Anthony Beretta reluctantly inherited his family’s winery at the age of twenty-four. It’s all he ever wanted to do, but he wanted to run the winery alongside his father, not on his own. When Anthony’s dad dies, it’s all up to him. While Anthony’s mother runs the event side of the winery, and a cousin helps out as well, the winery is struggling financially and Anthony has more work then he can accomplish on any day. Still, Anthony is holding on.
While dressed up for a meeting, Anthony has an incident with motorcyclist, Oscar. The men immediately judge each other on their appearance alone. Oscar sees Anthony as uptight and entitled, and Anthony is sure Oscar is just another poorly spoken guy on a motorcycle. When the men realize they are running a charity event together, the animosity is high, but so is the attraction. It may not take too long for the men to realize that there is more to a person than appearances.
This book didn’t work for me from the start. It’s a case of the writing and story and what the characters were doing or saying that didn’t click with me at all. When Anthony “don’t-call-me-Tony” Baretta meets Oscar “my friends call me Oz” Kennett, the men believe it is an opposites attract story. Yet, these guys judge each other solely on their appearances and one brief conversation they have after a distressing event.
Anthony is clearly struggling with the winery and is overwhelmed. But, he’s basically a pompous ass. He’s irritating and grammatically corrects Oz every time Oz says “yeah,” telling him it’s “yes,” and it wasn’t cute, it was highly annoying. What happens directly after they meet took a bit of a leap for me in the way Anthony went about the whole thing, but if it was just that one area, I could have moved on.
When the men realize they are working together on a charity event, Anthony does everything he can to embarrass Oz and why he had such animosity towards him felt incredibly forced. Then, with Oz calling Anthony “Mr. Fancy Pants,” their dialogue (and actions) were juvenile and awkward. I think the author was going for an enemies to lovers vibe here, but it didn’t work for me and when the guys are all of a sudden all over each other, there was zero chemistry between the two of them.
There is little character development for either of them and we learn only the basics about Anthony and not much about Oz. The men decide to be exclusive and it still wasn’t clear if they liked each other and they make a comment about not having to be friends because they’re sleeping together. The timing and flow and just all of it was off for me. Add in an ex that shows up out of nowhere after no contact with Anthony for four years to cause pointless conflict, Anthony’s mother that teases Anthony and Oz about their sex life, and ridiculous miscommunication, and it added a trifecta of more things that didn’t work for me.
This also was a relatively short book and the men went from making fun of each other, to sharing a bed, to not talking again, and then to forever in a span of a few short weeks. I’ll recommend a pass on a visit to this winery.