cover image A Glass of Red

A Glass of Red

Sam Carlson. Dreamspinner, $14.99 trade paper (200p) ISBN 978-1-64405-910-4

Carlson’s intoxicating debut kicks off with Noah Andrews, an aspiring sommelier and art history graduate student at NYU, getting his dream job cataloging wine at a Tuscan villa over the summer. Arriving in Italy, shy Noah meets outgoing Christian Caravalli, who’s overseeing the house’s restoration. Each young man is secretly smitten with the other, and they bond over dinners Noah cooks each night. Noah, in turn, silently appreciates the little notes Christian leaves him at breakfast each morning. Things get slightly awkward when Noah happens upon a naked Christian before they’ve had a chance to confront their chemistry, but after the renovations force the pair to share a bed, they give in to their unspoken desires. Before long they’re having sex in the kitchen and cuddling on the patio admiring the stars. But are these guys having a casual fling—or will their summer passions become a lasting relationship? Carlson makes familiar tropes sing, fleshing out his story with a subplot about Christian grappling with parents’ impending divorce and a temptation Noah faces back in New York. This first blush of love between a wine nerd and a hunky handyman goes down as smoothly as a glass of Montepulciano. [em](May) [/em]