Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Shine was over people thinking because he had a southern accent, and made moonshine, that he was a hillbilly redneck with no education. Sure, he occasionally liked to fuck with them and spout out his grandpappy’s sayings, like every dog should have a few fleas, but that didn’t make him dumber than a box of rocks. So, when he met a man who made his heart race and his mouth go dry with the thought of licking every inch of his body, then instantly put him down because he was making moonshine instead of wine, Shine dared him to try and drink with the big boys.
Montague knew better than to take the challenge to drink the moonshine Shine was offering, but he refused to be insulted by some hick from this small, backwater town. The fire that ignited in his stomach and burned a path up his throat, making him want to cry for his mommy, told him just how stupid he could be. Fucking pride. If Shine didn’t get that smirk off his face at Montague’s reaction to the battery acid he called alcohol, Montague was going to punch him in the mouth. Or kiss him. It was a tough call to make.
There is a fine line between love and hate, especially when alcohol is involved. Then again, it might take a little liquid courage to drop their defenses enough to discover their passion for each other.
Oh my, the things this boy says. Shine (actual name Joshua but please don’t use it) is a treasure. He is Southern, uses those colorful sayings and makes moonshine and is so awesome. He’s worked hard to make Grandpappy’s Moonshine successful and he’s on his way. He is used to people looking down on him as a hillbilly and he’s okay with that. Just don’t insult the moonshine. He has had to fight the town council to be allowed to be part of the town’s wine tour and nothing is going to stand in his way. Not even the snobby, pretentious guy in the parking lot who turns out to be the favorite wine tour guide. Whoops.
His run in with the snobby wine expert, Montague, happens at the town council moonshine tasting. “He felt about as welcome as an outhouse breeze when he say the members of the Wine Touring Committee and several of the tour guides staring daggers at him the moment he entered.” He brings most of them around because his product is good. When the very judgy Montague has little good to say, Shine does challenge him to drink it. That scene is funny and brings Montague down a bit.
There is a scene from Blush (Uncorked #3), now from Shine’s point of view. I thought it while reading Blush and I thought it again reading this – I want to try muffins made with apple-cherry moonshine.
Shine lives with his daddy and grandpappy, who bicker and fight constantly. They go at it, sometimes get hurt, but they are accepting of each other and Shine in a way you wish all families would be. Montague, however, really doesn’t have any family to lean on and when he admits to Shine what he was doing previously it was sad.
There is a plot aspect regarding relatives and protesters that sort of went nowhere so I’m not sure why it was even present but it didn’t take me away from the story too much. The issues with Topher, a member of the council, were a little over the top for me. “I can open doors for you in this community.” Ugh, the man is a sleezeball.
This isn’t a case of opposites attract because they have more in common than not. It is more a case of judging someone before you know them and how well that doesn’t work. I liked seeing Montague (who for some reason I thought seemed older than he was) have to face his prejudices and I liked getting to see Shine, well, shine. I love getting to see the other characters from previous books pop up throughout. This was a great addition to the series and I’m still hoping that Andrew and Brogan get a turn.
Cover art, showing Montague, Shine and a bottle of moonshine, is simple but effective.
Sales Link: Amazon
ebook, 193 pages
Published December 8th 2017 by Shea Balik (first published November 2017)
Original Title Shine
Series Uncorked :