Something In The Wine by JaeSomething in the Wine by Jae was rereleased in a second, revised edition in 2016, including the sweet and sexy follow-up short story “Seduction for Beginners.”

Annie Prideaux is used to being the butt of her brother’s jokes, but this time he’s gone too far. When he sets her up on a blind date with his friend Drew, he neglects to tell her that Drew is a woman—or to tell Drew that Annie is straight. Both women are tired of his antics and agree that it’s high time to pull one over on Jake. How better than to make him think they’re in love?

The more time they spend together planning the perfect revenge, the more the women get to know each other and become friends. Drew is the perfect gentlewoman despite her attraction to Annie, and for the first time in her life Annie wonders if she could possibly be attracted to another woman. Are they really just friends, or could this pretend romance be more real than either woman realizes?

The Characters

Tara: Annie is quiet, serious, and very good at her job as an accountant. With a brother who doesn’t take anything seriously, an artist for a mother, and a musician for a father, she’s often the odd one out in her family. Drew is the first person to really try to get to know Annie, to see further than the front she puts on for the world, and Annie blossoms under her attention and their friendship.

Drew is a reformed player. While she used to enjoy going from woman to woman, she’s ready to settle down, especially now that her parents are gone. She runs the vineyard and winery that they built up, and moving forward with her life now that the grief from their loss is more manageable. She’s so wonderful and patient with Annie, a perfect friend and partner as she eventually figures out her sexuality.

Sheena: It was fun to watch Annie coming to terms with her feelings for Drew. I enjoy stories about coming out a bit later in life because it adds a layer of complexity to the story that is always fun to witness.

The Writing Style

Tara: Something in the Wine is a sweet book. The romance is slow to build, with the foundation for the friendship laid carefully first. It’s easy to believe in Drew and Annie’s happily ever after because their relationship feels very real.

Sheena: This romance is the definition of slow burn. And there were moments when I wanted to shake both the main characters and say – SHE LOVES YOU TOO!!! – but I also loved it because that slow burn is exactly what we expect from a Jae novel.

Narration

Sheena: Laura Bannister did a good job of narrating this story. She blended into the background enough that I actually didn’t notice the narration, the story just flowed.

Her male voices were convincing without being forced and they didn’t all sound the same.

Her characters were distinct and each one remained the same throughout which was great.

I will definitely listen to her narration in the future.

The Pros

Tara: Annie’s arc and Drew’s patience with her are probably my favourite parts of this book. Also the vineyard. I want to go to California now.

Sheena: I enjoyed the two main characters. They both felt real to me and I think Annie’s confusion about her sexuality was well done.

The Cons

Tara: I felt like they hung on to the revenge thing a little too long. I get why, but it broke my heart for Drew and I love her and only want good things for her.

Sheena: I agree with Tara but I also get that the revenge plot became a crutch so that Annie could keep Drew close and explore her feelings without actually committing to labelling herself as gay.

My biggest con was actually not really anything that was in the book but rather the lack of description of the wine farm and the workings of the farm. Jae has intimate knowledge of wine farming and it would have added a gorgeous flavour to the book that was entirely missed.

There were also times when I found the relationships between Annie and her family a little simplistic but that wasn’t a huge issue considering the fact that this is a sweet romance and not a complex story at all.

sheena's favouriteThe Conclusion

Tara: If you want a really sweet, well-written contemporary lesbian romance, check out Something in the Wine. It’s a lovely way to pass a weekend.

Sheena: I loved the audiobook. It is adorable, not at all taxing and the perfect listen when you just want a romance that makes you feel warm and fuzzy.

I found myself becoming really happy when I had a moment in which I could return to the world of Annie and Drew. And at just under 11 hours, this was a decent sized audiobook in which to revel.

Excerpt from Something in the Wine by Jae

“Any other advice for the phone call with Jake?”

“Don’t try to convince him you have fallen in love with me tonight,” Drew said.

Annie frowned. “I thought that was the plan. To make him believe I fell in love with you?”

“Yeah, but not so fast,” Drew said. “I have a feeling you’re not someone who falls in love at the drop of a hat.”

Annie’s lips compressed into a tight line. “No, I’m not.”

“Hey, nothing wrong with that.” When Annie looked down, Drew realized she was touching Annie’s forearm. She pulled her hand back. “We just need to wait a few weeks until we tell Jake we’re ready to rent a U-Haul and adopt a Golden Retriever together.”

“Cat,” Annie said, a tiny grin lurking at the corner of her mouth. “Jake knows I’m a cat person.”

“Let’s get both. Then when we experience lesbian bed death and split up, you can keep the cat and I’ll keep the dog.”

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Bits and Bobs

  • ISBN number: 9783955337933
  • Publisher: Ylva Publishing
  • Narrator: Laura Bannister

Jae Online 

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Note: I received a free review copy of Something in the Wine by Jae. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.

 

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Reviewer at The Lesbian Review
Tara Scott lives in Calgary, Canada with her family. If you don't find her with her Kindle in her hand, she's probably busy talking about what she's currently reading.
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Sheena is the founder of The Lesbian Review.

She discovered lesbian fiction when she was 19. Radclyffe and Karin Kallmaker soon became favourite authors and she spent a large part of her hard earned income on shipping books from Amazon.com to her home in South Africa.

Over the years she became frustrated with purchasing mediocre lesbian fiction feeling like it was a waste of her money and time. And so she decided to share only the best books and movies with lesbians who are looking for only the best. And so, The Lesbian Review was born