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Friday, May 14, 2010

Review: Champagne

When I got my contract with Ravenous Romance for my short story, Inamorata, I thought Hey! I want to do more of this! I enjoyed writing the story and really putting emotion into a forbidden historical threesome. But then I thought Well, a short 5000 word story is a far cry from a full-length one!

No pun intended.

So I bought the other 2 books I could find on Ravenous's website, Threesome an Anthology and Champagne by Inara LaVey. I skimmed though the anthology pretty fast, the stories were mostly good ones, but it really is hard to imbued your characters with loads of emotion when the story really is about the sex. Plus, they weren't historical and the forbidden pleasures of making an unorthodox relationship work in historical times is really what I wanted to explore.

Hence, Champagne. No, it's not an historical but it did give me a sense of the feelings behind a ménage, all fleshed out (pun, yes whatever) in a few hundred pages.

First, it was funny. I hadn't expected that but damn if she isn't funny! And full of information about France's wine country. I sense a love here, but won't go into it. Written in first person, we see and feel everythign from Jeanette's view, from her frustration with her soon-to-be ex boyfriend to the desire of her French hosts. Very sexy all round, too.

Jeanette Wilson is an American girl on the trip of a lifetime to the wine regions of France. Unfortunately, she’s trapped with her soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend Daryl, a self-absorbed, self-aggrandizing, self-styled wine expert bent on swirling, sniffing, sipping, swishing, chewing, swallowing and occasionally spitting his way through the wineries. Between his endless lectures and insufferable putdowns, her insignificant other is quickly turning her dream vacation into a nightmare. But things change for Jeanette once they come to the zenith of their French road trip, the Champagne house of Chateau Roux-Dubois.

Their hosts, Amaury and Marie-Elise Roux-Dubois, turn out to be both charming and attractive, and go out of their way to extend a warm welcome to her. And they make it very clear that it is she, not Daryl, who is their special guest, particularly when the striking Marie-Elise takes Jeanette down to the wine cellar for a very personal tour, followed by an unusual French lesson from Amaury.

When she and Daryl are invited to stay and participate in the harvest festival, Jeanette finds herself caught up in a ménage a trois with the Roux-Dubois, both intent on teaching her many things…and not just about wine.

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