Vines by Brynne Asher
Series: The Killers #1
Also in this series: Paths, Gifts
Published by Self-published on November 1, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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In the Virginia countryside outside of Washington, DC, Addy Wentworth was on a mission to make a new life for herself. When the opportunity arose, she settled in horse and wine country. Experiencing more than her fair share of tragedy and loss, she had plans for her future, one where failure wasn’t an option. And not just because people and cows were counting on her. She’d poured everything she had into her struggling vineyard, because once she’s in, she’s all in.
After giving himself wholly to the job for ten years, Crew Vega was done. He’d fulfilled his commitment, done his duty, gone above and beyond to settle the score. And the score was high. All he had to do was train his replacements and he’d be out for good.
He had a plan, one that didn’t include getting involved with his new neighbor, a woman who not only kept cows for pets, but treasured her employees as family, and understood him better than anyone ever had before. But when he learned a high level CIA target being investigated for treason was keeping tabs on her?
No, he never planned on that.
And like everything Crew Vega did in life, when he goes in, he’s all in.
Warning: I’m a devout member of the mama club and don’t want to get kicked out by angry mamas. If you aren’t eighteen, turn around, go drink your milk and eat your veggies, it’s good for your bones. And go to bed early, you’re still growing, your body needs sleep. And don’t text and drive. And be nice, sit with the kid who sits alone at lunch. And read a PG-13 book, it’s good for your brain. And go tell your mama you love her. Chop-chop, run along now. I’ll see you back when you’re eligible to vote.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
If you’re looking for sweet romance, a bossy alpha male, a strong and quirky woman, some action and steamy sextivities, Ms. Asher’s Vines is the way to go.
Crew has just returned to the land of the living after dedicating a decade to his job. A job that wasn’t really easy getting out of, but setting a camp to train more like him didn’t seem like a bad trade at the time.
Addy has known loss in more than one way. Now finally settled in at the struggling vineyard she bought, her pet cows and employees keep her company and she knows content once more.
When a wandering cow leads her to her new neighbor’s property things are set in motion than either of them could ever imagine.
Crew is intrigued by the gorgeous cow-pet-owner from next door, but his life choices are not conducive to having… well, a life. Though the more Crew gets to know about Addy, the more he likes. When a guy being investigated by the CIA starts sniffing around her, all his protective instincts come roaring to life. Now Addy needs to decide if she can live with Crew’s past and present while discovering who’s after her and her business.
I love how this author keeps growing in her writing, and I think her work has a quality that many new authors are not bothering with. I really liked both Crew and Addy, he was all alpha, bossy and badass. When he sets his sights on Addy and decides she needs to be under his protection he goes all in. Addy was a great leading lady, she was strong, dedicated and had a soft heart. Everyone she came in contact with became her friend and friends were more like family.
The story itself starts a bit slow, as we get introduced to Crew’s and Addy’s circumstances and how they came about. Soon, though, the pace picks up and with the sporadic bouts of action and suspense things get moving along quite nicely. If you’re waiting for high-octane non-stop action this might not be quite what you want, as it is still more focused on the sweet romance. Which I loved by the way, so this didn’t bug me at all.
Crew and Addy have great chemistry together and their banter had me in stitches a lot, especially the pinky scene (OMG, I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard in quite some time) their time together was really hot too.
I really enjoyed Vines and I’m looking forward to getting Grady’s story next and hopefully get to visit with all the guys in the vineyard. And the cows.
Rating: 4 “Mooooo-dy alphas are the best” Stars
Vines took me to a rural setting, immersed me into a tranquil vineyard and surrounded me in goodness. Among the goodness was a damn hot neighbour with KA alpha traits by the name of Crew Vega. Addy or Addison as Crew likes to call her has been the proud owner of a vineyard for just over a year. I had a clear vision of the vineyard, and it was as if Ms. Asher was describing a place I was familiar with. Now that’s not possible because I am pretty sure it doesn’t exist for other than the purpose of this story. The characters also vividly came to life, and each had a voice of their own.
Addy is a straight up and down business woman, set on building up the winery. She has a great group of employees who have a non-traditional approach to their roles. It added to the quirkiness of the story and provided for lots of light hearted moments. While life at the vineyard is serene, it’s the visitors that slowly start to upset the tranquility and maybe the free roaming cow or two! Nothing a bit of molasses can’t fix 🙂
Crew introduce the first piece of mystery to the story along with a promising opportunity for some romance. He’s not the chocolate and flowers kind of guy. He’s more the I’ll bring the Kevlar and bullets type. To begin with, all Addy sees is a fine looking neighbour she needs to keep at a safe distance. Easier said than done. This is where I had a strong sense of the kind of alpha Kristen Ashley fans adore. Crew has the whole alpha deal happening, it’s in his voice, the way he commands attention when he enters a room. Then you get to feel the way he can make you lose your senses when his breath lands on your skin. You know you have no option but to sing from the song sheet he provides 😉
What doesn’t come across in the first 10% or so of the story is the mystery behind Addy and why Crew will play such a significant role other than as a romantic interest. I would have liked to see this come through stronger right from the first chapter. The suspense is down played, and for readers who enjoy a story outside of the dark realm I like to be in, you are going to ravish this book.
I couldn’t fault either Addy nor Crew. They were characters faithful to their roles. While Crew is no choirboy, we are not privy to his past life and situations other than we know he will do what he has to do if he is needed. If you follow my reviews you know I don’t mind wandering down dark alleys that get my heart rate pulsing higher than recommended. Should you enjoy your romance with a touch of suspense, you are in for a treat with Vines! The biggest drama I can foresee will be the urge to go out and buy a vineyard of your own 🙂
What I Struggled with:
- A couple of the bedroom antics – it was like the advertisements that tell you “Wait, there’s more” when you were already ready to buy what they had on offer
- Not enough time with the villains – hey, I like my books on the dark side!
- The potential introduction of characters that didn’t seem to contribute to the plot other than possibly for future stories. I liked them all, it did though hamper the flow of the suspense
What I loved:
- The cows and spoiling them (Contented Cows are a tranquil sight, Cheeky Cows are a great sense of amusement LOL)
- Crew – he had the alpha man role going strong and added his charm all through the story
- Addy had her head screwed on even when the going got tough, she remained a strong, mature character
- The Vineyard and all the staff who worked there
3.5 Steamy and Calm Stars
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