I was quite intrigued by the blend of music and wine suggested by the blurb, but this lovely story is so much more. I hope there are more titles in this author’s future.
Author: Erin Finnegan
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: Elizabeth Vest
Rating: 4.75 of 5 Stars
New York-based wine critic Thomas Baldwin can make or break careers with his column for Taste Magazine. But when his publisher orders him to spend a year profiling rising stars of California’s wine country and organizing a competition between the big name wineries of Napa and the smaller artisan wineries of Sonoma, his world gets turned upside-down by an enigmatic young winemaker who puts art before business.
Sotto Voce is the story of love and wine, and how both require patience, passion, an acceptance of change—and an understanding that sometimes, you have to let nature take its course.
Thomas Baldwin, a wine critic and columnist for Taste Magazine, is sent on assignment to the California wine country to plan and arrange a grand competition between the Napa winemakers and those in Sonoma. What he didn’t count on was meeting Greg Kennedy, a handsome and reclusive wine artisan. The grapes and the wine are about to teach them both a few valuable lessons as they begin a slow, cautious dance toward each other. The question is, will they listen…and learn?
“…wine teaches lessons about time, and patience, about priorities and accepting change.”
One does not have to be passionate about wine in order to fall in love with this book, its characters, and the lessons about life and love crafted within its pages. Skillfully woven throughout the story is the art that is the winemaking process, certainly, but the metaphors and parallels of life are unmistakable and ring true with crystal clarity in Sotto Voce.
It is easy as a romance reader to want to “get to the good stuff already!” However, this is not necessarily right for the story, for the characters, or for the reader. Like a good wine, some relationships need time to mature and to develop body and flavor so that they can be enjoyed it to their fullest. Tom and Greg’s slow build is fraught with the ups and downs typical of meeting someone new and those early stages of trying to figure out what makes that other person tick. Greg has a vast wealth of winemaking knowledge and graces Tom and the reader with lovely bits of information about grapes, the soil, and the process of bottling wine. Never did this weigh the story down or detract from the unfolding events. Instead, it served the purpose of showing the time and patience required not only to create a bottle of wine, but also to build a solid foundation for a relationship. Patience pays off, as the bottle is uncorked and its contents savored. The reader is rewarded with the “good stuff,” but when the time is just right, and not a moment before.
Additionally, sacrifices must be made in order to create the perfect bottle of wine, and timing and devotion are critical, much like they are in relationships. Just how much time and sacrifice one is willing to put into a relationship will determine what benefits are reaped in the end, and this is something that Tom and Greg struggle to learn as their story gradually unfolds. Both men are dedicated to their craft and to the commitment it takes to do create a quality product. Whether it is through the fascinating details of Greg’s winemaking or through Tom’s skillfully written articles interspersed throughout the book, Ms. Finnegan artfully portrays each man’s talent and commitment to his passion and the obstacles they can present to a relationship.
No two grape seasons are alike, and accepting and embracing the changes that occur from year to year is part of being a successful winemaker. Tom and Greg, both settled in their respective lives and ways of communicating, struggle with the shifts that their relationship has created in their lives. Their frustrations and hurts are evident and heartbreaking as they hit the obstacles that so often cause rifts and eventual collapse in relationships. It borders on maddening to see these two gorgeous, talented, and engaging men stumbling over miscommunications and miscues.
In this unique, enchanting m/m romance, Erin Finnegan has drawn engaging, lovable characters against a vivid, dramatic backdrop. Set amidst the lush vineyards and charming populace of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, Sotto Voce is a beautiful, elegantly written m/m romance that leaves a delicious aftertaste on the palate and a warm glow within the heart. I highly recommend it.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
|This post may contain affiliate links.
|Prism Book Alliance® assumes no liability for the ownership of photos or content used in guest posts and interviews. The post author assumes all responsibility and liability for this content.|