Published by William Morrow ISBN 9780062448149
Trade paperback, $14.99, 384 pages
Last week, I read Ann Mah's The Lost Vintage, a dual timeline novel set at a family vineyard in the Burgundy region of France. It was a wonderful piece of literary fiction, and I learned a lot about life at a vineyard.
This week, I read another book set at a family winery, this one in California wine country. Jill Shalvis' Rainy Day Friends opens with thirty year-old Lainie trying to deal with her anxiety long enough to make it through her interview at Capriotti Winery. She applied for a temporary freelance position as a graphic designer, working on marketing products, wine labels and website graphics for the family winery.
The entire Capriotti family is eating their daily lunch out back, and invite Lainie to join them, which panics her. She meets Cora, the CEO of the winery, her daughters, parents, and two adorable, young twin granddaughters, Samantha and Sierra.
The Capriotti Family is boisterous and they all work at the winery at various jobs; all except Samantha and Sierra's handsome father, Mark, who is a deputy sheriff. Sparks fly immediately between Mark and Lainie, but she is not ready for a relationship.
Lainie is widowed, her husband Kyle having died of a heart condition. They had been married for five years when he died. After his death, Lainie discovers that Kyle was a bigamist and had four other wives. This shattered Lainie, and made her untrusting of not only others, but of her own instincts. She would not allow anyone to get close enough to hurt her again.
But the Capriotti family took her in. She adored the twins, and looked forward to being with them. She also liked spending time with Mark, and while a physical relationship with him was hot and heavy, she was not going to get emotionally attached, particularly after Mark said that he wouldn't get involved with another woman until his girls were grown. (Mark's wife left him and the girls.)
The Capriotti family takes in people and brings them into the fold. They took in Holden, a cowboy who cares for the horses at the winery and then one day a young very pregnant woman named River turns up, and Cora takes her in too.
River is hiding the real reason she came to the winery, but she too is happy to become a part of the family. Her mother died and her baby's father abandoned her, and she and Lainie become fast friends as well.
I enjoyed spending time at the Capriotti Winery, and as someone who comes from a big family, I found the Capriottis comforting. The way they tease (and harass) each other will be so familiar to anyone from a large family.
Rainy Day Friends is quick, terrific beach read, and I smiled as one character said that this is "not a Hallmark movie" because I though all throughout the book that this would be a perfect Hallmark movie. If you're looking for a light, sexy story, Rainy Day Friends hits the spot. I recommend it.
Thanks to TLC Tours for putting me on Jill Shalvis' tour. The rest of her tour stops is here: