Let It Breathe
by Tawna Fenske
Vineyard manager Reese Clark is determined to bring her family’s Oregon winery into the big leagues, and she knows building a new tasting room and event pavilion is her ticket there. Having her ex-husband’s best friend—and her secret college crush—turn up to head the construction project, however, doesn't pair well with her plans. Between her nauseating lovebird parents; her motorcycle-riding, pot-growing grandfather; and her pet alpaca, fond of head-butting groins, Reese has more than enough chaotic characters in her life.
Back in college, Clay Henderson was more likely to be sprawled over a bar than building one. But even if the new clean-living Clay has matured as deliciously as an oak-aged chardonnay, he’s still off-limits. As Reese’s well-laid plans for the winery crumble like bad cork, Clay the newly sober gentleman is sweet enough to rescue Reese from a wardrobe malfunction and still spicy enough to play “I Never” with her. Can he overcome his past rep to offer her a love too heady to ignore?
My biggest goal as a romantic comedy author is to make you laugh, cry, and feel tingly in your swimsuit area. If I’ve done my job right, you’ll do all three things within the pages of the same book (though maybe not all in the same scene).
My newest romantic comedy, Let It Breathe, deals with some kinda heavy stuff. Reese Clark runs her family’s vineyard in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, and she’s taking it to the next level by building a new event pavilion and tasting room. When her ex-husband’s best friend, Clay, turns out to be the guy in charge of construction, she’s a little stunned. After all, Clay’s not just a recovering alcoholic, but also the guy Reese had some pretty strong feelings for once upon a time.
While divorce and alcoholism probably aren’t subjects that make you laugh, the book has plenty of scenes I’m hoping will produce that result.
In one such scene, Reese gets roped into a game of “I never” with her over-amorous parents, her armchair psychologist ex-husband, her sexpot cousin, and Clay.
What could possibly be awkward about that?
Luckily, the parents bow out of the game, but the others are left fumbling through a drinking game with a guy who doesn’t drink, and figuring out which of their secrets to share. Many of the laughs are born from the awkwardness of situation, which is one of my favorite ways to create humor.
Another scene I hope will amuse readers even half as much as it amused me is one involving Reese’s biker grandpa, Axl, and her pet alpaca, Leon. When Leon accidentally eats pot that Grandpa Axl planted in the barn, the two scramble to find a veterinarian who can come out on short notice. Clay helps out by summoning a vet through his AA connections, and the whole scene turns into something laced with equal parts goofy humor and sweet (albeit oddball) moments of connection between two people who don’t yet know they’re meant to be together.
In the end, I hope readers will find Let it Breathe to be a good mix of humor, heartache, and hotness. If nothing else, it’s a good excuse to drink wine while you read!
Tawna Fenske is a romantic-comedy author who writes humorous fiction, risqué romance, and heartwarming love stories with quirky twists. Her offbeat brand of romance has been praised by Booklist as “a tame Carl Hiaasen on Cupid juice,” and her debut novel, Making Waves, was a nominee for RT Book Reviews’ contemporary romance of the year. She is a fourth-generation Oregonian who can peel a banana with her toes and loses an average of twenty pairs of eyeglasses per year. She lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband, her stepkids, and a menagerie of ill-behaved pets.
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