I love this book. I actually did a bunch of research to get details about vineyards and wine making. It was a ton of fun. And then when Nick and Frankie’s chemistry became combustible … well, I was completely smitten.
I hope you enjoy this excerpt …
Having Nick present while she visited with Joseph wasn’t really in her plans. Frankie had tried to talk Nick into taking the motorcycle to the hospital later in the morning but Margaret had come running down the granite steps swinging a picnic basket as Frankie was climbing into the truck. She handed it to Nick with two quick kisses on his cheeks and stood watching as he climbed into the passenger side of the cab and they pulled from the driveway.
Now they were headed into town, the midmorning sun hanging in an azure sky, its rays dancing on Seneca Lake. Normally Frankie would have loved a day like this but the cab seemed claustrophobic with Nick Gradin’s surly attitude sitting between them.
“It’s not my fault you didn’t know who I was,” she said quietly.
Turning to her, he cocked a skeptical eyebrow and crossed his arms over his chest.
“You knew your father had a stepdaughter.”
“And a child bride,” Nick remarked coldly. “I expected my stepsister to have pigtails and braces.
Not…” His hand motioned up and down her torso.
“Well, you didn’t seem to mind the package yesterday.”
“Yesterday I thought you were Joseph’s assistant.”
“Funny, yesterday I thought you were a womanizing pig of a manwhore.” She shot him a patronizing smile. “Guess one of us was right.”
He frowned. “If you’ll recall, I wasn’t the one who came on to you in the field.”
“As I recall, it was you who was ready for action in the wine cellar.”
“I was simply reading the signals you were sending out.”
“Then you have a faulty GPS.”
“My wiring is just fine thank you.”
“I suppose you think it is, with all the woman you have tumbling into your posh Philadelphia bed.”
“Now what the hell is that supposed to mean?”
“Oh, as if you don’t know.”
“I have no idea what you’re…oh, this is stupid. Pull over here.” Nick motioned to a dirt road that led to a small alcove near the lake.
She’d been parking there once in high school.
“I’m not going to see Joseph until we clear this up and can at least be civil to each other,” he said.
Frankie acquiesced. He was right. It wouldn’t do Joseph any good to have them bickering in front of him. She turned the truck into the trees, their pumpkin and gold leaves floating passively on the gentle breeze. They bumped down the dirt tracks, the center lane overgrown with the dried weeds of summer. Frankie felt as if she was entering the lion’s mouth. Anger surrounded Nick like the cloud of dust trailing behind them. She had no idea why he was so pissed when she’d only spoken the truth.