Underdog (In Vino Veritas #4) ~ L.A. Witt
I was really excited to read this book because I absolutely adore books that make me feel way too many feelings and emotions while I’m reading them and this book promised me such a ride, one that I was pretty sure I would enjoy. I’m really happy to report that I was right because turns out that, for the most part, this book worked really well for me.
“It scares the hell out of me, wanting someone in my life as much as I want you.“
Landon was in prison, but he just got out a year ago and he’s trying to build a new life for himself as a worker on a farm. He meets Ty, a local farmer, and the two of them hit him off. There Is a lot of push and pull between them because of their life situation but they end up falling in love with each other.
I really loved the set up for this book. A personal favourite of mine is books when a character has been in prison before and a lot of the book is about their life outside of prison and how they get on with their life after that. And I really liked how this part was done in this book. I loved reading about Landon and his thoughts on being in prison, how it affected him and how he is still feeling these effects today, and I loved reading about his experience in prison and how it was for him. This part of the book was just absolutely fascinating to read for me and I had the best of time reading. I really liked how much of Landon's feelings about prison were put into the book and how it kept affecting him even after he left prison. That just seemed like a really realistic thing to me, and it was one I really enjoyed reading about.
“I’ve seen your past in black and white, and I’ve heard everything you’ve told me. [...] I’ve also seen the way you are with my animals. Of all the ways I’ve ever tried to get a bead on someone’s character, that one has always been the most accurate.”
I really liked the relationship development in this book. It was more of a slower burn but it really worked for me in the context of the book. There was a lot of push and pull in this book because as much as Landon and Ty wanted each other, they both had a lot of hang ups that prevented them from being together. There was so many part of the book where it was both of them thinking about how much they want each other but they are both convinced that they cannot be together and it takes until really far into the book before they change their minds. But I really enjoyed reading about their push and pull and seeing their dynamic. They both worked super well together and they were a joy to read, even before they started dating. I was always engaged in their relationship and their romance, so I would say that this part of the book really worked for me.
When we got to the romance in this book, I really enjoyed it. It was super cute and full of romance and it really worked for me.
Looking at him now, I saw a future I’d never let myself see with anyone. Conversations to pass long drives between competitions. Commiserating over aches and pains. Someone to tag in so we could both function when a sick horse meant an all-nighter. Long, lazy trail rides. Indulgent early nights in bed.
Also, as I side note, I absolutely adored Landon as a character. He had a lot of self esteem issues and he felt like he wasn't really worthy of love or someone staying with him and that is a super relatable feeling to me so I really enjoyed reading about his parts of the book.
I really liked the setting of this book. It's set in a smaller town and that is something that I can really relate to, as someone who also lives in a smaller town. The town in this book was fairly judgmental and that was so well done that it kept reminded me situations and people that I know in my home town. So I would say that this author totally nailed the setting on this one, it was just so realistic.
I absolutely loved all of the talks about animals in this book. There are horses, and stray cats and dogs and I loved how important to the book they were. Landon kept finding comfort in taking care of the animals and those were my absolute favourite scenes to read, they were just the cutest most comforting scenes ever. All of the animals in this book were just so wonderful to read about and I always appreciated when they showed up.
I really liked the writing style in this book. It was super descriptive and showed everything in detail and I really loved reading it. The writing style just made it so easy for me to picture every event in the book and I loved that.
If I just had one thing to say about this book, I just wasn't the biggest fan of how Ty treated Landon sometimes. I know that Landon went to prison for theft, but I did not like how Ty kept saying how he fell for him and was so into him, but then didn’t trust him at all. He would watch over him and assumed that Landon was always going to steal stuff and that just made me really sad for Ty. Landon was super nice to Ty and kept showing him how he was trying to be a changed man and I didn’t like how Ty didn’t even give him the benefit of a little trust and always imagined that Landon would do the worst. Ty didn’t seem to have any trust for Landon and always tried to find things to say that Landon is guilty, even super late into the book. I just wanted a little more trust from Ty because I prefer when my romances are full of trust and this one was lacking it a little for me.
In the end, this book gave me everything I was looking for. It was quite a journey but one that I had a very good time reading and this book was a very lovely reading experience for me.