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REVIEW: Pinot & Pineapple Lumps – Jay Hogan

Pinot & Pineapple Lumps - Jay Hogan

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

LGBTQ+ Category: MM Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

Penn from Adelaide. That’s all I knew.

We shared a single kiss over a year ago, and I can still remember every toe-curling second of it. He thought I was too young for him. I thought he was running scared. But that kiss was the first time I’d felt alive in a long time, and I’ve been chasing the feeling ever since—doing my research, a lot of research, a lot of men. Something my protective older brother isn’t too happy about.

I’ve been through more than most guys my age, and I still bear the scars. My head’s not always my best friend, but I’m building a life, PTSD be damned. I can’t turn back the clock, and I’m not sure I want to.

Except maybe to that moment when Penn kissed me. I mean, the odds of us ever meeting again were slim to none, right?

Yeah, about that.

But this time I’m ready. I’m a year older, an ocean of therapy wiser, and I know exactly what I want.

Triggers: One of the main characters in this book lives with PTSD as a result of a fire, and within the story there are flashbacks and descriptions of triggering events. There are also themes of loss and grief.

The Review

Kurt Sharpe has grown up to be an accomplished young man. He’s finishing up his design degree and already has his own business – P.S. Designs.  He’s come a long way since the age of fifteen dealing with having no father, helping his mother through her illness and getting reacquainted with Ethan, his brother. Most of all, he needs a break from therapy as he works through his PTSD from a trauma that he’s been dealing with for some time. He also has issues with still being referred to as a “kid” and his overly concerned “mother hen” brother, Ethan.

Penn Cunningham successfully runs five wine labels, but it isn’t what he would really love to do. He had hopes of remaining at Cunningham Wine that his father, Otis, has built. But his father never trusted him and Penn left for seven years. He always had dreams to create the Pinot Gris specialty that his mother loved, but his father’s controlling attitude and stubbornness led to a divorce and Penn left. Penn has now returned to Cunningham Wine because of his father’s illness, but Otis Cunningham has not changed, even on his death bed.

With wine sales down and poor feedback from merchants, Penn decides to look into giving the Cunningham Wine label a fresher look.  When Kurt Sharpe shows up for the interview, both are more than a little surprised.  

Penn and Kurt have a special connection, but there are stumbling blocks along the way, and they both are dealing with similar and totally different issues. There’s an amazing understanding that develops between the two as they learn how to help each other through thick and thin.

Hogan broke the mold with this beautifully-written story about Kurt Sharpe and Penn Cunningham. There are so many wonderful, heartwarming and humorous moments that take place between the two. Kurt is full of life and wants to live it, no matter his fears. Penn is older, and it takes a little time to for him face the inevitable, afraid or not.

Hogan has an amazing understanding when writing about different types of illnesses, physical or mental. She’s always careful to present these topics sympathetically.

The descriptions of the wine country and the areas where many of the characters live are wonderful too. Hogan provided some pictures of this region on Facebook and they are beautiful.  There was also a map of where several of the couples live – it would be a nice touch to give it a page in one of the “Southern Lights” novels.  The video of the Kawarau Bridge Bungie Jump was both thrilling and terrifying!

Every time I read one of Hogan’s novels, I try to decide which one I like best. But there are too many now that are becoming my favorites.

“Powder & Pavlova” is the first book in the “Southern Lights” series, and introduces Kurt Sharpe along with Ethan and Tanner.  “Pinot & Pineapple Lumps” is an excellent addition to this series, and a must read!

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.

 

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