Thursday, May 3, 2018

Blogger Review: Corked by Brigham Vaughn

Sean Powell is having a terrible day. When he walks into Bistro Argent, ready to unwind over a glass of wine with the sommelier, he’s stunned to discover his friend has been replaced by a hot young guy with big ideas. Lucas Spencer is determined to liven up the staid and stodgy wine list, but his brash approach alienates the wine distributor during their first meeting.

There’s no avoiding each other though and the more they butt heads, the hotter the tension between them gets. As they work together and their relationship progresses, they have to figure out how to blend their professional frustration and personal attraction without risking their careers.

Lucas is eleven years younger than Sean, and despite their sizzling chemistry and compatibility, Sean can’t quite believe the feelings are mutual. A wine tasting trip to Traverse City, Michigan threatens their fledgling relationship. Sean’s insecurities rise to the surface as Lucas’s fears of losing Sean lead to jealousy.

Does the relationship have legs or will they find out it’s corked?

Originally published as the "Wine Tasting Series". "Corked" is an expanded re-release with new editing and over 8,000 words of additional content!

With the horrendous day Sean Powell was having he was at least looking forward to ending it with a little chat with his friend and sommelier at Bistro Argent as they talked over the wine order, what he wasn't expecting was to discover his friend had retired and in his place was the young new sommelier Lucas Spencer.  Lucas is hoping to update the wine list at the restaraunt but his first meeting with the distributer doesn't go as he planned.  When Sean and Lucas can't deny their attraction any more will their love of wine be enough to build something lasting?

First and foremost, I have to admit to you all that I really hate wine.  Perhaps "hate" is a bit strong but I'd rather have a Tom Collins with my meal than a glass of wine.  Now, you don't have to enjoy wine to enjoy Corked but I think it speaks to the talent of the author when one of the characters(and yes I feel the wine is such a factor to the story that its a character all on its own) is not liked and the reader is still enthralled.

Speaking of characters, the chemistry between Sean and Lucas is immediate but the boys don't make it easy.  As for Sean, well some probably take an instant dislike to him but as someone who has had the horrendous kind of day that he had I can understand his gruff attitude.  Lucas is adorable, there's just no better way to describe him, he is simply and completely adorable.  Their passion may light up the page but its their inner thoughts that give Corked its heart.  Not everyone likes alternating POVs but personally, I love them.  Being able to see inside each character's soul just makes the story more realistic and emotional for me, it helps me connect to them.

I read Sean and Lucas' journey in its original novella form Wine Tasting Series and I loved it, the tweaking and additions Brigham Vaughn has made as she released it in one story, Corked, has only made it even better.  Some times when an author or director adds material to their original work it really only clutters the story but not this time.  If you loved their journey in the original series you will be head over heels with this version and if you never experienced Wine Tasting Series than you are in for a real treat.

Original Wine Tasting Novella Trilogy Reviews May 2014:
Spit and Swallow #1
An awesome read from an awesome author! Definitely check it out!

Aftertaste #2
Once again, she does it! How she keeps doing, I don't know but I'm so grateful she does.

Finish #3
Such a beautiful conclusion to this amazing novella trilogy.


“I disagree. I think customers want to be educated. As a sommelier, it’s my job to shape palates not cater to them,” Lucas said. “You’re not giving them enough credit. They want to learn. They just lack the opportunities.”

Sean snorted derisively. “And you give the general public way too much credit.”

Lucas rolled his eyes. “I’m not saying it’ll be easy, or that we should make these changes all at once, but I think there’s a real opportunity here. And look, I think if I add a good description, a tasting note of sorts on the menu, people would be drawn in. Hell, I’m willing to crack open some bottles and offer people samples before their meal. I’ve seen it done successfully in other restaurants. We can market it as a house wine and offer it by the glass.”

Sean sneered at him. “Look, kid, I get you think you know it all, but I’ve been in this business longer than you and I know the way this works.”

“Kid?” Lucas sputtered.

The argument devolved from there. Sean grew progressively less open-minded and Lucas grew more frustrated. When Sean began pacing the room Lucas soon stood too, then tension that had been on a low simmer spilling over into a furious boil.

“Just listen for a goddamn minute,” Lucas snarled. He spun and faced Sean and realized they were nearly nose to nose. The tension crackled between them, heating the air. Already worked up over their argument, frustrated by the constant bickering, and wanting Sean so bad he physically ached for it, Lucas finally snapped. He shoved Sean back against the wall, pinning him against it and ravaging his mouth. Sean gripped his shirt and Lucas half-expected him to shove him away, but instead, he surrendered with a needy groan that went straight to Lucas’s cock.

“Why the fuck do I want you so much?” Lucas growled, trailing his lips down Sean’s neck.

“You think I know?” Sean asked with a gasp, gripping Lucas’s shoulders so tight that it seemed like he might leave bruises. “I don’t even like you. I don’t want to want you.”

His words were offset by the way he tilted his head to let Lucas bite and nip at his neck. The needy way he rubbed his hardening cock against Lucas’s thigh was a dead giveaway too.

“Just shut the fuck up,” Lucas muttered, yanking Sean’s head forward for a kiss. It was so much better when they were kissing rather than talking—or arguing in their case.

Author Bio:
Brigham Vaughn is starting the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time writer. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga.  She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can’t wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.



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