In Tangled Vines by Nicole Flockton, after her boyfriend cheated her out of the credit she deserved in her career, Jordan Hastings is not about to let another man get the best of her. When her father is injured, and finds himself incapable of his duty as caretaker at a rural vineyard, Jordan decides to step into the role. As tending the neglected grapes on the property might just help get her career back on track.
”Do you think we can have this conversation when I’m dressed?”
A small smile broke out on Kyle’s face as his eyes lazily roamed over her towel-clad form. “No why would I do that? Seems to me this is the perfect time for a chat.”
After losing his family around Christmas time, Kyle Davis has always spent the holiday alone. Yet, this year, he finds his Margaret River property occupied by the caretaker’s daughter. And no matter how hard he pleads for her to leave; she’s determined to get him to let her stay. Can Kyle trust her enough to tell her about his tragic past in hopes he’ll finally be able to move forward, or will he continue to spend his life alone?
I absolutely love romance novels that are set in my home country (Australia), and this book by Ms. Flockton was such a pleasure to read. Encompassing a hero with a serious case of survivor’s guilt that makes him a Grinch at Christmas and a heroine determined to get her career back on track while helping the hero finally move forward from his past. Right from the beginning, the fast-pace of the plot was set by Kyle’s affliction with Christmas, and the fact that he’d rather be alone, which had me intrigued to learn his reasons why he didn’t enjoy the holiday.
Jordan laughed softly. “Yes, I am. I’m sorry. I have to make sure it’s cleaned. But,” she paused, patting his hand, “if you’re a good boy, you’ll get a lollipop.”
Kyle snorted. “There aren’t any lollipops in the house. Besides,” he angled his head and fixed his gaze on her lips for a moment, “I can think of something sweeter I’d prefer.”
The playful banter between this couple builds some seriously strong sexual tension, and makes it inevitable that they’ll give into their instant chemistry. I loved how Jordan fights for what she wants, and isn’t about to give into Kyle’s demands. As he needs someone to help him realize that his family wouldn’t want him to be alone for the rest of his life because he survived and they didn’t. The moment where Kyle tells Jordan all about his family tragedy was quite emotional, and made me cry.
I absolutely loved this couple. Although Kyle tries his best to fight their intense chemistry because he feels he doesn’t deserve to be happy, it’s impossible once Jordan gets him to open up about why Christmas is a difficult time for him. And eventually, the intimacy they share spills over onto the pages with such passion that had me cheering for this couple. Since no-one deserves happiness more than Kyle.
Fine. I decided to ignore your edict to leave.”
“Because kicking me out purely because I put a Christmas tree up is stupid.”
Jordan is such a strong heroine, and what I liked so much about her was her unwillingness to back down from something she feels extremely passionate about. Honestly, she needs Kyle just as much as he needs her to repair her faith in men. To prove that there are still good guys in the world, ones that wouldn’t take advantage of her success. While Kyle, he’s haunted by his past and I found I was really drawn in by his point-of-view. As he struggles to deal with having Jordan invade his alone time, and her zest for Christmas and the grapes on his property; two things he wants nothing to do with as they are painful reminders, of all that he’s lost.
In the end, Tangled Vines by Nicole Flockton was a well-written, emotional tale that has left me wanting to read more books by this author. I loved how Shey, one of the secondary characters, was determined to play matchmaker because she wanted Kyle to be happy. If it wasn’t for Shey’s deviousness, I’m not sure Kyle and Jordan would have found their happy ever after. As for the ending, it was perfect. Kyle finally has a chance to fully heal from the loss of his family, and the way Jordan and Kyle plan to honor his sister’s memory was wonderful.
I would highly recommend this novella, especially if you’re looking for a quick, highly emotional tale where the heroine helps the hero to heal from his past and makes him realize that his family would want him to be happy.
This charming Australian rural romance will remind you of the true meaning of the holiday spirit and the power of love.
Kyle Davis doesn’t do Christmas since he lost his whole family in the Boxing Day tsunami last decade. His idea of celebrating is going to his Margaret River property and cuddling up with his liquor cabinet. So finding Jordan Hastings in his shower is unacceptable—no matter how his body responds to her, a relationship is not on his holiday wish list.
After being betrayed by the man she thought loved her, winemaker Jordan has taken over her father’s caretaker position—and a little bit more— at the rural vineyard. She’s trying to get her career on track by bringing the neglected grapes on the property back to life. Handsome Kyle is hard to resist, especially after they grow closer and she learns of his tragic past. But falling for a man who controls her employment is not on the table.
Yet the more time they spend together, the more it appears that taking another risk on living and loving could be the best Christmas gift after all.