Pour It On (Keystone Couples) by Staci Troilo #bookreview #romance #shortread

Happy Valentine’s Day! I know this isn’t my usual Monday post, but I thought this would be the perfect day to feature my review of Staci’s new release. It’s a short read full of fun, flirting, and a big misunderstanding. And if you’re looking for something to do with your special someone, hubby and I saw Death on the Nile over the weekend and we both gave it a thumbs up. It will keep you guessing!

Bold, complex, vibrant. The wine is, too.

Despite Romy Chandler hosting a romantic meet-and-greet at her restaurant, she’s all business. When her sommelier quits without any notice—to work for the competition, no less—she goes into mega-mogul-mode. The last thing on her mind is finding a man. She’s looking for someone who knows his way around a Bordeaux, not the boudoir.

Rick Santucci grew up in his family’s vineyard. After years of hard work, he’s turned his grandfather’s humble produce farm into a profitable winery. Once he gets their bottles into the right establishments, he’ll be able to acquire more land and move into the next phase of the company’s expansion. His mother thinks the next stage should be a wife and children, but his sights are set on different fertile grounds.

When Rick and Romy meet, they both forget all about their ambitions. The evening becomes less about revenue than romance, and they get distracted by the music and wine. She thinks he’s the man she needs, both in the restaurant and out. He finds her to be the perfect partner on the dance floor and believes she’ll be the perfect business partner, too. But a series of mix-ups could put an end to everything they’ve started—personally and professionally.

The description of this novella sounded playful and clever and, having read several other books by this author, I knew she wouldn’t let me down. As a wine lover, I awarded bonus points for the setting.

Main character Romy made an appearance in the first book of the Keystone Couples series, and I was thrilled to see her at center stage this time around. Everyone knows it’s difficult to keep restaurants staffed, and even more of a challenge to find competent, loyal employees. Romy goes into crisis mode when her sommelier walks out not only hours before she’s hosting a big event that could bring in more customers, but also the day before Valentine’s Day. Talk about a slimy guy. Rick Santucci is a local vintner hoping to expand his business and get his wines into more restaurants. Sounds like a match made in heaven, right?

Misunderstandings, misidentifications, and miscommunications result in a humorous, but delightful situation that had me snickering while I enjoyed a glass of my favorite red wine. If you’re looking for a heartwarming, feel-good read, look no further. It’s perfect not only for Valentine’s day, but any time of year.

Fiona Finch and the Pink Valentine by Teagan Riordain Geneviene #bookreview #steampunk

Put your feet up and enjoy a whimsical break with this quick, lighthearted story. There’s some romance, and a lot of silliness. It’s a steampunk/Victorian setting. You might call it a long-short story or a novelette.

This is a tale of an old lost valentine and the shenanigans that ensue when it turns up. Fiona Finch and her brother Steele – along with a helping “wing” from Quellie the duck, work to bring two long ago sweethearts back together. Even though it is a Valentine’s Day story, it does not include sex or passionate romance. It does, however, include a lot of imaginative fun.

I’ve read several books by this author and her creativity never ceases to amaze and delight me.  This tale of a lost valentine from years ago and amusing matchmaking efforts at a masquerade ball is guaranteed to leave you with a smile.  Although a quick read, character development certainly isn’t lacking, and you’ll feel as if you’ve spent time with friends by the end of this whimsical novelette.  And did I mention the pet duck?  An absolute scene-stealer.  If you’re in the mood for a light read with a sweet happily ever after, look no further.