Red Velvet

Barbara Boswell, Author
Barbara Boswell, Author Jove Books $5.99 (0p) ISBN 978-0-515-11743-1
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Everything you ever wanted to know about the wine industry but didn't know enough to ask makes its way into Boswell's latest offering (after Wicked Games). Set in New York's wine country, the story focuses on the owners--old and new--of the Everly Wine Company. It turns out that the late eccentric Willard Everly had sold his shares of family-owned winery to Nicholas Nicholi, owner of Security Investigative Corporation. No one is more stunned than the winery's acting president, Willard's grandniece Sierra Everly, who is determined to buy back Nick's half. But Nick won't sell--not now, maybe ever. Things go from bad to worse when Sierra's teenaged sister disappears, mold-producing rains threaten to ruin the crop and someone tampers with the temperature gauges in the wine cellar. On top of it all, Nick discovers through the winery's antiquated computer system that someone had been embezzling funds. Red herrings are everywhere, and sexual tension runs high within the circle of engaging characters who populate this fast-paced romantic mystery. With each page, possible saboteurs with solid motivations appear. As a bonus, there's a great romance going between Nick's best friend, A.C., and Sierra's cop sister Vanessa. The rather predictable ending is a disappointment, but, all in all, readers will find this to be a satisfying, hugely enjoyable tale. (Nov.)
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