I am vociferously passionate about good books. And I hate adverbs.
I'm having mixed feelings about this book.
There was a very good story in there, somewhere, and I enjoyed that very much.
The problem was, it was hard to find that story in all the words.
It took me quite a while to understand what Interlude meant (it is not obvious that it means going back 10 years or so in time), which frustrated me no end, because for the first 50 or so pages, I just didn’t get it. Also, the dance of One chapter Now, and One chapter Then is not my favorite way of reading a story.
Maybe I’m the fool here, but I think your job as an author is to smooth the way into a story for your reader. Not riddle his or her path with tripping blocks and pieces of Lego to step on.
It bummed me.
The vineyard parts of this story could have been developed more, it was a nice and unusual backdrop, but seemed unreal. That’s not what happens on a vineyard, in its day to day business. Lots of really interesting things happen—so why use that backdrop without making it a full feature? Maybe the author knows nothing of wine making. It was mostly a feeling of so-and-so many cases of your finest wine. A small, family-run vineyard, doing white, read and bubbly?
I loved that Mal had been married, had loved his wife, and that all the women in this book were normal women, not the raving lunatic ones one often finds in m/m romance. Excellent point in favor. I also loved his hesitancy, and his openness to the possibility of loving a person, never mind the gender.
The storyline with Luke’s ex and why Luke needed a break from his everyday life was great. His dad was a nice bad-guy figure, mostly a looming, background menace.
I adored the storyline of getting a second chance with someone you met a long time ago, when the timing was off.
All those things were a great set-up for a story. It just didn’t do what it had set out to do, at least, not for me. Your mileage may vary.
I felt close to the main characters at the beginning, probably I was trying harder to understand them then—when they didn’t get more flesh on their bones, I guess I kind of gave up trying to love them.
I did not make even one highlight in the whole book.
I was given an ARC of this book for free from the publisher, Dreamspinner Press.
A positive review was neither expected nor promised in return.