A Taste of Chardonnay - Heather Heyford

Every time I go browsing through OverDrive's Romance section, I stumble into this book and (keeping in mind my track record with contemporary romance) continue scrolling down the page. However, one of the squares for the 16 Tasks for the Festive Season required a book set in a vineyard/rural area, so I borrowed this book. And I am glad I was forced to, because this book was the perfect balance of sex, characters, and plotline.


Chardonnay St. Pierres (yep that's her name, although she goes by the simple "Char" for most of the book - the other books in the series focus on her sisters - I kid you not - Sauvignon "Savvy", Merlot "Meri", and Sake....) is the middle child and one of the heirs to the Domaine St Pierres fortune and estate. Her family, except for her sisters and her, puts the "dis" in dysfunctional - most notably dear Papa. Char has recently graduated from college and is working hard to open her own charity without dear Papa's money or influence. Her charity helps migrant workers and their families, many of whom work on the vineyards in Napa Valley and her own estate. She is earnest, loving, smart, athletic, and deeply embarrassed with her family's reputation for bad behavior and hopes her charity work will get her family some good PR while also allowing her to have her own identity apart from "Princess St Pierres".


Ryan McBride, Hollywood's newest heartthrob and Napa Valley's hometown boy, is back in town to help the Firefighter Relief Fund, shoot a new movie, and help out his family around the house. Char is impressed that this actor knows so many facts and figures about migrant workers in Napa Valley and his work with the FRF; unfortunately his work with the FRF comes in direct competition with Char's charity, as both are vying for a $1 million dollar donation from the McDaniel Foundation. The FRF is Ryan's passion, as the charity was there for his family when his firefighter dad died in the line of duty...a fire that is connected in some way to Char's dear Papa.


The chemistry between Ryan and Char was both physically and emotionally present; the sex scene was not quite a closed door, but not described in full on detail. Perfect for me. The side characters added to the story and character development of the MCs. To me this book was the anti-rock star and anti-billionaire romance.