Sunday, 2 June 2013

The Crush by Susan X Meagher

Nicola Bagnolesi is happily working at her father’s advertising agency in Chicago when she gets a terrible shock. Aldo Bagnolesi, her father, has just gained control of the winery in Tuscany that has been in his family for years. There is just one tiny problem with this, Aldo needs someone to run it for the next two years as he can’t retire just yet. Who better than his expendable daughter, Nicola?

Nicola feels pressured into agreeing, even though she knows nothing about wine and has no interest in living in Italy. Heck, she doesn’t even speak Italian. It’s only for two years though, how hard can it be?

Nicola finds out that living in Italy isn’t at all how she’d imagined it. She has no friends, the language barrier is a big problem and the easy caretaker life she’d envisaged isn’t happening. Nicola decides that she can and will do something about the no friends situation and heads to Florence to a gay bar. This is the one decision that could change her life forever. She connects with a beautiful, sexy, lesbian and she seems just as interested in Nicola as Nicola is in her. Plus she speaks English.

Is Nicola silly to set such great store by one meeting? Or should she throw doubts and caution to the wind?

Another winning hot romance story from Susan Meagher. This book is refreshingly different from others I’ve read recently. The setting is Italy, the scenic descriptions are beautiful. Easy to visualize myself in Italy in the vineyard picking the grapes with Nicola and Chiara.

Both Nicola and Chiara are wonderful, multifaceted, well formed characters, easy to get to know and love. They are backed up by a great cast of equally well formed characters to enhance and progress the story right through to the end.

This goes beyond a romance, to the art of winemaking, bringing in some history of Italy and encompassing Nicola’s difficult and complex relationship with her father. (I could have cheerfully shaken him on more than one occasion). The story also shows how Nicola went from a rather slap dash and spoilt girl, used to having her own way, to the sophisticated, knowledgeable women she became. The fact that the romance is hot doesn’t hurt either. This is a book I will read again to savor the story and it’s settings.


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