Synopsis from Good Reads:
From the “sharp, sassy, [and] surprisingly emotional”* author of Put a Ring on It, New Uses for Old Boyfriends, and The Week Before the Wedding, a new novel set in the charming seaside town of Black Dog Bay, Delaware…
Cammie Breyer needs a big glass of cabernet—her restaurant failed and her chef boyfriend left for a hotter kitchen. Just when she thinks she’s hit rock bottom, her Aunt Ginger calls with a surprise. She’s bought a vineyard—in Delaware. At Ginger’s command, Cammie returns to Black Dog Bay, the seaside town where she spent her childhood summers with her aunt and her cousin, Kat.
The three women reunite, determined to succeed. There’s only one little problem: None of them knows the first thing about wine making. And it turns out, owning a vineyard isn’t all wine and roses. It’s dirt, sweat, and desperation. Every day brings financial pitfalls, unruly tourists, romantic dilemmas, and second thoughts. But even as they struggle, they cultivate hidden talents and new passions. While the grapes ripen under the summer sun, Cammie discovers that love, like wine, is layered, complex, delicious, and worth waiting for…
I just discovered this series and this author this year and she’s become one of my favorite chick lit authors. I’ve been looking forward to reading Once Upon a Wine for quite awhile and it surpassed my expectations. I really, really enjoyed this book.
I loved the family dynamic in this book. I loved how close Cammie was to her cousin, Kat, and her aunt, Ginger. I loved Ginger and Kat’s mother-daughter relationship, as well. They were such a realistic portrayal of family, even when the circumstances were occasionally quite unrealistic. They were there for each other and supported and encouraged each other, but also disagreed with and fought with each other. They all had a bit of a lesson to learn throughout the story and I enjoyed watching their character development.
I also really enjoyed the romance(s), though it didn’t play as big a part as I was expecting. I am quite in love with Ian, Cammie’s former and current love interest. I think part of it is because he reminded me a lot of Cooper from the Anna Curtis series. Though I did have some small issues with him when they were 22, he definitely grew up during their time apart. As an adult he knew what he wanted when it came to Cammie and he didn’t make a secret of it, but he didn’t pressure her at all. He was just there for her and cared for her and was so, so sweet and I am just so fricking in love with him I can’t even handle it. On the other end of the romantic spectrum, we have Kat who is married, but is having a bit of an early mid-life crisis and isn’t sure if she wants to be married anymore. I enjoyed seeing how her and Josh’s relationship changed throughout the book and that again it seemed like a pretty realistic portrayal of how love and marriages need to evolve over time.
There were some cameos from some of the characters from the previous books in the series, but there weren’t as many as I was hoping for. There was also way less emphasis put on Black Dog Bay being a break up town, though it did still play a part. This installment almost seemed more of a standalone than part of the series, though. Which isn’t a bad thing because it was still such a great book, but as a fan of the series I wish it was a little more inclusive.
Overall, I just really loved Once Upon a Wine. I loved the characters and the relationships and the romance. Beth Kendrick has really become one of my favorite authors of this genre and I definitely recommend this book (and series) to Chick Lit/Contemporary fans.
Overall Rating (out of 5): 4 Stars