Title: Corked (Wine Tasting #1)
Author: Brigham Vaughn
Publisher: Self published
Release Date: April 28, 2018
Page Count: 100 pages
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Originally published as the “Wine Tasting Series”.
“Corked” is an expanded re-release with new editing and over 8,000 words of additional content!
Sean Powell is having a terrible day. When he walks into Bistro Argent, ready to unwind over a glass of wine with the sommelier, he’s stunned to discover his friend has been replaced by a hot young guy with big ideas. Lucas Spencer is determined to liven up the staid and stodgy wine list, but his brash approach alienates the wine distributor during their first meeting.
There’s no avoiding each other though and the more they butt heads, the hotter the tension between them gets. As they work together and their relationship progresses, they have to figure out how to blend their professional frustration and personal attraction without risking their careers.
Lucas is eleven years younger than Sean, and despite their sizzling chemistry and compatibility, Sean can’t quite believe the feelings are mutual. A wine tasting trip to Traverse City, Michigan threatens their fledgling relationship. Sean’s insecurities rise to the surface as Lucas’s fears of losing Sean lead to jealousy.
Does the relationship have legs or will they find out it’s corked?
Premise of the book is Sean works for a wine, beer and liquor distribution company. Lucas is the newly hired sommelier at Argent Bistro, replacing Roger, Sean’s friend through business. Lucas and Sean immediately butt heads through assumptions, and a potential friendship has a very rocky start.
I did not like the first third of this book. It rubbed me wrong on so many levels – I don’t care if you are having the worst possible day ever, you do not treat someone you just met with as much distain and disrespect as Sean did to Lucas. I don’t care for the “I despise you! Yet…I want to screw your brains out…” mentality. It just doesn’t work for me emotionally. And if I have a water leak coming through my ceiling and I go to tell the upstairs neighbor, I’m going to be more worried about water damage and structural integrity to my ceiling than how someone looks in a towel. Just sayin’.
The first quarter to third of the book felt so disjointed to me, between the love/hate Sean and Lucas had going on, to the strange ogling, the impromptu sex in the office during working hours with “oh! I’m sorry! I don’t do that!” apologies that followed.
Baths. I asked my husband his thoughts on taking baths and I mostly perplexed him. First, he wondered if anyone takes baths anymore, then he opined that guys really don’t take baths. Add to this the whole getting out of the bath to answer your cell phone struck me as weird. That’s what voicemail is for.
But I made it through without throwing my e-reader across the room in abject irritation. Mostly because I didn’t want to have to buy a new e-reader.
The second half of the book was more of what I enjoy in my m/m romances. The getting to know a person, a bit of angst, and learning a partner’s moods. I loved the trip to Traverse City, the description of the bay and peninsula’s. I loved how Sean and Lucas interacted, the undercurrent of fear of being a couple in a tourist town, and the wine tours. I loved the smattering of wine observations through-out the book and now I need to go try a sangoviese with a pepperoni pizza. Would it work with an adoullie sausage pizza too? Hmm…
I also enjoyed how the book was set up in wine chapters, which I assume were from the shorts? “Spit or Swallow”, “After Taste”, “Last Drop” – all had me smiling.
So a rough start that eventually smoothed out and a very enjoyable ending. I say if you like your wine, good looking guys, and need something for a rainy day, this might fit the bill.