Tasting Notes

     Author: Cate Ashwood

     Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

     Rating: 3.5 stars

     Buy Links: DSP and Amazon

     Type: Standalone Novel

     Received from Publisher


Blurb:  There’s nothing that can’t be solved over a glass of excellent wine.

Joseph “West” Weston has paid for his wealth and success with long hours at the office and no personal life to speak of. Meetings, conference calls, and paperwork dominate his waking hours and have kept him from honoring the promise he made to his late grandfather years before.

After leaving the Marines, Robert “Rush” Coeman returns to his hometown and settles in as a Christmas tree farmer. His life is quiet and simple, and he likes it that way. When West arrives in town and buys Rush’s parents’ vineyard on a whim, that simple life is turned upside down. The animosity between them is palpable, but Rush shelves his preconceived notions in order to protect his parents’ legacy. He agrees to help West learn how to run the vineyard, and Rush soon realizes that love doesn’t necessarily come in the package he expected.


Review:  This is a story about two men from very different places in their lives falling in love in a quaint little west coast town. The magical towns may not necessarily be a trope but it’s a frequent theme that I usually like reading about. And I liked this one. It was a light and sweet romance.

West is a very successful man. That comes at a price however. Since his grandfather’s death he’s worked too hard. Has no social life. All he does is work. His grandfather was a Navy man and wanted his ashes returned to the ocean. One day West decides he’s finally going to do it. So he drives from Chicago to the west coast. On the final leg of his trip he stops in a charming little town and it just feels right to him. West is not impulsive but nostalgia for better days has him buying a winery outside of town. A winery that belongs to the hunky local guy named Rush who seems to hate West. Rush reluctantly decides to help West learn about the winery. In the process Rush gets to know West and realizes he’s nothing like the initial assumptions he’d made about about him. There was always chemistry between them but finding love with a guy who is only in town for a undetermined time was not what he’d expected.

While I liked this book it was a pretty light read. I didn’t experience any intense emotions from any of the situations in this book. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Especially if you’re in the mood for an easy read without a lot of complications. Rush was a bit too angry at West initially for me to warm up to him right away. His reasoning is explained briefly later but it didn’t really balance out with the extreme reaction. I guess it was a mix of West reminding him of a type of a guy and not liking that he was attracted to him. West was pretty likable. He was quick to forgive Rush for his bad attitude. West was also quick to welcome Rush into his bed. I think his first couple of weeks in town, West could be considered vulnerable or open to embracing his freedom and living again. Once they gave into the attraction, things get pretty easy for them. The only thing standing in their way is West’s company is in Chicago and they both know he will have to return to his life there at some point. The guys pretty much bury their heads in the sand about it for a while though. Just enjoying each other. They were pretty sexy together. The ending was wrapped up pretty tidy but I saw it coming. So maybe this book wasn’t great but it was sweet and sexy without much depth. Sometimes that’s what I’m in the mood for.

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