Book Review: Vines by Brynne Asher

Title: Vines (Killers #1)
Author: @BrynneAsher
Reviewer: Grace
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Length: 316 pages
Rating: 4.25 Stars


In the Virginia countryside outside of Washington, DC, Addy Wentworth was on a mission to make a new life for herself. When the opportunity arose, she settled in horse and wine country. Experiencing more than her fair share of tragedy and loss, she had plans for her future, one where failure wasn’t an option. And not just because people and cows were counting on her. She’d poured everything she had into her struggling vineyard, because once she’s in, she’s all in.

After giving himself wholly to the job for ten years, Crew Vega was done. He’d fulfilled his commitment, done his duty, gone above and beyond to settle the score. And the score was high. All he had to do was train his replacements and he’d be out for good.

He had a plan, one that didn’t include getting involved with his new neighbor, a woman who not only kept cows for pets, but treasured her employees as family, and understood him better than anyone ever had before. But when he learned a high level CIA target being investigated for treason was keeping tabs on her?

No, he never planned on that.

And like everything Crew Vega did in life, when he goes in, he’s all in.

Warning: I’m a devout member of the mama club and don’t want to get kicked out by angry mamas. If you aren’t eighteen, turn around, go drink your milk and eat your veggies, it’s good for your bones. And go to bed early, you’re still growing, your body needs sleep. And don’t text and drive. And be nice, sit with the kid who sits alone at lunch. And read a PG-13 book, it’s good for your brain. And go tell your mama you love her. Chop-chop, run along now. I’ll see you back when you’re eligible to vote.

Grace Review

Sometimes the past just won’t stay in the past.

This is the story of a woman trying to build a new life for herself, surrounded by good people, great wine, and a pesky neighbor who won’t stay out of her business.

I’ve been meaning to start this author’s books for a long time.  Not only is her work often compared to one of my favorite authors, but fellow Shortie, Ivy, speaks highly of her work, as one of her beta readers.  Throw in that this book is in my favorite genre, romantic suspense, and I was in.

Immediately, the setting of this story drew me in, being close to what I currently call home.  Just the mention of certain towns and stores within the Virginia area, and I knew the author had either lived her, or done some really good research (the first guess happens to be correct).  Many people probably wouldn’t think of Virginia has a big wine producer, but just head West of DC, and you would be surprised how many vineyards exist within the valleys of VA.  And that is the heart of this story, with a vineyard called Whitetail.

Addison “Addy”, one the book’s two main POVs, is an easy heroine to like.  As the owner of Whitetail, she has a goofy yet sassy demeanor that was amusing, and that is all too evident when she meets her new neighbor, Crew Vega.  This guy’s background is as odd as his name, and it takes time for the two to actually get along.  This mostly stems from Crew being ultra-secretive and not being very friendly early on.  But when trouble comes Addison’s way, his background and conscience won’t allow him to stand by.

While Addy and Crew seem to be attracted to one another, it takes some time for the sparks to fly between them.  Addy is a bit of a brat around him, and it is not until Crew has to think fast on his feet with danger present, that the attraction is exposed.  And for Crew, it is game over.  He just wants more from Addy, despite the risks.

“I was going to wait ‘til your shit settled to make my move, but after you fell apart in my arms last night, I can’t be anywhere but here.”

Bring on the sexy times!

“You run this hot for me, I’m not lettin’ you go. You can break in my new desk while I eat you for lunch.”

The suspense in this story is slow to build, but it’s an underlying theme that was unpredictable.  Did Crew do enough to protect Addy?  Was the man from Addy’s past out to harm or protect her?  Would the bigger players get involved to eliminate, what they saw as a threat?

To avoid spoilers, I won’t answer the above questions, but with the occasional POV from one of the “bad guys”, it seemed like nothing could keep her safe.

Although Addy and Crew are the heart of this story, I loved the supporting cast of characters.  On the light side is Addy’s staff at Whitetail, who are funny, caring, and supportive, creating a family like feel to the story.  On the dark side is Crew’s team, who seem to have a lot of personal demons that they try to hide, all while being bad asses.  I’m excited for the next installment of the series, which features Grady and Maya.

– Grace

*An ARC was received for an honest review.

Amazon US – Amazon UK


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