Title: Let It Breathe
Author: Tawna Fenske
My Rating: B+
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Main Characters: Reese and Clay
Release Date: March 2016
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Sexual Intensity: hot
Forbidden fruit can be downright intoxicating.
Vineyard manager Reese Clark is determined to bring her family’s Oregon winery into the big leagues, and she knows building a new tasting room and event pavilion is her ticket there. Having her ex-husband’s best friend—and her secret college crush—turn up to head the construction project, however, doesn’t pair well with her plans. Between her nauseating lovebird parents; her motorcycle-riding, pot-growing grandfather; and her pet alpaca, fond of head-butting groins, Reese has more than enough chaotic characters in her life.
Back in college, Clay Henderson was more likely to be sprawled over a bar than building one. But even if the new clean-living Clay has matured as deliciously as an oak-aged chardonnay, he’s still off-limits. As Reese’s well-laid plans for the winery crumble like bad cork, Clay, the newly sober gentleman, is sweet enough to rescue Reese from a wardrobe malfunction and still spicy enough to play “I Never” with her. Can he overcome his bad-boy reputation to offer her a love too heady to ignore?
Reese's family is not normal, and that makes her life a bit difficult since she works with them all day-in and day-out at the family vineyard which Reese manages. There are her parents who have the perfect and highly sexually active marriage...which makes Reese highly uncomfortable most the time. There's her 80 yo grandfather who is part of a motorcycle gang trying to make a living doing illegal things at the families vineyard which usually requires growing some sort of drug. There's her nymphomaniac cousin who likes to drink more than she should. And there's also her ex-husband who's the vineyard's head vintner and his wife who is one of Reese's bff's. This isn't a normal bunch, and most days Reese barely holds it all together. She's the only sane one in the bunch.
At least that's the case until Clay shows up. Clay used to be the third in Reese's college friends...the three-musketeers...Eric, Clay, and Reese. She married Eric and Clay ended up in rehab after a bad night at the bar ended with Reese at the ER. That was 4 years ago and Clay hasn't been back since. Now he's there to supervise the construction site for the vintner's new building.
Clay is home to build the new building, but he's also there to make amends. Although he apologized through his steps during rehab that isn't enough in his book. He has so much to make up for and he wants to start by showing Reese just how much he's changed and matured.
There were several underlying themes to this story that I just loved. The marriage theme was amazing. Reese has always seen her parent's marriage as this perfect entity. She thought everyone had it that easy. So when she married her best friend, Eric, she didn't understand how they could screw it up so badly. They were divorced within a year. Because while they loved one another, they weren't in love with one another and a marriage needs passion. Reese now isn't sure she will ever be married although she envies her parents so much.
There are quite a few realizations for her throughout the story. There are also realizations for Clay, too. He has this idea in his mind that to be sober he has to be somber and mature, even though that is not the guy who lives in his brain.
Overall, I just really liked this book. I enjoyed every single minute reading it and had quite a few smiling moments throughout. I definitely recommend it.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.