Saturday, October 5, 2019

Vines (The Killers #1) by Brynne Asher ~ Review

Vines (The Killers #1)Source: KindleUnlimited.

Vines (The Killers #1) by Brynne Asher

In the Virginia countryside outside of Washington, DC, Addy Wentworth was on a mission to make a new life for herself. When the opportunity arose, she settled in horse and wine country. Experiencing more than her fair share of tragedy and loss, she had plans for her future, one where failure wasn’t an option. And not just because people and cows were counting on her. She’d poured everything she had into her struggling vineyard, because once she’s in, she’s all in.

After giving himself wholly to the job for ten years, Crew Vega was done. He’d fulfilled his commitment, done his duty, gone above and beyond to settle the score. And the score was high. All he had to do was train his replacements and he’d be out for good.

He had a plan, one that didn’t include getting involved with his new neighbor, a woman who not only kept cows for pets, but treasured her employees as family, and understood him better than anyone ever had before. But when he learned a high level CIA target being investigated for treason was keeping tabs on her?

No, he never planned on that.

And like everything Crew Vega did in life, when he goes in, he’s all in.

I've been rather busy lately (as one might expect during the final semester before graduation) and though I try really hard to carve out reading time, I've found myself in a slump. So many books look good but few hold my attention to make me want to keep picking it up. When this happens, I have three coping mechanisms:

1) I read fanfiction.
2) I re-read favorites (usually KA).
or 3) I fall down the Goodreads rabbit hold until something gets me excited enough to pick it up RIGHT NOW.

Vines fell under #3. I was looking at...some other book. Which led me to a list. And on that list was Gifts, book 3 of the Killers series. I was ready to snatch that sucker up, but figured I'd do my due diligence and at least peek to see if book 1 interested me before jumping around and reading the series out of order. And sure enough, Vines sounded good.

So here I am. I read the book and now I'm writing a review. The fact that this book even held my attention all the way through is a good sign--and I'll just tell you now that I really enjoyed Vines.

The premise is total catnip for me. A former assassin moving to acres of land to live in relative solitude while he trains more guys to be assassins? BAM, interested. Throw in him almost instantly falling for the woman next door as she, and I kid you not, is out on a walk with her cows, and I was all in.

What really made this book were the characters and the relationships. I really liked Addison. First of all, for her love of her cows which I respect and can relate to. Then in her determination to run a successful business. Her personality was interesting too--I didn't always like her or agree with her reasoning, but that made her character all the more worthwhile to read. As for Crew...well. He's darn near perfect. Mysterious at first, but always gentle and kind with Addison. As honest as he can be until he can be fully honest, and then he continues to be open. I really loved Crew.

The side characters were solid, as well. Addy has a whole crew working the vineyard with her and they're like one big disfunctional family and I was so here for it. And while I don't feel like we got loads of times with Crew's people, I for sure liked what was there. Asa's sweet. Grady's funny and I think/hope he and Addy will have a fun dynamic. I'm especially looking forward to Grady and Asa's books (Asa's a little more than Grady' know since I said at the beginning of this review, book 3 WAS the whole reason I even picked these up).

The romance was nice. There was very much insta-love, but it wasn't obnoxious. I was actually grateful for it, because what it led to here was Addy and Crew being mature and not playing games. They were into each other, so they were together. There wasn't a whole bunch of relationship drama to drive me up the wall. Just Addy and Crew being the cutest couple.

I will say, though, that I wish I'd been more into the actual conflicts of the story. I found most of the non-MC or -relationship related stuff kind of boring. The whole plotline of Addy's past was lackluster. And as for the person messing with her and giving her headaches...I knew who that was the moment it started happening. And lastly, Crew and his dilemma. That was probably the most compelling of the storylines, but it still didn't wow me. The rest of the book's aspects were enough for me to enjoy it, but it's a bummer these left me wanting.

Overall, with a premise to pull you in and characters to keep you interested, Vines is a solidly good romance. I made time to read it even when I probably shouldn't have, and I loved Crew and Addy and their relationship. I can't wait to pick up the next book in this series!

4 stars - A solid premise mixed with a great romance!

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