About the Book
Why is it that when life, fate, destiny – whatever you want to call it – intervenes and tries to steer you in a different direction it does it in the most complicated, messed up way possible? Who really knows? For Ana Grand, life threw her a bunch of lemons to do whatever with, or make whatever with, and didn’t have the decency to give her a recipe card for instructions.
Leaving her small-town roots (and her mother) behind, Ana headed off to college to make something of herself. While living the best years of her life, or so they say, Ana meets Simon, the man of her dreams. Turns out Simon has no interest in Ana other than to provide her with the best friendship a girl could ever wish for. However, during her last year of college, Ana meets the man of her dreams…again. Except for this time, the guy happens to put a ring on her finger.
Andrew Lancaster is made of money, but you’d never know it based on his affectionate and noble personality. He’s precisely the kind of fella Ana would steer clear of, mainly because “his kind” didn’t mix well with “her kind.” Nevertheless, love prevailed, and the two of them got married and defied the odds – the odds meaning both of their families thought they were crazy for marrying each other and tried to persuade them not to. None of that mattered to them, so they chose to express their vows.
Over the years, Ana carved her way through life and became a successful writer and novelist, and all with Andrew by her side. But when Andrew’s father passed away leaving him his real-estate company, along with a sizable fortune, Andrew no longer lived by his chivalrous standards.
After arriving home early from a business trip, Ana finds Andrew doing more than inspecting their maids’ cleaning job. In fact, he was making sure the maid felt right at home, naked in his bed. Ana decides to divorce Andrew due to his infidelity, and move back home to her small town to be with her mother.
An incredibly distraught Andrew decides he can’t live with what he did to Ana, so he gives her something very special that should have been theirs to share on their wedding anniversary. Once Ana’s lawyer serves Andrew the divorce papers, he sends her his requests. He wants her happy, living comfortably, and he wants her to fulfill a dream only he knew she had.
Part of their settlement included a plot of land in Napa Valley, California. And part of Ana’s dreams in life included growing grapes and making delicious wine. So, against her better judgment, Ana makes the decision to accept the land and move out to California. But once again, life ain’t that easy. Sitting pretty on cloud nine (despite her heartache), Ana has no idea that Jake Fontaine would put a kink in her newly sought after plan.
Like Ana, Jake also suffered from a lover’s betrayal and decided he didn’t need another woman in his life for quite a while. Once Jake finds out Ana is moving to California to take over a part of the Fontaine land – land he had his eye on, he’s beside himself with anger. Ultimately accepting the inevitable, Jake knew all he needed to do was steer clear of Ana Grande…and her beauty. But that’s easier said than done.
Two people meet, and they just know. They know they are meant to be together, but they know they shouldn’t fall for one another. They’ve both been hurt and cheated. They need to work on themselves, and not get caught up in the lust and desire they feel for one another. The last thing they need is to fall in love…again. But the allure of the vines and the passion for the grapes binds them together undeniably. They can’t resist it, no matter how hard they try. So what do you do when life hands you a bunch of lemons? You make wine, of course. And you take that second chance at love.
This is an endearing story about love and an unwavering passion for the vines.
Katherine Glick was born and raised in North Carolina, and currently resides near Wilmington, NC. She’s a wife, mother, and a southern girl at heart. Katherine loves to write and use her imagination to create magic on a page. Romance is her genre of choice when it comes to writing and reading, however, she dabbles in a little science fiction and historical fiction every now and then. When she’s not furiously typing away on her laptop, she’s spending time with her precious family, reading, exercising, enjoying the great outdoors, eating tasty food, and drinking delicious wine.
If you had a return ticket to your past, would you go back and change anything in your life? For me, it’s both yes and no. Yes, I would go back and tell my younger self “don’t drink too much tequila at the bar because you’ll feel like you’ve been run over by a semi the next morning and completely bomb a major exam because of a painful hangover.” And yes, I would tell myself “don’t date that one guy who is so damn clingy it will take you two years to get him to leave you alone.” Those things I could have gone without – wouldn’t have missed them one bit.
But then there’s the “no” side. No, I wouldn’t go back and tell myself not to wear flip-flops while walking to class in the rain, which caused me to slip and bust my butt (and break my tailbone) only to be saved by my now best friend, Simon.
And no, I wouldn’t tell myself not to fall for the charms of my now ex-husband, Andrew, who threw me for a loop, broke my heart, and transformed my life forever. No, I wouldn’t change that part of my life no matter how bad it hurt. Because if it had never happened, then I wouldn’t be where I am today – happy, carefree, and completely in love with my life.
* * * * *
I parked my car in front of a Charleston-style, single house, and shut off the engine. Studying the structure for what seemed like the millionth time, I shook my head, and once again, wondered why the original owners went with a salmon-colored stucco. And for the millionth time, I’d tell myself that paired with the black shutters and black front door, it wasn’t too much of an eyesore. Nevertheless, it was a place to rest my head, and thankfully the rent wasn’t beyond my meager budget.
Several years ago, the home had been converted into two, single-bedroom apartments, and I was fortunate to know the current owner, who was also one of my favorite professors at The College of Charleston. He cut me some slack on the rent because he was aware that I was a struggling student and a writer at that.
Emerging from my old clunker of a car, I was immediately suffocated by the South Carolina heat. After gathering my things, I lazily made my way up to the top floor of the house. Luckily, there was an outside staircase that led to my apartment, so I didn’t have to disturb the downstairs tenant, which also proved to be beneficial for those nights I came home tipsy from the bar.
Once inside, I collapsed on the couch. The August heat was unbearable that day, and I’d been walking from building to building to attend my classes. I’d sweated so much that my skin tasted like a salt block, but I couldn’t muster the energy to take a shower.
It was dark inside the apartment. All the shutters were closed to keep out the hot afternoon sun. The ceiling fans were on high as they vigorously worked to circulate the muggy air around me. I had A.C., but it just couldn’t compete with the hundred-degree weather outside. I should have thought about the fact that heat rises, and in hindsight, I wouldn’t have chosen the top floor to live on. But the view was beautiful, so I didn’t think twice about it years ago. And in the fall, I could open the shutters and windows and enjoy the cool cross breeze that drifted throughout the home.
Resting on the couch, I was about to slip into a much-needed nap when my phone rang. I let out a frustrated groan. I knew it was Simon calling without even looking at the caller id. I slowly reached for the phone caring less if the voicemail happened to pick up. Not answering at all crossed my mind, but if it were Simon, he’d keep calling me until I picked up.
“Hello,” I drawled.
“What’s up gorgeous? Are you coming out with me tonight, or are you gonna be lame and stay home and knit?”
“I don’t knit, Simon. And no, I’m not going out tonight. I’m tired. Plus, I don’t understand why college students feel the need to celebrate classes starting up again. Makes no sense to me.”
“Ana, you know why. You did it yourself no too long ago, you old lady. All the new horny students have to sniff out their prey. College students have to mate and what better way to do that than to go to a bar, get drunk, and have a one-night stand. It makes perfect sense to me.”
I scoffed. “Simon, you’re a man whore and have commitment issues. I don’t expect you to understand the side effects of binge drinking and one-night stands. Anyway, I need to work on my novel and complete an article for the newspaper. Plus, I have a book I want to finish reading. Oh, and I need to get some sleep. Yep, I’m looking forward to an enjoyable evening at home by myself.”
“Come on, Ana,” he whined. “I need you to come out with me. Your expertise on gay men will help me find some fresh meat. Your ability to spot a gay man is impeccable. Plus, you know what kind of trouble I can get into by hitting on the wrong guy.”
“Ugh, Simon. Did it ever occur to you that I would like help in meeting a guy for once and not be your crutch? Jeez. Sometimes, I think you just use me to find sex and could care less about our friendship,” I seethed.
Simon paused a moment. “Ouch, woman. I didn’t know it was like that. What’s going on with you today? You ok?”
I sighed as I thought about how to answer him. It wasn’t fair that I was taking my emotions out on Simon. The truth was, I was lonely. I’d only had a few relationships while in college, all of which lasted for a couple of months. I was ready to find a companion and one that actually wanted to have sex with me. Simon, was a great friend, and he was sexy as hell, but he had no interest in my vagina.
“I’m sorry, Simon. I don’t mean to be a bitch. I’m just ready to find a decent guy and settle into a relationship.”
“It’s ok, babe. I understand. Just because I have a lot of one-nighters doesn’t mean I don’t want the same thing.”
I took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. Maybe I needed to go out and try to find someone. I’d been a recluse lately, so I could only blame myself for not meeting a guy.
“Alright, Simon. I’ll go out with you tonight, but I’m not getting too drunk, so don’t keep feeding me shots. Got it?”
I heard Simon clap and cheer. “Yes! That’s my girl. I promise I won’t make you drink anything you don’t want to. I’ll be at your place at seven tonight, and we can grab a bite to eat before we hit the bars. Love you, babe.”
“Love you too.”
I ended the call and let out a long sigh. What was I getting myself into? Going out with Simon was never an easy feat. He partied hard, and I always got roped into his shenanigans. Oh well. What’s done was done. I peeled myself off the couch and headed for the shower. If I was going to find myself a suitable man, then I needed to put some effort into my appearance.