Published by St. Martin's Press
Cassie Phillips just moved into the small cottage on the Tangled Vines vineyard, but where for most people it would be a cute new home, for Cassie it’s a reminder of all she lost. Cassie grew up in the much larger farmhouse on the vineyard that her family owned until bad decisions by her ailing father placed the entire property and winery all but into bankruptcy. Cassie is torn between being thankful to the new owner while hating him for buying the winery and also for giving her a job as the wine maker. But it might take a lot of time before she is comfortable and friendly with both the new owner and new vineyard manager.
Nathan (Nate) Dunagan is newly hired to be the vineyard manager for Tangled Vines Dry Creek Valley vineyards. And to give him an awesome start, he arrives late and can’t get in because of a dead phone. Taking matters into his own hands, Nate works his way in and looks for the live-in wine maker to let him into his new home. Meeting Cassie gives Nate warm tingles and a case of mild frostbite as Cassie is not ready to welcome Nate with open arms but she does give him the run-down of the vineyard and the farmhouse.
The first day Nate learns why Cassie was so cool, and he works on thawing her out with his charm. Cassie wasn’t ready to warm up to Nate, but something about him pulled her and even she can’t deny the passion that has sprung up between them. Besides figuring out a way to work together, Cassie also needs to make sure her father has all he needs and that he never understands what happened because of his deepening Alzheimer’s. He would be devastated that the winery and vineyard were lost. Cassie and Nate notice some strange things going on around both the vineyard and Cassie’s father. Cassie’s father was with the secret service before he retired and bought the vineyard, and it appears he might be reliving that part of his life when Cassie and Nate visit him. Or is he? Danger and strange things suddenly seem to be surrounding them both in and out of the property. As Nate and Cassie try to figure out what is going on, they discover their passion has turned into love and that the danger is a holdover from an old situation. The ultimate love and trust are going to win the night when the danger comes up close and personal. The outcome will be both love won and love lost when daybreak arrives.
A California vineyard is the centerpiece when two new co-workers discover that the best type of togetherness is love in Tangled. Nate and Cassie came together at a tough time for Cassie, but it turns out that Nate and their new boos were godsends to her. I really enjoyed watching as Cassie came to terms with her situation and realized that she could either stay a bit remote and become bitter or accept the past that was beyond her control and grab into the passion between her and Nate. There were several times I wanted to just hug Cassie’s father and in the end he is the one that gave me a sad smile while at the same time I was cheering for Nate and Cassie. I hope that eventually we learn more about their mysterious boss. Tangled is a short, but engaging story of passion and suspense that is a great start to a new series set in California’s wine country.