Counterpoint (In Vino Veritas #2) ~ J.E. Birk
Updated: Sep 13, 2022
"You never make me feel like I have to be extra Jeremy around you"
Counterpoint is book 2 in the In Vino Veritas series. In Counterpoint, we have the classic opposites attract story, where in each other they find their balance.
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…
Jeremy and Aaron seem to be polar opposites. On the one hand there is the carefree playboy, who wants nothing more than to fool around and have fun; then there is the serious academic in a position where all his hard work is about to pay off. Both though are hiding secrets and insecurities, giving them the kinship they both crave, and in their differences, they find strength in each other.
"Keeping that secret meant something to Jeremy. And honestly?
I'd probably walk off a cliff for Jeremy Everett if he asked me to."
J.E. Birk has successfully brought together her characters from her addition to the original Vino & Veritas series, Booklover, Jaime and Briar, to act as the primary supporting characters for Jeremy and Aaron's story. This gives Counterpoint a feeling of familiarity as we not only get to interact with Jaimie and Briar again but also with characters from the original series in several cameo appearances.
"Why the hell are you going to Conneticut?"
"Because I'm a fucking reformed rake!"
J.E. Birk is still a newish author to me, but I found their writing style engaging and kept me involved in the story, even more so as it progressed. Due to the issues that both Jeremy and Aaron are facing in this story, there is a high level of emotion, and I’ll admit I shed a few tears when things sometimes struck a bit close to home. However, the story wasn’t a heavy one; there was too much humour for that. Despite Jeremy's problems, he is also a bit of a prankster at heart and witnessing his defence of Aaron certainly brought out a smile on many occasions.
"Yeah, Benson," I murmur. "This is what I want.
And you only live once. Jeremy's ass says so."
I am honoured to have received ARCs for the first half dozen books in the In Vino Veritas series, and so far, the series has gotten off to a strong start with Garrett Leigh's Wildfire and J.E. Birk’s Counterpoint. If the quality of the writing continues, In Vino Veritas will be a fantastic series, just like its predecessor.
I'd highly recommend Counterpoint to anyone who enjoys a bit of emotion with their humour but ultimately want a feel-good story with a gorgeous ending.
Check out the blog's other review for this book here!