Thursday, March 25, 2021

Headstrong by Eden Finley Blog Tour

A straight guy gives gay hookup tips to a virgin. What could go wrong? Headstrong by Eden Finley.

A straight guy gives gay hookup tips to a virgin. What could go wrong?

When I first met Whit, I couldn’t get away from him fast enough. He’s a hockey player, and I hate everything to do with the sport that broke my heart.

But I can’t help feeling sorry for the guy. He’s newly out and desperate to meet someone, but his eagerness seems to scare potential hook-ups away.

Agreeing to be his wingman should’ve been simple. Watching him flirt with other guys made things complicated.

Whit challenges me in every aspect of my life, from my hatred of hockey to the new questions I’m asking myself. Like why a straight man suddenly can’t stop thinking about kissing another guy.

I think the answer lies somewhere on Whit’s lips...

Headstrong is a stand-alone M/M romance in Sarina Bowen’s World of True North.

Don’t miss our reviews of the rest of the Vino & Veritas series!
For book one, Featherbed, click HERE.
For book two, Heartscape, click HERE.


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Headstrong by Eden Finley.

Book 3
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~  Also Available with KindleUnlimited  ~




A steady stream of drink orders keeps me busy for a solid half hour, but that doesn’t stop me from noticing Whit moving around the room to flirt with guys. Ultimately, from what I can see, he strikes out and wanders back to me during a lull.

He sits at a stool and bangs his head on the countertop.

A laugh bubbles out of me. “I don’t know how hygienic that is.”

Whit’s lips turn down. “You work here.”


“Eww.” Whit wipes his forehead. “Is being gay always this hard?”

“I wouldn’t know.”

“I have to admit, this isn’t exactly what I was expecting.”

I lean my hip against the bar. “What were you expecting?”

“I dunno? For guys to see how hot I am and ask to blow me in the bathroom or something?”

A full-blown laugh falls from my lips this time. I have to admit, the dude is funny even if he’s not trying to be.

“So glad my misery is entertaining to you.”


“Where are all the easy men who want all the gay sex and no strings or names?”

I purse my lips. “Maybe it’s like that in big cities? The scene is low-key here. I mean, all bars by nature have that hookup culture, but if you’re looking for boys in booty shorts and orgies, you’re definitely in the wrong place. When Harrison opened V and V, he wanted to create a safe and queer-friendly environment that everyone could enjoy.”

“Is everything about gay people in mainstream media wrong?”


He pushes his empty closer to me. “Can I get another cider?”

“Sure.” I switch them out.

The night isn’t super busy, but the work is steady. I leave him again to serve others but keep stealing glances at him. It’s confusing. Objectively speaking, he’s a good-looking guy. His intriguing eye color is a draw in itself, along with his dimples when he smiles. His suit doesn’t make him look like your typical college hockey player. It’s a mystery why he’s striking out.

Jake reappears at Whit’s side, and Whit’s face lights up. Then Whit’s mouth moves a hundred miles a minute, and Jake’s eyes gloss over.

I can’t hear what Whit’s saying, but I think I’ve found the reason why he’s not having any luck.

Jake turns his head toward me and mouths, “Help.”

Super-bartender to the rescue. Not all heroes wear capes. I give Jake a new drink. “Whit here’s too young for you.”

Jake gives me a grateful look and moves away quickly.

“Oh, age isn’t a big deal to me,” Whit calls after him.

If possible, Jake moves faster.

Whit slumps.

“You don’t want to date that guy anyway. He’s in here all the time trying to score.”

“Aww, that sounds perfect for what I need.”

I cock my head.

“I can’t be a virgin when I graduate in the spring. That’s sad. I mean, ideally, I won’t be a virgin by my next birthday which is in seven weeks, but I’m willing to be flexible.”

Oh dear.

“This has been your opening line to guys tonight, I’m guessing?”

“Well… I told myself not to talk, but then, I don’t know, isn’t that something you should disclose? It feels like something you should tell someone. Because, they have to be, like, gentle and shit, and it’s not like gay sex is something you jump into, right?”

“Again, I wouldn’t know. But has anyone ever told you that you talk a little too much and maybe say things you don’t need to put out there right away?”


“Well, we’ve only met twice, and oversharing and boundary crossing seems to be a common theme.”

Whit groans. “I’m fucking this up.”

“You really aren’t. You’re just coming on a little strong. You’re hot—I mean, I’m guessing. Everyone keeps staring at you and checking you out. It’s your mouth that’s holding you back.”

“So I just have to fill my mouth with something other than words.”

His words make my straight cock twitch a little. Ah, blowjobs. Oh, how I’ve missed thee. I point at him. “That. Right there. Lead with that.”

Whit glares at me, and I have to say his tough face is kind of laughable.

“Or every time you feel yourself rambling, take a drink,” I suggest.

Whit’s head falls to the bar again. “I’ll die of alcohol poisoning.”

It’s not my fault a laugh escapes. Seriously, I can’t tell if this guy is entertaining or plain sad.

He lifts his head. “You should be my wingman.”

I should do what now? “As tempting as that is, I kinda have a job to do already.”

“Yeah, but that’s why you’ll be good at it. You know people, and you’ve seen things.”

“I’m straight, remember? I know nothing about gay hookups. I’d tell you to go on dates and make them feel special before trying to get them into bed.”

“Is it against gay law to go on dates and make each other feel special?”

I throw up my hands. “I don’t know. Which is exactly why I shouldn’t be your wingman.”

“Worth a shot.” Whit finishes off his cider. He stands, and I think he’s going to go back to mingling, but he takes his coat off his chair and puts it on. “Thanks for the drinks.”



A gay guy walks into a bar and asks the straight bartender to be his wingman…



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Headstrong is the third installment in the Vino & Veritas series. I can attest that it can be read as a standalone with little to no confusion, as that's exactly what I did. However, I am intrigued enough to seek out the others in the series next.

Rainn is stumbling through life with no direction since his Plan A fell through and he had no backup plan to cushion the blow. Working at Vino & Veritas, living in a cramped apartment that eats up all of his earnings, and saying goodbye to a rust bucket that drains whatever funds were leftover. Rainn is lost. Grumpy and gruff, Rainn has closed himself off to everyone from his past, friends and family alike, because to see them only brings up the ghost of his fallen dreams.

Juxtaposed to Rainn, Whit knows exactly what he wants out of life, understanding and accepting that his future is set in stone, finding comfort and love in the familiarity. Easy-going, sweet. Innocent. Focused on family, farming, education, and hockey, Whit placed romance on the backburner. Now approaching graduation and his 22nd birthday, Whit feels as if being this innocent is a mark of immaturity and childhood, wishing to grow up in all ways.

An unlikely friendship sparks into an undeniable connection, crossing sexual boundaries. With a slow-burn, friends-to-lovers vibe, low on angst and drama. Rainn and Whit bring the best out in one another.

Headstrong was a delightful afternoon read, a quick escape for a few hours to cast a hopeful brighter outlook on life.

This is the third book in a series of stories written by a collection of talented authors and set in Sarina Bowen’s True North world. (I am actually four books into the series – so do look at my upcoming reviews, as I am really enjoying the connections, and yet the variety of styles offered by the different writers). I am a big sports romance fan, so this was doubly enjoyable for me!

Rainn works in Vino & Veritas – initially selling books, and then also in the wine bar. We know very little about him, but as his past is revealed, we get to understand why the man is quiet, considered, and alone. I absolutely loved how meeting Whit completely changes his life, one little step at a time, but the impact overall is immense.

Whit is at college studying alongside playing hockey, alongside working on the family farm. He is dedicated to the farm and family above all things, and whilst he loves the freedom from early chores that hockey gives him, his future is at the farm. He is such an adorable character, one can imagine him from the very beginning, bright, enthusiastic, open, and now, decidedly out about his sexuality to his team. He is ready to start his journey and thinks college is where he will get the experiences he craves.

When Rainn and Whit meet, and as they get to know each other, it is impossible not to want them to have a happy ending – even if for Rainn that would be going against all he had thought about himself. The connection between them is strong, even if Whit represents all that Rainn lost, and his background is so different. They both have some growing and learning to do, and somehow, they get to do it together.

Such a gentle, lovely book, with a lot of positive emotions overcoming the negative thoughts which besiege Raine at times. Whit's family are fabulous too, at being welcoming, understanding, and supportive. Hugely enjoyable read, thank you!



He went and used the F word: Friends. Eww.


Author Bio

EDEN FINLEY is an Amazon bestselling author who writes steamy MM contemporary romances that are full of snark and light-hearted fluff.

She doesn’t take anything too seriously and lives to create an escape from real life for her readers. The ideas always begin with a whackadoodle premise or an adorably awkward meet cute, and she does her best to turn them into romances with heart.

She's also an Australian girl and apologizes in advance for any Australianisms no one else understands.

Connect with Eden

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: Absolutely Eden



Every other guy has one huge flaw: they’re not him.


Hosted by

Heart Eyes Press

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Headstrong (Vino & Veritas #3) by Eden Finley to read and review for this tour.

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