Vodka and Virtue (Love and Libations - Book 2) by Raquel Riley

"So we want the same thing then. Something real and lasting." - Vodka and Virtue.

From the blurb:

When a virtuous buttoned-up bar manager is seduced by a tough-as-nails bouncer almost twice his age, can they find a way to overcome their differences?

Rory MacGregor

During the years I spent overseas, my best friend’s nephew grew up. Now that I’m home, my priorities have shifted, moving Carlisle Carrick to the top of my ’to-do’ list. He is exactly the type of man I dreamed of settling down with, but every time I get close to him, he runs away.

How can I convince him we’d make a perfect match?

Carlisle Carrick

Rory is seventeen years older than me, wears leather, and rides a motorcycle for kicks. I don't see how we have anything in common. The hunger and determination in his eyes when he stares at me is . . . unnerving! Avoiding him is hopeless - those eyes are everywhere - and I want to give in, I really do, but choosing him as the first man I've ever dated would be a disaster.

So why do I still burn up every time I catch him watching me?

Vodka And Virtue is the second book in the Love And Libations series. It features a seventeen year age gap, opposites attract, uncles’s best friend, steamy bisexual/gay romance with a male auction, beach dates, motorcycles, and a sweet HEA.

Tatted_book_freak's Review:

Raquel delivers yet another intense and memorable experience, with a few explosive cameos and an exciting proposal for the ages. Though a slow burn is not what you usually expect from Raquel, she nails it and cheers for Rory and Carlisle’s HEA, especially after learning about their history and past downfalls. 

𝐈 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐡𝐢𝐦 𝐭𝐨 𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐚𝐭 𝐦𝐞—𝐭𝐨 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐦𝐞. 𝐀𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐞𝐢𝐠𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐦𝐞.

So, with this technically being Carlisle’s first experience with a man, along with the hesitancy and doubts, their attraction had to build over time, which can be appreciated rather than jumping right into the nitty gritty from their initial reunion.  But, the sexual tension between them was flying high with fireworks exploding with each kiss, so just imagine the fervency of their encounter! 

I just love how Raquel writes with so much emotion, grasping her reader’s attention and holding it captive. Her characters are different, yet memorable and will stay with you forever.  Aunt Sadie will always be my comfort with her wise words of wisdom, thank you for your appearance, Aunt Sadie! 

Rating: 5 Stars

Miki J's Review:

Adorable… just adorable. Rory is one patient guy… but he does it right. Carlisle tries to hold out but then, as he asks himself, why?? So, following Carson’s suggestion (I know, right?!?!) he does that… in his way. As Rory said, Carlisle is no pushover.  

Loved reading the growing closeness between Rory and Carlisle… and I loved the banter with the rest of the family… rambunctious indeed. 

Lovely story, low angst, sweet and adorable… and loved the cameo by Murphy!!! What a crack-up!!  And that ending… perfection!

Rating: 5 Stars

Nicole's Review:

Rory wants to be Carly’s first and only relationship with a man. 😍😍😍 To have that much dedicated attention and flirting is something completely new for Carly, as off of his previous girlfriends have found him lacking. Not enthusiastic enough, too reserved, too boring. Rory pulls no punches and is willing to spoil him like he deserves. 

Raquel did an amazing job with this story. It’s not as steamy as most of her other stories, but the way Rory builds Carly’s confidence with himself and the relationship is fantastic. I absolutely adore these two!

Rating: 5 Stars

Lori C's Review:

I have been looking forward to reading this book for multiple reasons. I’m a HUGE fan of sweet happy endings and Raquel Riley gives me that each time in the love and Libation books. I also love love love the sibling and cousin relationships!! 

Gordy, Carson, and Carly all live and hang out together. When Carly started dating Rory, his cousins and brother not only looked out for him, they also encouraged him to be brave. Oh and Rory is so romantic! I think my favorite part was when Rory escorted that nasty Susannah out of Limerick’s. She was a nasty piece of work and really hurt Carly’s self-esteem. 

I’m also looking forward to Bourbon And Burlesque! We’ve already been introduced to Kelley, the wonderful burlesque dancer, and with Uncle Graham being his shelter in the storm a sweet happy ending will be coming their way soon. 

Rating: 5 Stars

Sheena's Review:

This is the second in the Love and Libations series, and it's Carlisle and Rory's turn.  We met Carlisle in the first book, he is the twin of the protagonist from that book, but it could be read as a standalone.

I was happy to be back in this world, I enjoyed the first book so was looking forward to this.  I liked Carlisle, although he seemed a little lost and perhaps naive at times.  He's openly bisexual but has never dated a man before.  Rory is back in the country after having worked all over the world and is looking to settle down.  He's firmly set his sights on Carlisle and is determined to have him.

Rory is intense, he knows what he wants and goes about getting it.  I did find him more than a little overbearing at times - I mean Carlisle spent one night at his house and he bought him clothes and stuff for the future.  Sweet or presumptuous? It's how you see it, I guess.  I found him a little overbearing and arrogant at times though.  However he was very sweet and patient with Carlisle, and it was obvious he cared very much and just wanted to make him happy.  There is a significant age gap between them, Rory is Carlisle's uncle's best friend and a few times it's mentioned twice his age, but it's actually only 17 years, but he's had a lot of life experience in that time.  

I liked them together when they eventually did make it work though.  It's kind of a slow burn which works for these two as Carlisle is hesitant at the start.  It's a nice story with a nice HEA too and I'm looking forward to the next in the series.

Rating: 4 Stars

Heather's Review:

This latest Love and  Libations story from Raquel Riley is a sweet, bisexual awakening with an age gap and a chance for Carlisle to really learn to stand alone and trust his own instincts in a relationship.   The 'baby' of the family but just minutes, he's Carson's twin, but treated like he can't fend for himself.  (Carson was the MC in book 1 and appears extensively in book 2, sio I recommend reading the series in order)

I love that Rory is intense, confident and still willing to go at Carlisle's pace for so many things, but still put forward his own agenda honestly...

This was a fun and spicy read that fits well into the Love and Libations universe... and I'm looking forward to the next book!

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Vodka and Virtue is available to buy as an ebook, paperback, or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.