Dana and Erryn review Turnabout (Vino & Veritas Book 9) by Laurel Greer (This book was released on May 6, 2021, and is 288 pgs long. The audiobook version of this story was narrated by Gary Furlong. It was released on March 1 2022, and is 8 hrs and 15 mins long.)
I don’t have time for an unplanned visit home to help out in my father’s struggling letterpress shop. My stint in Vermont will have to be short, for a couple of reasons:
One, I’m a busy executive trying to climb the corporate ladder.
Two, my ex is still my dad’s right-hand man in the shop. And I am not over him.
Nothing has changed at the Burlington shop. Auden still has his infuriatingly sexy Scottish accent. He’s still hot, and still stubborn. Between operating the antique press with his shirtsleeves rolled up, and moonlighting at Burlington’s hottest inclusive wine bar, he pushes every one of my attraction buttons.
My falling-in-love-again buttons, too. Except I’m his polar opposite. I love change, and taking chances. Everything he avoids in life.
So why am I trying to convince him to reach for more than we’ve ever dreamed of-the possibility of forever?
Contains mature themes.
When I heard Laurel Greer was partaking in the Vino & Veritas series, I was excited. When I heard she had a Scottish hero, I was ecstatic. When I heard Gary Furlong was narrating, I damn nearly swooned. Furlong is one of my favorite narrators. He moves seamlessly back and forth between American, Scottish, British, Russian, Irish etc. I had a hard time pinning down which was his original accent and which came from that talented brain of his. So how did I think he did on this production? One of his best performances. Just a bang-up job.
Now, it helped he had good material to work with. Immersing myself into the world of old-fashioned printing presses was fascinating. I never considered where those engraved or embossed invitations, menus, and programs came from. Now I know. And I understand their fight to stay relevant in a world where anyone can fire up the inkjet and put out something pretty.
Carter grew up in that world. His father has owned and run the business in Burlington, Vermont forever. His father assumed Carter would graduate from college and take up his rightful place as heir apparent. Carter met Auden in university and Auden came to work at the shop. Upon graduation, the men were faced with the decision to stick with the status quo or to move on. Carter wanted to modernize and expand the business. His father was absolutely resistant. Carter decided to leave and head north to Canada.
That left Auden in a quandary. Stay in Vermont where everything was safe and known, or follow the man he loved into a precarious situation where he had no guarantee of success. Well, Auden chose safety – and he had good reasons. Reasons he never shared with Carter. The rift was inevitable and felt permanent.
Until the day Carter’s dad calls in a panic and asks Carter to come back and mind the shop while he rushes to Europe to try to save his marriage. Now, Carter loves his parents, so this is a no-brainer. He takes family emergency leave from his job with a huge corporation and heads back to small town Vermont. He knows he’s going to see Auden, but that’s just something he’ll have to deal with.
To say the first meeting doesn’t go well is an understatement. Both men still resent the other for having chosen career over their burgeoning relationship. Both hold grievances. Both are stubborn as mules. A few times I wanted to knock their heads together to see if any sense might fall out, but, alas, this is fiction and I had to settle for yelling at them (in my mind, anyway…don’t want to scare my dog…)
I knew they’d have a tough road back to each other. Back to happiness. Especially because they both had established lives in different countries and neither seemed ready to let go. Of each other or their respective careers. I despaired of them ever finding happiness. I needn’t have worried. This is a romance and I got my happy ending. And I loved the grand gesture.
So I’ve waxed poetic about Gary’s performance and I have gone on about the story. All that’s left is for you to try the book and enjoy.
10/10 Pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars
I am a fan of the Vino and Veritas book series and the narrator Gary Furlong, so I was excited to listen to Turnabout, even though I have never read or listened to this author before. After listening to this book, I know I will definitely check out future books from her.
Immediately, this book engaged my interest and emotions. We start out meeting Carter, who the blurb’s perspective is from, though there is an alternating dual pov throughout the book. Carter is taking pride in his success at work when he gets a call from his father to help him when Carter’s mom leaves him over his workaholic behavior, a trait that his son inherited. With Carter’s dad trying to mend fences in Paris where his mom went, Carter helps out at the family business; a retro print shop. And who should work at this print shop, none other than Carter’s ex boyfriend, Auden
I have to say right away, I was a Carter supporter from the get go. There seems to be a lot of shaming of him because he left his family, their hometown shop, and his boyfriend, to go find success with a large name office supply company in Canada. A soulless corporation according to his father. For all the grief he gets, I feel like the author did a good job of making us understand and sympathize why he left, like his dad’s lack of respect, and Auden’s lack of support. I also could see that Carter might have been overzealous to make changes and quick to pack up, but I understood his hurt and didn’t blame him.
Auden, voiced so dreamily with a Scottish accent by Gary Furlong, isn’t a bad guy, though there were some times I felt a little mad at him. Sure I could feel for him and understand his hurt when another man left him behind. Years before, his father left his mother and him without money or support. I could also understand Auden’s need for security when he chose to continue his work with Carter’s father instead of taking off to a different country and hoping for the best. If I were in his shoes, I may have made the same choices. (I’m not particularly brave.) Still, his criticism of Carter felt harsh and one-sided in light of his own actions, or inactions.
The feelings between Carter and Auden reignite as they work together, and it starts as an exes with benefits arrangement. Carter also tries to find ways of making the business more profitable and more streamlined so his dad can find ways to not be working all the time when he comes back. It looks like good things are coming from Carter’s visit home, all around. But there are the questions about what Carter and Auden will do when Carter’s dad does return. Will changes be made, will their second chance nudge one or the other into staying or moving? I don’t want to answer those, though the story does have a happy ending.
I do want to mention Carter’s father, who at times, I couldn’t stand. I spent a lot of the book annoyed with him and how he treated Carter. No doubt there is some stubbornness on both of their parts, and there is something to consider about the passion for creating something artful vs caring only about making money. Though if they could have just talked things out in the beginning, there might be ways to do both. Eventually they find balance and I feel there is some redemption for Carter’s dad, but I spent a long time resenting the way he discarded Carter and treated Auden with more respect and care.
Overall, I loved this audiobook. Gary Furlong narrated this book perfectly, I would have listened just for his voice. The story reeled me in and had me feeling so much for the characters, good and bad. I would definitely recommend giving this one a listen, as well as the other books in the series.
Raised in a small town on Vancouver Island, Laurel grew up skiing and boating by day and reading romances under the covers by flashlight at night. Ever committed to the proper placement of the Canadian “eh,” she loves to write books with snapping sexual tension and second chances. She lives outside Vancouver with her law-talking husband and two daughters. At least half her diet is made up of tea.