Divine Deception by Nina Pierce
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Length: Short Story (70 pgs)
Rating: 4 cherries
Review by Cholla
Nicholas is returning to the family vineyard after nearly a decade away. A quick trip to the lawyer to collect the trust fund that’s rightfully his and he can wash his hands of the alcoholic father who disowned him years ago. A romp or two with the cellarmaster’s assistant shouldn’t complicate things.
Francesca has given her heart and soul to Mill Tavern Vineyards, working tirelessly in its wine cellars. Now the greedy son of her stepfather is coming home to take it all from her. Manipulating her way into the playboy’s bed may be the only way to save her home.
But hot sex quickly becomes an affair of the heart as Francesca and Nick get tangled in lies and deceit trying to discover the truth behind the failing vineyard.
When Nick returns home after many years of being away, he knows things aren’t going to be good, but he has no idea just how bad they are. His life, his past, and his future are all about to disappear… Will his estranged family pull itself together in time to save the vineyard and themselves? Time will only tell.
Nicholas Gardin IV had it all at one time, until a disagreement with his father caused him to walk away from the family business – and the family fortune. Now, he’s suddenly called back home without reason and finds something really unsettling happening there. I was impressed how he handled himself and tried his hardest not to let his father get under his skin. He’s the kind of man you can depend on in a pinch. There were times his anger did get the better of him, but for the most part he held it together like a pro.
Francesca has everything to lose. While not a blood relation of the Gardin family, she has come to call them family and love her life at the vineyard. Majoring in agricultural studies, she helped turn an ordinary grape into something very special. However, she becomes overly defensive and a trifle over the top when she discovers that Nick is on his way home to meet with his father. While I couldn’t stand her attitude in the first third of the story, she did begin to warm up and become more real about halfway through. However, like the attitude or not, she had every right to feel the way she did.
Together, Nick and Frankie make a dynamic couple just waiting to explode… either with passion or into an argument. Banded together, along with Frankie’s mother, Carmine, I highly doubt that any obstacle could keep them from achieving their goal. In true Nina Pierce style, the story is chock full of emotion, family ties, and steamy, hot sex making for one heck of an enjoyable read.