Rating: 3 stars out of 5
There was no doubt about it, Macalister Whitmore was as straight-laced as they came. He worked all the time, never did anything that would be considered fun, and almost always wore a suit and tie, even in the laid back southern town of Dahlonia, where the dress code tended to be jeans and t-shirts. It was how his parents raised him and Macalister was sure even a tanning salon couldn’t change that.
David Wilson wanted to throttle his best friend for sending Mac to his tanning salon to try and loosen up the uptight lawyer. He had never met anyone that had actually worn a suit to a tanning salon before. What Mac needed was a doctor to remove that stick from his ass. Then again, if Mac continued to look down his nose at David, he would remove it himself.
Still, it seemed that opposites do attract, so they decide to give each other a chance.
Happily ever after may sound like a dream come true, but no one ever said it didn’t come with pain and heartache. Will they walk away from each other, or walk through hell for the chance to pop some Bubbly and celebrate finding their happy ending?
This is the first book in a new series by Shea Balik, all set around the town of Dahlonia and the winery, Twisted Vine. This is where the very uptight, BMW-driving Macalister, a man who’s bosses wonder “if he has any emotions at all”. Actually, “…he’s worked for us for a year and has never cracked a smile?” Yet Andrew, part owner of Twisted Vine, Mac’s boss and David’s best friend, assures David that Mac is a good person, helpful and kind and that’s why he offers wine to David for helping. David, owner of the Tropical Beach tanning salon where the bosses send Mac as a birthday gift (much to Mac’s dismay), doesn’t see that when Mac shows up. Mac is not just uptight, he is snobby, rude and really condescending. He looks down his nose at David, full of disdain. “Having sex and whoring yourself out like a dime store prostitute aren’t exactly the same.” When David responds, Mac’s “Or are you deaf along with being a slut?” There’s no wonder David spills the beans about Andrew bribing David to deal with Mac.
I was a little confused that Andrew would send Mac to a tanning bed as “fun”, but of course, David is there. Of course, these two opposites really are a better fit than they think. As Mac puts his prejudice aside, he starts to realize David, purple hair, make up and flamboyant clothes, might be just what he needs. Of course, he messes it up a few times. There were times I wanted to shake him but you have to remember, he has had a rigid upbringing and all the feelz are new to him.
Mac may have helped save David at one point, but David is there for Mac when he needed him. Unfortunately, Mac doesn’t react well to his family (wow, the family from hell, let’s put that out there), “…Mac would either grab hold of David’s hand or put his arm around David’s waist, silently forcing him to stay, but David wasn’t sure if that was because Mac wanted him there, or he was just going against his mother’s wishes” and I was ticked at him. Except then I thought David was overreacting at a bad time, so it was a toss up on who was being the bigger pain. Luckily, David’s friends are there to knock some sense into him.
One thing I struggled with was there was a lot of serious plot issues that were resolved much too quickly and easily. David regularly fends off unwanted passes while airbrush tanning but an attempted oral rape? A lawsuit? A heart attack? All these things happen but they are easily resolved. And Mac turned into a seemingly different person pretty quickly, with some insta-love helping.
My slight niggles aside, I liked both MC here, as well as really liking the supporting characters- Andrew, Shine, Brogan and West. I am crossing my fingers that Nolan, Twisted Vine’s accountant, is the next up because that shy, sweet man really needs an HEA. I thought this was a good start to a new series and I’m looking forward to continuing.
Cover art shows two men but I know one is not David, since it is well noted David has bright purple hair and the other, with his shirt wide open, doesn’t seem uptight enough to be Macalister.
Sales Links: Amazon
Kindle Edition, 136 pages
Published October 19th 2017
Original Title Bubbly
Edition Language English
Series Uncorked #1
setting Georgia (United States)