Title: Syrah by Nessa L. Warin
Series: All Corked Up #1
Genre: M/M Romance, Contemporary
Published August 7th 2013 by Dreamspinner Press
Length: 200 pages
Rating: 3 Stars
All Corked Up: Book One
All Shawn Neale is looking for when he stumbles into All Corked Up on Christmas Eve is some wine recommendations. What he finds is an instant attraction to Royce Wilkinson, the shop’s owner. After a few weeks of flirting during shopping and some semi-dates at Royce’s wine tastings, they decide on a real date. It goes well, but life isn’t that simple.
Shawn wants to buy Delicto, the local pub he manages. He’s been planning his life around this for years, but when the owner, who believes being gay is an illness, discovers Shawn went out with Royce, he gives Shawn an ultimatum: stop dating guys or he won’t get to buy Delicto. It’s a heartbreaking quandary: Can Royce and Shawn be happy with a secret relationship until Shawn buys Delicto or is Shawn going to have to choose between his dream job and his dream guy?
Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4068
Shawn meets Royce at All Corked Up, a wine shop, and they have instant chemistry. They go out on a date but somehow, Shawn's homophobic boss finds out. His boss refuses to sell Shawn Delicto, a restaurant where Shawn works as a manager, unless he quits dating Royce. Royce has to make a decision between his dream of owning Delicto or his potential HEA with Royce.
I really dislike Shawn's character and how he succumb to his homophobic boss' demands to quit dating Royce. I can understand why he act the he way he did, but that doesn't make his character more likeable for me. It takes multiple people, multiple tries to get him to see reason and go after his happiness instead of his dream. The choice he has to make is hard for everybody but Shawn's salvation comes from his friends, not from deep within him.
I don't like how the problems with Shawn's job is so easily solved. The HEA ending is too perfect and simplistic that it's not worth the trouble these characters went through for the majority of the book to reach that conclusion.
On the other hand, both Shawn and Royce have charming best friends that seem annoying at first but really put their best interest at heart. They save the book for me.
I love the descriptions on the wines, wine tasting, and what wine goes with what food. That certainty adds to the charm of this book. The romance is okay even though I didn't like Shawn's character. Overall, this is a charming story about two men in a relationship at different points in their lives, both trying to achieve their dreams and finding the love of their lives.
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