by Cheryl Adnams
Published by Random House Australia
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Words that should not be in romance novels:
#2:”curves in all the right places”,
One live-in job, as a B&B manager at a vineyard.
One woman, Gabrielle, running from a dud relationship.
Three brothers, her employers, betting each other a hundred bucks that they can get into her pants first.
I loved the setting of this book, a McLaren Vale vineyard. I enjoyed the descriptions of the cellar door and event life of that vineyard (though I might have liked a longer time spread, giving us some idea of the annual/seasonal flow of the winemaking business). I liked that the heroine was dedicated and competent at her job, even though the work was unfamiliar to her at first.
But the objectification just got to me too much at the beginning of this book, meaning that by the time the redemption eventually came around, I was just too angry at these sexist twits. The “lovable rogue” thing only goes so far for me.
“Staggering out of the bedroom and through the tiny lounge room, she yanked open the front door.
Seth’s eyebrows shot up into his floppy blond hair. The scowl on Gabrielle’s face could have shrivelled a man’s testicles into sultanas.
‘Morning!’ he said cheerfully and loudly. He saw her wince. As he had suspected, part of her scowl was due to a hangover.
‘Not yet it’s not,’ she argued, one tiny hand on her hip as she squinted past him into the darkness.
‘Morning starts early around here.’ He pushed his way past her and into the house, making himself at home.”
“‘You called your dog Stupid?’
‘Uh, yeah,’ he said, grinning. ‘His mother was Careless.’
Gabrielle frowned, confused. ‘Careless?’
‘Yeah, she was careless a lot,’ Seth added apparently enjoying her bewilderment. ‘She had three litters of pups to multiple unknown partners.’
‘That makes no sense,’ Gabrielle argued. ‘She wasn’t born careless. So that can’t be how she got her name.’
‘Well I could hardly call her Slut now, could I?’ Seth grinned crookedly. “
One brother in particular, as well as engaging in this disgusting bet and making sexist remarks, deliberately calls the heroine by a nickname she hates despite her specifically asking him not to. And the three brothers? Not only are they Gabrielle’s employers, controlling her income, they also control whether she has somewhere to live, somehow making the workplace harassment even more distasteful. Lastly, the sexual violence (none of the brothers were involved) was completely unnecessary to the plot.
Just not the book for me. But if you like the arsehole-to-lover plot, go for it.
Content notes for animal abuse, child abuse “jokes”, misogyny, sexual violence.
I received this book from Netgalley for review consideration.