Recommended Read, Best of 2010 Pick
My review cross-posted from Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/recommended-reviews/august-2010-recommended-reads/a-vintage-affair-by-josh-lanyon
From the moment he enters the once-grand Southern mansion Ballineen, master of wine Austin Gillespie finds himself in over his head. He’s come to Ballineen, home of the Cashel family, in search of the legendary Lee bottles, four bottles of Madeira that once belonged to General Robert E. Lee. Instead of the priceless bottles of wine, however, Austin is faced with a family that would make even Tennessee Williams do a double-take, a dead body in the wine cellar, and smoothly seductive PI Jeff Brady. Instant attraction flares between Austin and Jeff, but while Austin yearns for a relationship, the deeply-closeted Jeff believes there can be nothing more between them than an all-too-brief affair. Can Austin and Jeff navigate past the crazy Cashel family, the mystery of the body in the cellar, the missing Madeira, and find their way to happily ever after?
It’s precious rare to find a book that crackles with an energy all its own; one where the characters and story are so vivid, the world of the book wraps itself around you and lets you become lost in its pages. A Vintage Affair is such a treasure. Josh Lanyon has a gift for writing rich, interesting books, and A Vintage Affair sits high on my virtual keeper shelf with other gems of his.
I confess, I fell so hard for Austin and Jeff that it was difficult to write this review. Every time I opened the book to start writing, I was lured into their story. Austin, though handsome, intelligent, and rich, managed to tug on my heartstrings quite often, as he is, in many ways, an outsider. He’s also clever and interesting, which was a delight for me, given that A Vintage Affair is from his point of view. While Austin exudes a quiet sensuality, Jeff is all smoldering sexuality. Jeff recognizes that he’s gay, but due to his past and the place he lives, Jeff doesn’t want to accept his sexuality. Because of this, he makes mistakes with Austin, but his reasons for doing what he does are understandable, even though he behaves poorly at times. The obstacles Austin and Jeff face aren’t insurmountable, but they aren’t easily overcome either. I was definitely glued to my seat reading A Vintage Affair, unable to stop reading until the very end…whereupon I wanted to begin the story all over again.
A cast of kooky secondary characters flesh out the world of A Vintage Affair, and I must admit, those crazy Cashels grew on me over the course of the book. There isn’t anything I don’t love about A Vintage Affair, other than the fact that it ultimately had to come to an end.
Like a fine wine, A Vintage Affair is utterly intoxicating and I Joyfully Recommend it!