Cassie makes wine. Dream. Job. She lives on her family vineyard though it now belongs to someone else as her ill father made some bad financial decisions, forcing the sell-off. Part of the deal is she stays on for five years and also that a new vineyard manager is brought in.
The owner hires Nate for the job. Yum. Think Bradley Cooper, the author suggests. Yes, yes I will. So Nate turns up late one night with his life in his truck and he and Cassie hit it off. And by that I mean they hit it. Right there and then on the first evening they meet. Somewhat fueled by the wine they sample (2 bottles – I’d be on the floor too, but passed out) but also by the huge mutual attraction that these two good-looking, single vineyarders find between them.
Now this is a short story, so I didn’t mind the set up at all. In fact, it seemed sensible to get straight to the action.
Next, we switch PoV to the father who has Alzheimer’s and is living in sheltered housing. He can’t remember much consistently, but he does recall a secret in a hidden briefcase, and also that a very interesting young man named Jayden keeps asking him questions about his work in the Secret Service. The father knows things, you see, and this could bring down someone big.
So back to Cassie and Nate. After their hook-up, they try to be professional and keep their hands and minds off one another. But this can only last so long – they are the only people on the vineyard at night, and they end up sharing dinners and kisses.
Then the two halves of the story collide one night with a violent intruder in the wine cave. Cassie gets hurt and it forces Nate to realize just how much he feels for her.
Like I said, it’s a short story – just six chapters – but I liked it and felt embedded in the vineyard. I wanted the hero and heroine to get together, and actually I’d have quite happily read another chapter or two of them at work together – long looks over the vines, dates in the local deli where they get their great-sounding food.
As it is, they move fast and the ending is all kinds of HEA (maybe a bit too happy but I didn’t mind).
Sweet, well written and a nice Sunday afternoon read.
*ARC provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Kate Douglas
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks