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

"I really enjoyed the push and pull of these two characters!" Angel on Counterpoint.  

From the blurb:

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.

Angel's Review:

Counterpoint by J.E. Birk is apart of the Vino and Veritas series. I haven't read the previous set of books that came out in this series last year, but I'm so glad I was able to read this book this year. 

J.E. Birk is a new-to-me author, and after reading this I'm definitely going to be browsing their backlist. 

I really enjoyed Jeremey and Aaron. Aaron is just adorable and so sweet, he reminds me of myself actually. I'm not usually clumsy either but when I'm nervous or stressed then I get clumsy or make mistakes I wouldn't usually make. So, I fell in love with his character right off the bat, yes he made mistakes just up and leaving his family but he's been trying to med them. He's determined to try to make things better with his family, and to not lie to Jaimie again... Until he has to lie to Jaimie again when he and Jeremey start fooling around. 

Jeremey is Burlington's playboy, he's known for parting and one night stands. His friends don't know about the things he keeps buried, about the things he runs away from, the reason why he has yolo tattooed to his butt. Only one person knows all of that, and that person is Aaron. The one person he knows he'll never be good enough for but the one he wants anyway. 

I loved, love, loved this story. You can tell the time and effort the author took in writing this story! The characters are all so great! They have a reason to be in the story and they all contribute to moving the story along in a good place. They each have their own backstory and background. The storyline was thought-out and written really well. 

I have to be honest I wasn't a fan of Jeremy's character for over half of the story, he was just a very difficult character to like. He didn't take life seriously, which in some ways is a good thing, but in others not so much. By keeping all of the things he's struggling to himself, he ends up hurting those around him. Not to mention he almost cost Aaron his job by going out on a bender. 

I really enjoyed this story despite not moving Jeremy's character. When Jeremey goes and visits his dad in the care home? Instant tears! I can't even imagine what that feels like, for the person you love more than anything not remembering you. I can't even imagine. 

I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to read a unlikable character and an adorable and slightly clumsy character help each other in so many ways, then this is the book for you!

Rating: 5 Stars

Jacquleen the Reading Queen's Review:

Jamie, Aarons brother, summed up the romance between Jeremy and Aaron perfectly in that quote. Balance, it's all about balance. Ever since his fathers diagnosis, Jeremy spends his life living to the fullest. Sometimes that involves keg stands and parties and numerous hook ups. It doesn't matter what he's doing as long as he's making every moment count. On the other end of the spectrum is Aaron. Aaron who feels crippled at times under the pressure he puts on himself. He loses himself in work, making sure all the sacrifices he believes he made were worth it. Neither is an entirely healthy way to live and that is why these two men work so well together. They balance each other out. Aaron keeps Jeremy grounded, he's home to him. Jeremy reminds Aaron that work isn't everything there is in life. It just takes them an entire Summer and some soul searching to figure this out.

I loved being back in the Vino & Veritas world. It was fun seeing cameos of old favorites. We get quite a bit of page time with Briar and Jamie. Seeing them still going strong was lovely after what they went through to be together. We are also introduced to a few of the MCs of future books like Peter, Aarons mentor, and Scott, a patron at the bar who immediately befriends Jeremy. Thankfully I have both their books sitting on my kindle and I can get right into it...Just as soon as I can decide which one to read first. Never a bad problem to have.

Rating: 4 Stars

Heather's Review:

Counterpoint is a brother's best friend, one-night stand story with so much more.  We met both men in Booklover last year and it's wonderful to see what really happened and to maybe build on their one night stand!    

This book had all the feels for me - I laughed, I cried, I wanted to shake, hug and have a glass of wine with the characters...  We learn a lot about both Jeremy and Aaron's family dynamics and how that impacts them.  The side characters, especially those that they interacted with at the law firm were also great multi-dimensional side characters...  it made for a wonderfully engrossing read that made me stay up past my bedtime reading until I was done...

I truly love how much care and attention goes into the continuity of the Vino & Veritas world, and truly the whole True North world - it blends so well and you always feel like you're coming home... and that was certainly true in Counterpoint.

Rating: 5 Stars

Janet's Review:

Counterpoint is the second story featured in the Vino & Veritas series. 

Jeremy is the life of the party, a playboy and Aaron’s brother’s best friend. Aaron and Jeremy have a secret hookup. It’s not a good idea them two being together but they have serious heat and steam factor going on. 

I seriously loved this story, I laughed and I cried. Overall, a fantastic story that sucked me right into it. Well written with great pacing, highly recommend. 

Rating: 5 Stars

Counterpoint is currently available as an e-book, audiobook and paperback and can be read as part of your Kindle Unlimited Subscription

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