Format Read: PDF
Release Date: June 28, 2012
Buying Links: Amazon Entangled
Book Blurb (from goodreads):
Before Tessa met Royal Andreas, her bookstore was on the verge of sinking. And before Tessa met Royal Andreas, she didn't mind being single. But Royal brings in business with monthly wine tastings featuring his family's signature vintages--and brings Tessa's heart to a standstill with intense gray eyes that look on her with nothing but cool indifference.
Yet one searing kiss between the stacks gives Tessa a glimpse of the passion smoldering beneath--and a secret pain further revealed when Royal fills in as the musician at a tasting event. Every note of Spanish guitar tells a story of family tragedy, loss, and ongoing suffering that's made Royal afraid to lean on anyone...even if he needs Tessa's sweet flavor more than the richest wine. Only her strength can save him when his world crumbles to ashes. But has Royal learned trust too late to claim Tessa as his own?
Reviewed By: Bea
I got about 10% into the book, happily reading, and then went, "Oh hell". I didn't realize that a major plot line involved cancer. I go out of my way to avoid books, movies, plays, etc about cancer; they just shred me. Taryn and I talked and I decided to keep reading, see how it went. There were some rough moments, cancer is not fun to read about but it's not the main plot, the romance is. I made it through the book and while it was wrenching at times, it was doable.
Royal and Tessa have been dancing around each other for years but haven't done anything about their mutual interest. Finally, temptation is too much, and the circumstances are right. But of course their relationship doesn't go smoothly; Royal has a huge secret he's keeping from Tessa and he pushes her away again. Trust is a problem for both of them, as is communication. There were times I wanted to slap Royal for being so close-mouthed and for not letting people in. Tessa is a control freak and has trouble letting go and just relaxing.
There's a scene about halfway through the book that had me roaring with laughter. Royal has pushed Tessa away, and she's at a friend's house. She and her friend Mercy (and every time I read that name, I immediately thought of Mercy from Patricia Briggs' books, :D) get rip-roaring drunk, call Mercy's neighbor and just generally make asses of themselves. The scene helps ease the tension in the story, shows us more about both Tessa and Mercy and leads into the next portion of the book. It was a good interval, funny as heck and a very well done bridge into the second half of the book. It also helped me gather my courage to keep reading.
The second half of the book is a mix of hope and despair. Hope for Tessa and Royal as they come together and break down the barriers between them; despair as the person suffering from cancer gets weaker and crankier. Elliott writes beautifully about the pain and numbness and anger that families deal with when a member has cancer. In the midst of all this, Tessa and Royal's love grows and they both learn, with difficulty, to let go and to trust.
Although Elliott perfectly captured the emotional havoc that cancer causes in a family, I didn't completely buy Royal's reasoning for not getting involved with Tessa; it did make sense but I think a little more background into who Royal was pre-cancer havoc would have been good. It would have laid the groundwork for where Royal is emotionally when the story starts. Despite that, "Ashes and Wine" is an emotional ride, a sweet love story, full of humor, grief, joy, loss and hope. Pour yourself a glass of wine and curl up on the couch with it.
I received a PDF from the publisher for review.
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