Review: Roommate (Vino and Veritas) by Sarina Bowen

Rating: 4.75🌈

I can always count on the Vino and Veritas series to bring me a new engaging contemporary novel to dive into, this time by Sarina Bowen.

Vino and Veritas (now on its second series) is written by a revolving selection of authors and the novels are loosely based in and around Burlington, Vermont and the unique gay bookstore and bar, Vino and Veritas.

Roommate takes us back to the nearby home of the widespread Shipley family, of the famous Shipley cider, in Colebury, Vermont. Bowen has written about the Shipley clan before but it’s not necessary to know anything about those stories to get involved in the lives of the people you’re going to meet here.

It’s a hallmark of this series that the authors, including Bowen, deliver a thoughtful and layered storyline when developing their romance. So each man is depicted as dealing with a multitude of issues that are deeply embedded in his life history and need to be resolved in some manner in order for each to move forward with their own lives and as a couple.

I can’t begin to tell you how much this approach to her storytelling I appreciate. It involves some serious issues with each man, including parental rejection due to sexuality, a termination of a relationship because of a closeted partner, deeply rooted family secrets, insecurities and fear of the loss of identity.

That’s such a realistic heavy burden that Bowen lays upon the shoulders of her main characters yet she weaves a great amount of love and laughter into them as well through shared experiences and food.

I loved how well crafted all the characters are here. From the main characters of Roderick and Kieran Shipley, to the amazing women who own the bakery, to the stress-filled, close mouthed farming Shipley family of Kieran so full of secrets. Every single one was as real as day. You could feel the anguish, the pain, and the tension.

The flow of the narrative is believable, as is the decisions each man makes along the way. Small steps toward a larger growth.

Overall a fabulous romance, a great job of storytelling and characters I hope to see again in future novels.

One thing.

I’m so sorry I didn’t have a bunch of great pretzels, or bagels, or babka to knosh on while reading this because, frankly, reading what Roderick was baking had me drooling. So take this as a hint and stock up before you start.

I’m highly recommending this. And check out the other books in the two series while you’re at it.

Vino and Veritas:

Roommate by Sarina Bowen

Featherbed by Annabeth Albert

Headstrong by Eden Finley

Heartscape by Garrett Leigh

Aftermath by LA Witt

Undercover by Eliot Grayson

Booklover by JE Birk

Flipcup by Kim Hartfield (F/F)

Unguarded by Jay Hogan

Buy Link :

Roommate (Vino and Veritas)


Wanted: One roommate to share a 3-bedroom house, split the rent, and ideally not be the guy I can’t stop thinking about.

I’m a man with too many secrets, so the last thing I need is a new roommate with a sexy smile and blue eyes that see right through me. Eight years ago, Roderick left town after high school. We’re not friends. I owe him nothing. But back then, I let one of my secrets slip, and he’s the only one who noticed. 

Part of me knows I should run far, far away. But the other part wants him to come upstairs and spend the night. But if I let him in, I could lose everything.
Seeking: a room to rent in town. I’m tidy, have no pets, and I will feed you homemade bread. 

I should probably add: Gay AF, and has no filter. It’s no wonder my new landlord is so wary of me. 

A smarter man would ignore those hot glances from Kieran Shipley. The broody lumberjack wants more from me than another homemade pretzel, but if I push my luck, I’ll end up back on the street.

Too bad I’ve never been smart with my heart… 

Vino and Veritas (19 books)

by Sarina Bowen And various authors

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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