Love In The Wine Country
by Pamela Gibson
Can she trust a man who broke her heart?
Spunky Beth Sawyer is determined to save a debt-ridden historic house she inherited from her grandmother. The Victorian mansion might be spared foreclosure if she can get a handful of cranky boarders out in time to open a bed and breakfast. Instead they’ve declared war and enlisted the aid of a man who still holds a piece of her heart.
After a dangerous assignment nearly takes his life, investigative reporter Aiden Reynoso limps home to Santa Marta to recover and rethink his career. He craves peace. Instead he finds chaos and a sexy new landlady, one he reluctantly left years ago after a brief fling.
The cliff-side mansion guards its secrets well, and so does Beth. Her beloved grandmother had an obsession. If revealed, it will ruin her reputation in a town that revere’s her memory. But the clock is ticking and Beth needs an ally. Can she trust a man who once broke her heart or is she destined to fight alone while her dreams turn as sour as spoiled wine.
SASCHA DARLINGTON’S REVIEW
So I really expected to love this romance between Aiden Reynoso and Beth Sawyer because I thoroughly enjoyed the previous two Pamela Gibson novels I read from the same series: A Kiss of Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc to Sigh For. All of the components were there, two characters who had once been somewhat friends but who were in writing competitions against each other who became lovers and then broke up because they were too young. Beth still resents how she was treated by Aiden.
After her grandmother’s death, Beth discovers that her inheritance isn’t what she expected it to be and is considered persona non grata in town after she requests that her grandmother’s boarders, who are not paying rent, leave. Her grandmother was so well loved and respected, that Beth’s actions leave a bad taste for the townspeople.
Aiden’s bad experience in Africa continues to haunt him even after his return to the States so much so that he’s considering settling down. He also has no intention of leaving the home that he’s paid for in advance.
Seeing that Beth is under a lot of pressure, he begins to help her.
Reporters have always been fascinating characters to me and again the potential was here to make both Aiden and Beth very interesting, but little of that life was introduced to the story.
I felt that the focus was a little scattered and I wasn’t altogether impressed with Beth who came across as a victim-type. With that said, this is still a good entry in the series and a definite read for those of you who have read the previous novels. I will also suggest that your-mileage-may-vary.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
3 butterflies out of 5 butterflies
She batted her eyelashes for effect, even though she knew she didn’t have an ounce of makeup on, and her hair was a twisted tangle on top of her head. Her shorts were the cutoffs she’d put on this morning, and her tank top had shrunk in the wash. It was old, just like most of her wardrobe, but power washing wasn’t a fashion event.
He came down the steps, towering above her. The cat stayed behind. “What is that thing?” He pointed at the washer.
“It’s a power washer. I’m cleaning stairs, then I’m going to stain them.”
She glared. “Of course. Unless your cat wants to help.”
Aiden looked at the cat, who’d come out on the landing, twitching his tail.
“He’s busy. But if you show me what to do, I’m available.”
That was unexpected.
“This isn’t going to take long, and then I’ll move to the back steps of the house. You can get on with your concentration.”
He turned around and took the steps two at a time. She kept focus on his tight butt, wondering why he was still living in Santa Marta. Oh, right…now she remembered. His grandmother, the psychic, convinced him to go off on his own, to spend some time at the beach. A seagull had snatched a rosebud out of her hand, and she knew, she knew someone at Rose Manor needed him.
She got that part right.
She’d needed him desperately that first summer after her parents died, when she realized she’d never see them again. Her grief had taken strange turns, and one led her right into Aiden’s arms.
And I’m kidding myself if I think the attraction is dead.
The minute she saw Aiden Reynoso on her doorstep this morning, the old longing reared up and nearly swallowed her. She’d wanted to fling herself into his arms and sob her heart out. But with all the problems she faced, she couldn’t risk another rejection.
He was still hot, his hair the color of midnight, and dark chocolate eyes that saw right into your soul. With that toned body, he looked like he belonged in a commercial for Greek yogurt. Even the black-frame reading glasses he had on when he bolted down the stairs worked.
He’s not for you. He made that loud and clear years ago.
Beth could handle the other tenants. They seemed docile and sweet, and she was actively looking for a place to relocate them. But Aiden was a problem. Not only was he bad for her libido, he was the one she couldn’t get rid of legally. And if she didn’t get this house turned into a moneymaker fast, she was going to lose it to the bank.
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A Kiss of Cabernet ✯ A Touch of Chardonnay ✯ You Were Mine at Merlot ✯ Sauvignon Blanc to Sigh For
Award-winning author Pamela Gibson grew up loving books, history, and small towns. Her first career was a newspaper reporter, but when she returned to college to get a master’s degree, it was in public administration which eventually led to jobs running cities…not as an elected official, but as a city manager, the chief appointed one.
Writing was still her passion and when not busy—with the activities of two children and a lot of volunteer work—she was contracted to write several books on local history. Taking an early retirement at the urging of her very supportive husband, she turned to fiction and began writing the happy ending novels she loves to read.
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