Monday, November 4, 2019

Benevolent Review Tour

A story about the purpose of life, the healing power of fandom, and the resilience of the human spirit.

Tormented by the in-crowd at school on a daily basis, there were two things that gave fifteen-year-old Abigail Perkins the strength to keep going—her best friend, Danny Cobb; and her favorite television show, Supernatural. But the night Danny’s mother calls to say that his battle with cancer is nearing its end, and the doctors don’t expect him to live through the night, even Supernatural can’t dull the ache in her heart.

Devastated by her impending loss and crushed that Danny’s mother won’t allow her to visit him one last time, Abigail crawls into bed and cries herself to sleep that night; and she wakes to find Supernatural’s most endearing angel standing at the foot of her bed.

Told from Abigail’s perspective as she nears the end of her long life and revisits the moments that defined it, this story was inspired by the deep connection that Supernatural fans feel with the show’s beloved characters, and the show’s miraculous ability to help its fans through troubled times.

I flashed him a sympathetic smile. “What are you thinking?”

“I have never understood why humans are so moved by music,” he muttered as his eyes searched mine.

“Music is the closest thing that we have to magic,” I confided in a reverent whisper, “because it has the power to anchor us to a moment in time.”

His half-smile conveyed a heartwarming mix of curiosity and affection. “How so?”

I felt my face flush a shade darker as I grinned at him. “When we hear a song from our past, it conjures up all the old sensations that we felt when we first heard it.”

He eyed me with a perplexed frown as he took a step toward me. “How can a combination of man-made instruments and human vocal chords wield that sort of power?”

“I can’t explain it with words,” I whispered, “It’s something that you just have to feel.”

He stood there staring at me with that puzzled expression on his face as I stepped closer and carefully inserted the earpiece in my hand into his left ear, so the music connected the two of us, just as surely as the cord connected the earbuds in our ears. “Maybe you’d understand what I mean if you danced to the music.”

“I don’t dance,” he muttered as he watched me begin to sway to the beat.

I smiled at him as I took his hands in mine and moved his arms in time with the music, like a puppeteer pulling a life-sized marionette’s strings. “Anyone can dance. You just have to let go and let the music guide your movements.”

A skeptical frown spread across his face as he watched me, but he let me direct his movements nonetheless. He was stiff and awkward at first but as the music grew louder, he seemed to find the rhythm. “These words are nonsense,” he muttered.

“Shhh,” I whispered, “Don’t think. Just feel.”

He was a remarkably fast learner, but I suppose being on earth since the dawn of time had given him plenty of opportunities to watch humans dance. Once he started to feel the music, he moved with all the grace that you’d imagine an angel would.

“Hey Jude” gradually faded away until there was nothing but silence in our twin earpieces.

We stopped moving and stood there staring at each other while we waited for the next song to guide our movements.

My Review:
4 stars

As a fan of Supernatural, I was both excited and wary to read this book. As someone who has seen the power of the Supernatural fandom, I was excited by yet I was also a little wary because a book like this could go two ways; it could be an amazing read or a cringy, preachy read. I’m happy to say, this book was worth the read.

This was a moving, heart wrenching, thought-provoking read that took me to highs and lows along with Abigail. Her journey through life and loss, told as a series of flashbacks showing how fandom went beyond just being about the show and became so much more was unique and fun to read. While having the entire novel be a series of flashbacks was an interesting choice, it helped temper the emotional overload and worked with the overall message of the story. Even the ending, which I knew was coming because of the plot structure, had an unexpected, yet beautiful, twist that had me bawling my eyes out.

The only complaints I had with the book was that at times, it was a tad awkward (Abigail’s first reaction to Castiel appearing for example) and that at times, I had trouble connecting with Abigail’s mindset. For example, when I look back on being bullied, I look at it differently than I did at the time, due to age and life experience. This influences how I look back on those memories, and I imagine someone reliving their life while on their deathbed would do something similar, offer both an introspective of how they felt at the time while looking at it through the lens of age/time. However, this wasn’t present at times, which struck me as odd and pulled me out of the story.

Overall though, I greatly enjoyed the read and highly recommend this book for any Supernatural fans, particularly if you love Castiel. And while this book is heavily tied to the fandom, I think anyone looking for a moving, thought-provoking read would enjoy reading it, whether you’re a fan of the show or not.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

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Author Bio and Links:
Erin Jensen is the Amazon International bestselling author of The Dream Waters Series. She was awarded the Bronze Medal for fantasy fiction in the 2018 Readers' Favorite international book awards. She also received Honorable Mention for fantasy fiction in the 2018 Writer's Digest self-published e-book awards. A part-time pharmacist and a full-time daydreamer, she resides in upstate New York with her ridiculously supportive husband, two teenage sons--who are both taller than her--and a Yorkshire terrier who thinks he's the family bodyguard.


Buy Links:
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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Harvest NBtM

Almost a century after Keres Triplets asteroid impact and subsequent nuclear exchange almost ended all human life on Earth, a strange artifact is discovered on one of the moons of Saturn. Who should be sent to the outer reaches of the solar system to initiate the first contact with an alien culture? Dr. Varsaad Volhard, an evolutionary-socio-historian, is chosen to help the world understand the alien civilization that left an artifact some thirty thousand years ago, before humans even learned to farm, at the time when other human species still walked the earth. While Vars prepares for the mission, her father, Dr. Matteo Volhard, discovers nanobots among the microplastics he studies. The bots are everywhere and seem to have been created to bond with human cyber implants. Why? Matteo is made to keep his discovery a well as his and his daughter's true origins. Both were donated to a Human DNA Vault as babies. Matteo was raised as a Seed before leaving with his young daughter to study ecology around the world. Who knows what? Who is in control? How does one communicate with non-human intelligence? People seem to die in gruesome ways as their cyberhumatics go haywire on Earth and on Luna and Mars colonies. Is Earth under attack or is it all just a cosmic misunderstanding? Vars needs to use all she knows to solve the mystery of the ancient civilization on Mimas, as her dad battles the alien nanobots at home.

“Sentient life’s colonization of the Earth is fractal. Even within a single ecosystem, there are many species that possess intelligence and self-awareness. But only one species becomes dominant.”

Professor Volhard took a theatrical pause here. Everyone in the audience knew where she was going with this, but it never hurt to add drama to a presentation.

“Obviously I am talking about humans. We are not the only intelligent, self-aware species on our planet–but we got lucky. We were blessed with favorable initial conditions, and our dominance was almost guaranteed. Lack of luck tends to permanently retard progress. Dinosaurs’ loss is our win.”

There were a few chuckles from the audience, but no big laughs. Varsaad Volhard sighed inwardly and moved on. She never knew how the lay audience would react, but this was all part of doing the book-selling lecture circuit.

Vars was tall and skinny with short, unruly, dark red hair and glasses to match. She looked a bit like a stick insect in her black pants and black sweater. For the tour, she was trying to dress more interestingly than normal–per instructions from her publisher–and so had added the bright orange scarf that her publisher sent in the mail. The instructions that came with the scarf told her to wear matching orange shoes, but Vars didn’t own any orange shoes, so matching black was as good as it got.

She hadn’t failed to notice that the cover of her book–Luck & Lock on Life & Love: The Human History of Conquest of Resources on Earth, Luna, and Beyond–had the same color orange titles as the scarf. Her agent or someone in the office was obviously trying. Vars made a mental note to figure out who that was and thank them.

“Harvest” is what one would classify as “hard science fiction.” “Hard” doesn’t mean it is hard to read or understand, just that it has a lot of fun (and accurate) science in addition to a great story. The story starts with the discovery on a very old alien artifact buried in ice on one of the moons of Saturn. Scientists and the military have to quickly make an assessment: what do these aliens want? Are they dangerous? If so, how could humans protect themselves? But how can we tell when something wants us harm? Some of the biggest cultural mistakes on Earth came about from simple failure to communicate, to understand the alien other. When the other side is overwhelming in power and knowledge, making a diplomatic mistake can end human civilization. It’s a fun premise and a good story.

But many years before the alien artifact was found, the earth was hit by three asteroid shards: the Keres Triplets. The impacts and the following nuclear exchange devastated the planet. Africa and most of the Middle East were no longer habitable. The humanity came to the brink of extinction. To salvage diversity and genetic heritage, Human Seed Vaults were set up by the Human Genome Heritage Project. Individuals with particularly interesting genetic makeup were taken from their parents as infants and deposited into the Vaults, deep underground. There were several such genetic banks. And over time, there developed a mythology about the people who lived there—Seeds.

Earth was in ashes for decades. The nuclear winter swept ice and darkness from sea to shinning sea… But humans are nothing if not resilient creatures. It didn’t take long for Earth to recover, although what was lost was lost forever.

Matteo was brought into the Seed Bank in the far north of Norway as an infant. He met his seed sister, Phoebe, there. And while Phoebe, a brilliant biologist, was happy to spend her life below ground. Matteo wanted to see the world. One day, when he was patrolling the upper layers of the Vault, a child was dropped off. It was a strange drop. The child was a little girl. She was too old to be accepted into the Vault as a Fresh Seed. To save her, Matteo left the only life he knew (and the only woman he loved).

That story, a prequel to “Harvest,” is called “Fresh Seed.”

The story of “Harvest” picks up almost thirty years after Dr. Matteo Volhard adopted Varsaad (“fresh seed” in Afrikaans) and raised her as his daughter.

The world rebounded by then. People landed and built colonies on Luna and Mars and even on some of the moons of Jupiter. It was an amazingly fast recovery given the severity of the devastation. Miraculous, even.

Vars became a scientist like her father. Her field of study was evolutionary biology and anthropology. She studied human civilizations.

Then people started to die unexpectedly…
Their digital tattoos were melting and dissolving into their bodies, causing grievous harm. What was it? Why?

Vars was recruited to travel to one of the moons of Saturn to find out…
While her dad worked hard to save humanity back on Earth…

“Harvest” is a fully illustrated novel, sometimes dark, sometimes disturbing.

“Harvest” is written for people who are interested in human origins and the births of civilizations. I wanted to answer the question of “why”—why did some peoples succeed and some didn’t? Why did some civilizations flourish for many centuries while others burned out in but a short flash in history? What is it that makes the difference? Does it simply comes down to luck?

I’m a scientist. I’m very interested in the development of life, consciousness, and civilization. Over the past several decades, we’ve learned a lot about human biology not only on the molecular level (DNA) but also the chemistry and physics of biology. We can see the range of possibilities for behavior and emotion programmed into us by our evolutionary development. We’ve also learned about other human species that didn’t survive to the present day but whose echoes we carry in our very genes—Heanderthals, Homo floresiensis, Homo denisovans, and the newly discovered Homo luzonesis. There are many more, of course, but it takes time and luck to find evidence.

Only the Homo sapiens are alive on our world today. And only a small percentage of those developed the capacity or desire to take over the world and impose their culture on the rest of the peoples. Why? Why did some Hominids made it and some didn’t? Why did some civilizations flourished and others fell? We can answer some of these questions with psychology, sociology, paleontology, anthropology, biology...

Luck seems to have played a huge role in human evolution and survival on our planet. Those who were lucky enough to live in fertile environments with species of plants and animals that were easy to domesticate won the life lottery, so to speak. The unlucky ones didn’t make it to the present day or ended up colonized…

We have some ideas about what it takes to survive and thrive on Earth. But what does it take to survive in the galaxy? Can we use the same principles and apply them on a larger scale? “Harvest” is a book that focuses on galaxy-wide civilizations and what it takes to become one.

“Harvest” book trailer:

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Author Bio and Links:
Olga Werby, Ed.D., has a Doctorate from U.C. Berkeley with a focus on designing online learning experiences. She has a Master's degree from U.C. Berkeley in Education of Math, Science, and Technology. She has been creating computer-based projects since 1981 with organizations such as NASA (where she worked on the Pioneer Venus project), Addison-Wesley, and the Princeton Review. Olga has a B.A. degree in Mathematics and Astrophysics from Columbia University. She became an accidental science fiction indie writer about a decade ago, with her first book, "Suddenly Paris," which was based on then fairly novel idea of virtual universes. Her next story, "The FATOFF Conspiracy," was a horror story about fat, government bureaucracy, and body image. She writes about characters that rarely get represented in science fiction stories -- homeless kids, refugees, handicapped, autistic individuals -- the social underdogs of our world. Her stories are based in real science, which is admittedly stretched to the very limit of possible. She has published almost a dozen fiction books to date and has won many awards for her writings. Her short fiction has been featured in several issues of "Alien Dimensions Magazine," "600 second saga," "Graveyard Girls," "Kyanite Press' Fables and Fairy Tales," "The Carmen Online Theater Group's Chronicles of Terror," with many more stories freely available on her blog,

Selected Book Links on Amazon:
“The FATOFF Conspiracy”:
“Lizard Girl & Ghost: The Chronicles of DaDA Immortals”:

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Hanami Review Tour

“I am no princess… I am Yakuza,”

SAKURA SHINTANI is the heir to the Dragon Clan—Japan’s most notorious crime dynasty. But can she keep this fact a secret from the annoying brats of Oniyuri Academy?

She must try to master her demons while trying not to hurt anyone. But having the face of an angel puts her on everyone’s radar… including the arrogant heir to Asia’s most powerful tycoon, KENJIN KIYOHARA. He senses the danger, but Sakura is too interesting to be left alone.

Jin rolled his eyes, settling his gaze back on the girl. He wasn’t surprised with their reaction.

The new girl was hot, but so what? It took more than a pretty face to get his attention. He wasn’t that easy to impress, and he was certain she’d be throwing herself at him anyway. Just like everybody else. He was sure this girl wasn’t any different from the love-crazed hyenas that stalked him.

Jin pushed back his shoulders, seeing her start towards him with her eyes still trailing on the ground.

Already? Jin thought, suppressing a laugh. He crossed his arms, waiting for her to get closer, and sure enough she stopped right in front of him. She was even prettier up close. Asian but with a hint of Caucasian mixed in.

“What?” he asked, smirking. He already knew what she might say: whether he was Kenjin Kiyohara, the sole heir to Kiyohara Industries? The questions were all the same. He thought she would have at least waited until class was over like the rest of them.

“Move your feet. You’re blocking my way,” the girl said in a sharp tone.  She shifted her gaze up at him like a threatening knife. Her topaz-colored eyes darkened, sending icy tremors down his back. He felt as if he’d been hit by a curse as his mind turned blank.

When she finally looked away, Jin was able to regain his senses. He tucked his legs out of her way, and she passed, leaving goosebumps in her wake. His eyes followed her, waiting to see if she’d look back, but she never did. Jin’s hands were trembling. His thoughts became jumbled while he struggled not to look anymore.

What was that? What just happened? This was a first for him. He couldn’t contain himself. His presence had no impact whatsoever. Instead she looked like she wanted to kill him!

Jin took a deep breath, replaying the moment in his head. Who was this girl? She sure got his attention, all right—and it left him in pieces. He fought the urge to look back again.

This girl…Jin thought. There was something about her. He couldn’t shake off the feeling. She seemed dangerous.

My Reviews:
3.5 stars

This was an interesting novel for me. First, the characters (both major and side) were enjoyable and realistic. Jin was a jerk at first, but slowly grew on me as his relationship with Sakura deepened, forcing him to reevaluate what he really wanted. I had a harder time connecting with Sakura, as Sakura is a very distant character for the majority of the book, which fits with how she sees herself in the world she’s been drawn into. This made it hard to get to know the real her, though seeing her shut Jin down whenever he started getting full of himself was hilarious and fun, not to mention adding to the will they, won’t they romantic subplot.

As for the plot, there was a lot going on, and while most of the big storylines were addressed (Sakura’s parents, Jin/Sakura’s relationship, etc.), there were some smaller threads that went unresolved/ignored, which was a bummer considering the little details and intricacies woven into other parts of the story. Some parts of the story felt rushed and thrown in, while others appeared carefully arranged and worked in, which was disorienting and drew me away from the story at times.

All said though, this was a fascinating world with intriguing characters, mixed with a slow-burn (but worth it) romance. If that sounds like your cup of tea, I highly recommend giving this series a try. And on that note, on to my review of book 2:

5 stars

Let me start by saying that while I’m a sucker for falling in love for the first time stories, I’m even more of a sucker for angsty, once the honeymoon’s over sequels. And this definitely fit the bill. After Sakura and Jin overcame the odds and ended up together in book 1, I was looking forward to seeing the challenges they would face in book 2. I was not disappointed.

To start, I enjoyed seeing Sakura and Jin having to fight for their love in a realistic way. In fact, several of the obstacles to their relationship were obstacles I had thought about after reading book 1, so to see them addressed was awesome.

On top of that, seeing how the characters have grown from book 1 to book 2 was amazing. Sakura in particular was a favorite of mine, as I felt like I understood her much more in this book than I did the first. Add to that a kickass, hilarious collection of supporting characters and a thrilling, exciting plot…sold. Plus, that closing scene, with that closing sentence…perfect way to end this satisfactory sequel.

On a side note, in the post-credits, the author mentioned that she had never intended a sequel. Needless to say, I’m glad she gave the fans what they asked for. So now can we hope for book 3?

*I received a copy of these books in exchange for an honest review.*

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Author Bio and Links:
V.C. Buckley was born in an isolated government facility and shipped off to an Island in Southeast Asia where she grew up braving tropical thunderstorms and warding off evil villains. At sixteen she was discovered by an agent and jetted off all over the world. Her stories come from gritty moments of her childhood to the glitz of her travels. She now lives in Manila with her husband, two kids and an herb garden that has hijacked her balcony.

Website    |    Twitter    |    Facebook    |    Instagram
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Buy links:
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Monday, October 28, 2019

Thea Reeves and the Tear of the Morning Star NBtM

Thea Reeves is an ordinary girl, from an ordinary family with financial troubles, living in a small town of Johnston. After she starts an after school job at The Magic Shop in order to help herself financially, her life becomes more extraordinary with every day.

The rest of the day went by rather smoothly.  Just after five o'clock, people from all walks of life began to pour into The Magic Shop.  Some were buying, but surprisingly, many were there for the coffee and to read books.  To Thea, Jamie explained that most of their customers are business oriented individuals, who find magic as a way to unwind after a long stressful day at work.  They come in, read, usually never buy books, but on occasion buy a souvenir or two for friends and family, and almost always leave good tips.

What Thea found fascinating is that no one tried to steal anything all day, and everyone was polite and courteous.  Jamie did not know how to explain that, but she told Thea that there is a magic spell on The Magic Shop, where people leave all of their anger, worries and problems at the door, and those who can't ... never come inside.

It felt strange, but Thea also felt that on her first day at The Magic Shop, she did not once think about her chores, problems at home, or money difficulties her parents have.  The entire time she was just happy to be at The Magic Shop.

What was really exciting is that at the end of the day, Thea found herself holding thirty five dollars in tips from coffee drinking and book reading patrons.  If every day would be like this, that dream car would become a reality by the time Thea would receive her driver's license.

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Author Bio and Links:
Dmitriy Kushnir is a Sarasota, FL local and is a student of life. In his younger years, he had served in the military and received various degrees from multiple universities. One day, Dmitriy Kushnir realized that he had just too much to share with the world and began writing in the fields of philosophy, business, religion, history, fantasy and science fiction. To this day, he has written more than 40 books under various aliases.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Lucky Chance VBT

Golf, love, life—Jack Weatherlow is more than familiar with all three. Is life a series of coincidences or is it linked by a greater thread? Returning from the brink of destruction, Jack lets his participation in recovery, his work at the hotel, and his close relationship with his wife, Samantha, guide him through some of life's most important questions and lessons. What do we do when opportunity knocks at our door? Is it fate that brings us together with those we love most? What constitutes a family and what obligations do we have to those around us? Through his relationships and experiences on and off the green, Jack discovers many of life's lucky chances.

I often wondered about the finer details which shaped my mother’s journey in life. I imagine that she began her role as a parent as one person, possibly a reluctant person, but still more whole than not and rightly directed for the most part. At some point in time, I presume that she met with an irresolvable division in her conception of that original role or her identity in general. I suspect that the horrific accident that killed my dad’s parents inspired the initial separation. However, I wonder if the imports of that tragedy were simply the last drops of a sinister reagent which had long been burning away the reigns that held her in the middle of the road.
Regardless of the cause, my mother salved her injuries with an anesthetic rather than an antiseptic. She chose relief rather than cure. I don’t suppose that she ever realized there was a difference. Nevertheless, the relief became the food or fuel which energized and promoted the process of her separation. She grew ever closer and more identified with her torment, and she grew evermore distant from her peace. I watched the transformation occur across my young life, such that I found myself more often despised and attacked by the tortured and tormented monster of trauma and tragedy, and less and less nurtured or treasured by the compassionate and caring mother of my imagination.

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Author Bio and Links:
Summer is in full swing - folks are hitting the golf course by day, and reflecting on life as the sunsets go later into the evening. In the spirit of golf and life, Charlotte-based Warren Publishing has released Lucky Chance, a thoughtful and moving novel by businessman, golfer and public speaker, R.C. Welch.

Lucky Chance is a 346-page soft cover book that addresses some of life’s most thought-provoking and insightful dilemmas and lessons through the lens of Jack Weatherlow. A golfer, husband, and alcoholic in recovery, Jack returns from the brink of destruction, and through his recovery, work, and relationship with his wife, Samantha, he attempts to find the answers to some of life’s most important questions. What do we do when opportunity knocks at our door? Is it fate that brings us together with those we love most? What constitutes a family and what obligations do we have to those around us? Through his relationships and experiences on and off the green, Jack discovers many of life’s lucky chances.

Inspired by his love of golf, business, and storytelling, Welch wrote Lucky Chance to give readers insight into a character he loves, and connect certain apparent similarities in life between obviously different circumstances.

“Lucky Chance is a wonderfully crafted novel, rich with narrative originality, and emotional and philosophical depth,” added Mindy Kuhn, President of Warren Publishing. “It’s a fantastic, unique read for anyone who enjoys reading about sports or love, but also for those looking to delve into the truly intricate and complicated questions of life.”

R.C. Welch holds graduate and post graduate degrees from two universities, and is honorably recognized in various circles of the business world. He is also an accomplished golfer, storyteller and public speaker. Lucky Chance is an expression of his innate and unique gifts. He currently resides in Winston Salem, NC.

Amazon Link:

Monday, October 14, 2019

Crush: A Tale of Two Vineyards Review Tour

Will the rare love that comes once in a lifetime win her over? Crush: A Tale of Two Vineyards is a compelling and enchanting novel set among vineyards in Southern France and Central California.

Spending summers at her grandparents’ vineyard, Clos de Harmonie, Olivia found her passion for winemaking and pursued a degree in Viticulture and Enology. Olivia accepts an invitation from a Frenchman to complete her master’s degree project at his family’s fifth generation biodynamic vineyard in France.

She and the French winemaker have an instant attraction. With her project complete, she struggles with the desire to stay in France and the knowledge she is neglecting her grandparents’ vineyard. Called back to California by an unforeseen turn of events, Olivia focuses on getting Clos de Harmonie certified as a biodynamic vineyard. Her dream is to make authentic, natural wine that captures the landscape and its essence in a bottle.

As she wrestles with her long-distance love interest, the challenges of reviving a rundown vineyard, and trouble with the landowner next door, Olivia finds strength in the human spirit and the need to prove herself in a sea of doubters.

An evocative story that awakens the senses, Crush captures the complex layers and enduring bonds of family amidst the dramas and joys of winemaking. The magic and mysteries of biodynamic farming come to life along with a colorful cast of characters in both France and California.

I woke with a weight on my chest. I opened the French doors and got back in bed. Luke and Nicole’s picture was burned into my mind. I was such a fool. His mother had won. She had pressed them together.

But could I blame him? I was here and he had a life and family and a winery there.

A knock sounded at my door.

“Come in.”

Jameson entered with a cup of coffee. He set it down on the nightstand. “You’re late for your appointment with Peter. He said the building inspector is on the way.”

“Oh geez.” I jumped up. The final inspection of the bunkhouse. “Thanks.”

“You’re always up at dawn. Are you okay?”

Tears welled up in my eyes and slid down my cheeks. No, I was not okay.

“Is it Luke and that model?”

I nodded.

“Is there anything I can do?”

I shook my head.

“Put a spell on her.”

I half smiled. I wished I could.

“Well, pull yourself together. Caleb’s tired of sleeping on the couch and can’t wait to move into the bunkhouse.”

Yes, I needed to pull myself together.

Jameson shut the door. I dressed quickly, washed the tears from my face, and brushed my teeth. I took my coffee and walked to the bunkhouse. Peter stood talking with Caleb and Jameson on the newly constructed back porch.

“Good morning, sunshine,” Peter said.

“Morning,” I said.

“Big day. Final inspection. We should be fine though,” Peter said.

I nodded and tried to smile.

“What’s the matter? I thought you’d be swinging from the rafters,” Peter said.

“Guy trouble,” Jameson said.

“Ah,” Peter said. “Matters of the heart. They’re complicated.”

The building inspector pulled up and parked by Peter’s truck. With clipboard in hand he came up the porch steps, eyes darting to every surface, already examining the work.

“Morning, Peter.” He nodded to the three of us. “Where do you want to start?”

Peter led him into the bunkhouse. I followed. Caleb and Jameson went back to whatever chores Cody had assigned them.

My Review:
4 stars
This book has it all: vivid characters, detailed worldbuilding, and an engaging plot.

The characters were interesting and really added to the story. Olivia and Luke had great chemistry, and seeing their passion both for their work and each other helped bring the story to life. I especially loved Olivia. Not only was she a strong female character, she was also inspiring yet realistic. Seeing her struggle to juggle her education, career, and romance without sacrificing one for the others was refreshing, and I liked how the ending took this all realistically into account. Seeing her grow throughout the book was a treat, and I can’t wait to see her in a (hopeful) sequel.

The worldbuilding was phenomenal. I now know so much more about the winemaking industry. The amount of research that went into this book is obvious, and it was interesting learning about a biodynamic vineyard (something I’d never heard of before). On top of the winemaking details, the locations were vividly described in a way that made me feel like I was there.

If you’re looking for a relaxing read with a realistic romance (mixed with some wine of course), then I recommend giving Crush a try.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

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Author Bio and Links:
Joye Emmens is also the author of She’s Gone. She lives in California with her husband.

Twitter: @joyeemmens
Facebook: joyeemmens

Buy Links: 
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