Rating: 2 stars
Buy Link:
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Length: Novel

 

Patrick has been with his boyfriend, Aubrey, for two years, but he comes home one day to find that Aubrey has packed up all of his stuff and Patrick is shown the door. Patrick didn’t think that he and Aubrey were a forever kind of couple, but he has no idea what he did to have Aubrey end things so abruptly. However, Patrick is sure it is all his fault, as things don’t work out well for him most of the time. Now, he’s living in a small apartment with unstable seasonal work. It’s during one of his jobs giving a wine tour that Patrick comes face to face with Charles, a man who dated Aubrey before Patrick for seven years. However, Patrick has been told what a monster Charles is, and Charles thinks Patrick is a young home wrecker.

I often try new authors and something different can spark my interest. For this book, it was the mention of a winery, as I thought that would be a good setting, and I also liked the idea of the enemies-to-lovers angle. However, while Charles does own a winery, it is a smaller focus of the story.

There was a lot in this book that didn’t work for me. Charles and Patrick share the same ex-boyfriend in Aubrey. Charles was with Aubrey for seven years and Patrick’s relationship with Aubrey recently ended after two years. Aubrey is not on page for most of the book. He is depicted as a manipulative liar, but there is no character development for him at all. When he is on page briefly, he is nothing more than a caricature. Also, Aubrey is described as being close to 60 years old. With Patrick being 29 and Charles being 35, I really need more development regarding the age difference, rather than it just being dropped in like that.

My biggest issue with the book is the entire story felt like a severe case of whiplash. In almost every scene, Patrick and Charles had a different thought about the other. First, they are enemies, then they think the other is hot, then they hate each other, then they get drunk and hook up, then they hate themselves, then they can’t stay away from each, then they think they aren’t good enough for the other, and on and on almost every scene. The moment they are going to try and work on a relationship, something else comes up to pull them apart, but there was no development to any of it. It felt like there was a lot thrown at this story to see what would stick, but really none of it did, and it didn’t make a compelling story that had any reasonable flow.

Patrick and Charles continue this back and forth throughout the entire book. Toward the end of the story, when Charles is all in again, he finds out something about Patrick that again sends him running. This time, it’s Patrick who wants to make it better, but the issue with Patrick is much, much, so much bigger than something he can fix just because he is in love with Charles and it does the issue a huge disservice. Charles also has an estranged parent that he hasn’t seen in 25 years and that is dealt with in one scene in a couple of lines and, again, there was not enough development to that storyline either. Also, at one point, Charles mentions that “after a responsible amount of wine,” he goes out to drive a boat. You know, there is no “responsible amount of wine” for that.

This book didn’t work from start to finish for me and it’s not one I would recommend.