Thursday, August 12, 2021

Stronghold by Ana Ashley Release Blitz

A second chance at love? Or a second chance to ruin everything?

A second chance at love? Or a second chance to ruin everything?

When Skyler spots the new bartender at Vino & Veritas, his body responds before the guy even turns around. But when he does, it takes only a heartbeat for recognition to set in and for sparks to fly. Judson’s been gone for ten years, but he’s the man Skyler never forgot. Or forgave.

The last place Judson wants to be is back home in Burlington, living with family. Not so long ago he was a world-class chef with the lifestyle to prove it. Now he’s serving drinks and flying under the radar until he can get the hell out again. But when his childhood best friend reenters his life, looking finer than any entree at a five-star restaurant, he wonders if it’s time to update his menu of life choices.

Working through past wounds with Skyler won’t be easy, though, especially with family obligations—and the occasional dairy cow—interfering. When their loyalty is tested, will their newly built stronghold be sturdy enough to withstand the storm?

Stronghold is a sweet and sexy Vino & Veritas romance with some creative use of maple syrup.

Stronghold is a stand-alone novel 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.
For book three, Headstrong, click HERE.
For book four, Undercover, click HERE.
For book five, Aftermath, click HERE.
For book six, Booklover, click HERE.
For book seven, Flipcup, click HERE.
For book eight, Hideaway, click HERE.
For book nine, Turnabout, click HERE.
For book ten, Unguarded, click HERE.
For book eleven, Insatiable, click HERE.
For book twelve, Daybreak, click HERE.
For book thirteen, Heartsong, click HERE.


Add to Goodreads


Stronghold by Ana Ashley

Book 14
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Also Available with KindleUnlimited  ~




"If you've got your flirting game on, the new bartender is H.O.T.," Wyatt says.

I look at Carter, who nods. "He has this sexy kind of European vibe going on."

And now I know how their earlier conversation got started.

I scan the bar but don't see anyone I don't already know. Then again, it's pretty busy out there.

Someone steps away from the bar area with a tray of drinks, and I immediately take their place. All the bartenders are busy, so I look around to inspect this evening's crowd.

A glass breaks somewhere behind the bar, taking my attention from the crowd waiting to be served to the clumsy bartender on the far end from where I'm standing.

He must be the new guy because I know I'd recognize that ass if I'd seen it before. Scrap that. I'd have tapped it. My eyes scan the rest of him, taking the time to appreciate his slim body from behind.

His dark jeans hug his ass perfectly, and his thighs… damn, those thighs look strong and… fuck. My dick responds to the way he moves as he's crouching to pick up the glass from the floor.

The dark button-down shirt is loose on him, and I wonder if it's a standard V&V-issued shirt because a guy that wears those jeans wouldn’t possibly choose to wear anything but a fitted shirt.

He washes his hands after disposing of the glass and then runs them through his dark-blond hair. I wonder if, in the light of day, his hair is actually a lighter shade.

Turn around, baby. Let me see your face.

And as if the god of horny gay single men is listening to my prayers, the guy turns around. He looks flustered and annoyed.

There's something about him I can't put my finger on, but it doesn't take me long to figure out what it is. Why he looks so familiar.

When he looks up, and his eyes meet mine, my body locks up in shock. I close my eyes and open them again because this isn't happening. I must be dreaming while awake.

I smile, wanting to jump over the counter to touch him. It’s the only way to be sure, but he looks as though he's seen a ghost.

One of the other bartenders bumps against him, making him jolt and take a side step.

I smile at him, and that's when I see the very slight shake of his head as I call to him before he runs to the staff area behind the bar.




You are so beautiful, Jud. So… unexpected. Being with you is like walking down a road you know so well but no matter how many times you cross it, you always find something new.



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is the 14th book in the series, and I think is a strong addition to this series of interconnected novels written in Sarina Bowen's True North world. You don't need to have read earlier books to enjoy it, but you would have more context, and many of them are excellent reads!

New Vino & Veritas bartender, Judson has returned from a spell in Europe as a chef and is home to lick his wounds before he starts afresh somewhere else. His romance and successful restaurant in Paris ended by a cruel partner, and living back in his childhood bedroom, he is holding it together best he can. So when his longest, one-time closest friend, now estranged, walks into the bar, they both get a shock.

Skyler never understood why Judson vanished on him after high school, and has stayed home, helping out at the family farm and building his own business on the side. A very lucrative side, one must add. He has not been home moping, but making the best of what remained of his dreams.

As these two men cannot resist the pull of old friendship, as well as the possibility of a second chance together, we get to understand what happened, and how they could rekindle a true and wonderful romance.

Another good read with interesting insights into the world of maple syrup and fine dining.



Author Bio

ANA ASHLEY was born in Portugal but has lived in the United Kingdom for so long, even her friends sometimes doubt if she really is Portuguese.

Ana writes sweet and steamy gay romance set in America, often in small towns where everyone knows everyone. Coming from a small town herself, she knows all about meddling families, nosy neighbors and that community spirit that comes from knowing people all your life.

Connect with Ana

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: Café RoMMance – Ana's Reader Group



Whatever is happening right now, one thing’s for sure. I want to go home with the taste of Skyler West imprinted in my brain.


Hosted by

Heart Eyes Press

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Stronghold (Vino & Veritas #14) by Ana Ashley to read and review for this tour.

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