Today we’ve got a couple of friends falling in love to make your heart happy … and some delicious wine & yummy food to tickle the taste buds too!
Love in Wine Country #4
by Pamela Gibson
Releasing February 13, 2017
Sarah James has always wanted to be part of a family. Her divorced parents are estranged and she has no siblings. But she does have friends, especially Sam, who’s always underfoot…eating her food, fixing stuff in her house, and seeking advice about his love life.
Aspiring winemaker Sam Reynoso has taken care of Sarah since the sixth grade. She’s smart, comfortable, and indulgent. They’re best friends until a wine and food pairing competition throws them together in an intimate, tension-filled setting.
As feelings neither of them expected start to emerge, each will have to decide if their relationship will evolve, or if their newfound love will be nipped in the bud by a crushing secret.
Goodreads Series Link https://www.goodreads.com/series/159125-love-in-wine-country
Sarah hopped off the couch, fists clenched. “Are you out of your freakin’ mind? I’m not doing this. I’m going to Sea Ranch or Morro Bay or Santa Barbara…somewhere with a beach.”
“But this is a great opportunity, Sarah. The judges are enologists and wine and food raters from the big magazines. Even if we don’t win, we can get our talents in front of people who can make things happen for us.”
“We? I don’t want to be a chef. I’m a planner. A damn good one.”
He swiped his fingers over his hair. “You hate the politics. You know you’re a gourmet cook. This is a great chance for you as well as me.”
She planted her hands on her hips and glared. “No. No. No.”
“Why are you being like this?”
She raised her voice. “We’re not a couple. You said this is for couples. To me that means married or engaged. Now eat your cobbler, and I’ll go in the kitchen and make coffee.”
“How can you say that? We’ve been a couple since we were kids. Our friendship is probably stronger than most marriages.”
“But this implies a committed relationship. It would be dishonest.” She stood her ground, but he had a point. If it didn’t specifically say engaged or married, they’d technically qualify.
He hung his head and looked up at her through those lashes most women would kill for. “Uh, Sarah? I already signed us up.”
“What?” she shrieked. “Sam, I can’t believe you did this. I could just…just…this is exactly what you do, every time. Take over and do what you want, and don’t even bother to think about the person you‘re going to rope into your latest scheme. No.”
“It’s only a week. You can have the second week all to yourself.” He got up and stood in front of her, so close she had to look up at him. “Can’t you pretend that we’re more than friends for a week? I know you love me.”
“Yes…like a brother…a big, overgrown, aggravating, controlling, nuisance of a brother.”
“But you’ll do it.”
“No.” She looked up at him and knew instantly why women fell at his feet. His shoulders were immense, and the light stubble on his face made him look dangerous. But the heat in his eyes could melt rocks in an iceberg.
He put his hands on her shoulders and pulled her toward him. It was a brotherly hug, one they’d shared often. “Think about it. I’ve paid the fee, but I can stand to lose it.”
“How much was it?” She murmured against his chest.
Two thousand dollars? She pushed him away and faced the kitchen.
I’m gonna have to admit that I really didn’t get into this book very much until about half way through. I actually started to change my post from a review to just an excerpt but I decided to set it down for a bit and try again. And I’m glad I did.
I like the friendship between Sarah and Sam. They seem to complement each other pretty well (although it does seem a little like she just rolls over for whatever he wants, but as long as she’s happy doing it …. ) Of course, he may have pushed her too far with his latest stunt – asking her to pretend to be a couple for a wine competition. But even worse when he kinda insults her by saying no one would ever think she’d be someone he’d go for. He had to know that wasn’t going to go over well as soon as he said it!
Of course it doesn’t, which leads t a make-over for her and the obligatory requirement that he sees her in a new way. It’s a little cliched but that doesn’t mean it isn’t enjoyable. There’s a lot of time spent with them misunderstanding the changes in their feelings (which is one of the reasons I put it aside) but I can see where it would be hard to suddenly start thinking of your best friend romantically. But things definitely heat up, in more than one way, when they finally start thinking in those terms.
There’s a lot of back and forth on their friendship before they even get to that point. And then there are a couple of misunderstandings that have to be worked out. And they’ve definitely got to work out their dynamic as a couple because it isn’t good for him to run wild and just expect her to come along for the ride. It’s a good journey though as they work their way from friends to lovers to a HEA ending … with a few bumps in the way for fun!
(This is the first in this series that I’ve read but I’m not sure it really made much of a difference. The story seemed complete to me, so I’m gonna go with no 🙂 )
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 in her spare time—between meetings and raising two active kids—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.
She now spends half her time on land and the other half cruising coastal or inland waters in her 32-foot boat. She speed-eats chocolates when she’s nervous, squeals when she sees a spider, and loves to relax with a good read with a mellow glass of wine.
a 27- piece GODIVA Dark-Chocolate Gift Box, and a Bottle of HONIG Sauvignon Blanc. (For States that DO NOT allow shipping of Alcohol, the winner will receive an Amazon eGift Card in the amount of wine) *Giveaway Entrants must be 21 years of age or older
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