron had with his dad about the farm fractured the family, sending Aaron off to Harvard and a isolation that remained until recently (Booklover).

Now Aaron is back, to intern for the summer, at one of the local law offices in Burlington. But Aaron has secrets and isn’t happy with himself or at ease with his family and friends.

Jeremy Everett is on the run from reality. He’s running from phone calls, his family, his mother, his future. And he’s using his playboy image to do it. Until his mother cuts off his funds. And forces him to get a job. In the law office where Aaron is working for the summer.

Birk has created a deeply moving and emotionally satisfying story about love and family. About the types of stress and damage parental expectations can place upon a child as well as many faces of love that a child often cannot recognize because of unbearable situations.

So much painful truths here.

If you’re someone who has a relative or close friend with Alzheimer’s , then this will hit deep. All the denial, the spectrum of emotions that the family uses to deal with the loved one who’s lost to this insidious disease. The pain they inflict on each other . It’s so real, heartbreaking, and believable.

Not just Alzheimer’s but a father’s fears and hopes for a family farm that built and then , targeted a son until all he felt he had to be was perfect. We get to feel and hear from Aaron’s internal dialogue and discussions how damaging that childhood has been. Even after a reconciliation, the wounds are still open and Aaron isn’t recovering.

Birk has given us two seemingly different men on the outside but in the center, they are suffering from the trauma their past history and their struggles with the pain their families have caused.

How they overcome it, especially when working together with a certain event in their own personal history still bringing up stumbles, is funny, heartfelt, vulnerable, and just plain a heartwarming story.

I adore this couple, their friends and the future ahead of them. I’m sure we will see them again.

I’m highly recommending Counterpoint, as well as Booklover if you haven’t read that too.

Get caught up and join into this series!

In Vino Veritas series 2:

✓ Wildfire #1 – Garrett Leigh

✓ Counterpoint #2 – JE Birk

◦ Unmanageable #3 – Leslie McAdam

◦ Underdog #4 – LA Witt

◦ Wonderland #5 – Rachel Ember

◦ Dauntless #6 – Victoria DeNault

The first series:

Vino and Veritas #1:

🔵Featherbed (Vino and Veritas 1) by Annabeth Albert

🔵Heartscape #2 by Garrett Leigh

🔵Headstrong #3 by Eden Finley

🔵Undercover #4 by Eliot Grayson

🔵Aftermath #5 by LA Witt

🔵Booklover #6 by JE Birk

🔵Flipcup #7 by Kim Hartfield f/f

🔵Hideaway #8 by Rachel Lacey f/f

🔵Turnabout #9 by Laurel Greer

🔵Unguarded #10 by Jay Hogan

🔵Insatiable #11 by Rhys Everly

🔵Daybreak #12 by Kate Hawthorne

🔵Heartsong #13 by AE Wasp

🔵Stronghold #14 by Ana Ashley

🔵Limelight #15 by E Davis

🔵Unforgettable #16 by Marley Valentine

🔵Showstopper #17 by Regina Kyle

🔵Undone #18 by Leslie McAdams

Counterpoint (In Vino Veritas, #2) by J.E. Birk – Goodreads

Description:

One playboy. One perfectionist. So many secrets.

I’m considered the biggest playboy in Burlington, Vermont. The party boy. The guy who lives in the moment and makes decisions with no thought for the future. But people don’t know my past. They don’t know why I make the choices I do. Even my best friend doesn’t know the truth about me. Actually, there are a lot of things he doesn’t know…like the fact that I had a one night stand with his brother last year.

Did I mean to hook up with Aaron? Um, no. Mistakes were made, okay? But unlike most of my mistakes, this one has lasting consequences. Aaron works at the law firm where circumstances are forcing me to be their errand boy. Now we see each other every day. Aaron’s such a nervous wreck he keeps tripping over the copy machine. I’m surprised he hasn’t ended up in traction yet.

He and I are opposites in almost every way. He’s got a GPA higher than Mount Mansfield, and I’m barely going to graduate college. He grocery shops with a spreadsheet, and I’ve got YOLO tattooed on my body. But Aaron sees things in me that no one else does, and I see things in him he doesn’t see in himself. Before I know it, we’re sharing late-night office picnics, evenings out at the bar, and long, hot afternoons on my boat. I’m having the best summer of my life, but there’s no way this can end well. My bff will kill me if he ever finds out how thoroughly I’ve corrupted his brother…

Counterpoint is an opposites-attract forbidden romance featuring an incense-filled law firm, meddling friends, and angst and humor in (mostly) equal parts. It stars Jeremy Everett and Aaron Morin, who first appeared in the Vino and Veritas story Booklover, but Counterpoint is a standalone novel.

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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