I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Unfortunately Yours by Tessa Bailey
Series: A Vine Mess #2
Published by Avon on June 6, 2023
Genres: Contemp Romance
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A down-on-her-luck Napa heiress suggests a mutually beneficial marriage of convenience to a man she can't stand... only to discover there's a fine line between love and hate.
After losing her job and her fiancé in one fell swoop, Natalie Vos returned home to lick her wounds. A few months later, she's sufficiently drowned her sorrows in cabernet and she's ready to get back on her feet. She just needs her trust fund to finance her new business venture. Unfortunately, the terms require she marry before she can have the money. And well, dumped, remember? But Natalie is desperate enough to propose to a man who makes her want to kill him--and kiss him, in equal measure.
August Cates may own a vineyard, but he doesn't know jack about making wine. He's determined to do his late best friend proud, no matter what it takes. Except his tasting room is empty, his wine is disgusting (seriously, he once saw someone gag), and his buddy's legacy is circling the drain. No bank will give him the loan he needs to turn the business around... and then the gorgeous, feisty heiress knocks on his door. Natalie has haunted his dreams since the moment they met, but their sizzling chemistry immediately morphed into simmering insults.
Now, a quickie marriage could help them both. A sham wedding, a few weeks living under the same roof, and then they can go their separate ways--assuming they make it out alive. How hard could it be? There's just one thing they didn't account for: their unfortunate, unbearable, undeniable attraction.
I have heard nothing but great things about Tessa Bailey, so when I saw this book at Target I immediately grabbed it. (Full disclosure I did get this book from Netgalley as well, but in my excitement, I also grabbed it at Target). This book is about a former Navy SEAL who lost a friend on a mission and his goal is to now fulfill his friend’s dream of owning a winery and making wine. The problem with this? He doesn’t know anything about making wine or owning a winery.
Natalie is winery royalty. Or at least her family is. She’s the family screw-up, and no matter what she’s done with her life since her teenage years, that title never seems far behind her. And in her desire to escape that reputation, she went to New York and had an amazing job making a lot of people a lot of money. Until one bad investment sends her back to Napa with her tail between her legs to lick her wounds.
The book opens with August trying his new wine at a competition where Natalie is one of the judges. The two of them had an almost night so they weren’t strangers, but August constantly seems to put his foot in his mouth, and doesn’t know how to stop it. So he and Natalie keep throwing out barbs at each other and the chemistry is off the charts. But…there are moments where he sees her. And those moments are everything. They make the book. This author is brilliant with her sexual tension, her banter, her character driven plots, but having August see in Natalie what everyone else is missing, even Natalie herself, is wonderful.
They’re both in need of something. He needs capital to continue his winery dream, and she needs her trust fund so she can head back to New York and start her own investment firm. Her fiance left her after she got fired, and surprisingly, the more time she spends bickering with August, the less she cares about her ex. And when her father refuses to unlock her trust fund unless she’s married, she decided August will be her perfect fake husband. She can help him get a loan for his business, and she can get her money and head back to New York. Win-win.
But it’s never that easy, is it?
Her family doesn’t believe her that it’s a love match. She’s already been the person everyone talks about in town, so her mom wants her to just quietly back out and let her do damage control. But Natalie is adamant so her mom plans a huge Napa winery heiress worthy wedding very quickly and that wedding was wonderful. August was wonderful. He’s just what Natalie needs. Even if she doesn’t realize it herself.
August is stubborn, though. And patient. He’s willing to put in the time and effort with Natalie. Suddenly his marriage of convenience begins to mean a whole lot more to him that just the financing for the vineyard and winery. But how can he convince Natalie to stay with him?
This book is sexy, it’s funny, and it’s deep. Natalie is trying to mend her relationship with her mom, she’s trying to prove herself to the world, and not even realizing that she doesn’t need to. I really enjoyed the ending and I will definitely be reading more Tessa Bailey books. She could teach a master class on banter and chemistry.