One of the things I have learned about this author is that she creates wonderfully humorous contemporary romances and “Let It Breathe” is no exception. The madcap adventures manage to showcase various aspects of enology and wildlife rescue, and promotes environmental stewardship while telling a tale of tensions and danger escalating that threatens the winery itself. The serious emotional obstacles that must be overcome provide a somewhat somber aspect but it is impossible to be too depressed when there are characters like Axl and Leon around to keep one entertained.
Unfortunately, for me, there are just too many quirky folks and odd relationships abounding, although I admit that I was surprised by the big reveal at the end, and I thought the dynamics between the three friends is troubling and awkward. I’m glad to see that Clay found a way to improve himself and I hope he is being realistic about his willpower and comfort but I am not convinced that there will be smooth sailing from here on out. The relationships between some of the secondary characters are also uncomfortable for me, and I hope that they will smooth out and get addressed in a future story. That is the impressive aspect of this author’s talent…that I have enough connection with her characters that I am concerned for them! I think there are great scenes in this story, but it is not my favorite by this author.
“Let It Breathe” by Tawna Fenske follows vineyard manager Reese Clark who is struggling to keep her family winery profitable even as a series of potential disasters complicate plans for renovation and expansion. Adding to the mix is the unexpected stress of renewing a relationship with a former friend who is a reformed alcoholic, the opposition of her ex-husband/winemaker…not to mention friction with a local competitor, and the questionably legal machinations of her colorful grandfather who doesn’t mind bending laws to suit himself. It’s enough to drive a person to be very enthusiastic about sampling her own wines, let alone needing to apply the concept of ‘let it breathe’ to her life as well.
Forbidden fruit can be downright intoxicating.
Vineyard manager Reese Clark is determined to bring her family’s Oregon winery into the big leagues, and she knows building a new tasting room and event pavilion is her ticket there. Having her ex-husband’s best friend—and her secret college crush—turn up to head the construction project, however, doesn't pair well with her plans. Between her nauseating lovebird parents; her motorcycle-riding, pot-growing grandfather; and her pet alpaca, fond of head-butting groins, Reese has more than enough chaotic characters in her life.
Back in college, Clay Henderson was more likely to be sprawled over a bar than building one. But even if the new clean-living Clay has matured as deliciously as an oak-aged chardonnay, he’s still off-limits. As Reese’s well-laid plans for the winery crumble like bad cork, Clay the newly sober gentleman is sweet enough to rescue Reese from a wardrobe malfunction and still spicy enough to play “I Never” with her. Can he overcome his past rep to offer her a love too heady to ignore?