In THE WINE DOWN by Louise Lennox, Brandi Armstrong leads a life with no room for error—or romance, but when she has to fight for something close to her heart, she turns to her best friend, Riddick Kruger. Can Riddick help to save Brandi’s family farm, and convince her that his love for her is worth fighting for? Fans of Kennedy Ryan’s Kingmaker Series, cultured yet humorous reads, will devour this must-read friends to lovers romance from the Meet Cute Book Club Series.
I received this book for free from Indie Pen PR in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Wine Down by Louise Lennox
Series: Meet Cute Book Club #1
Published by AfroChant Media LLC on June 16, 2022
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
Source: Indie Pen PR
Escape with the Meet Cute Book Club, where meet-cutes don’t happen only between the pages of romance novels, and one by one, all the members find their own happily ever afters.
Meet Brandi Armstrong and Riddick Kruger in book one: The Wine Down…
I’m the heroine saving farms from financial ruin and racism.
Who will save me from my loneliness?
I’m Too Busy.
I’m Too Hurt.
But it’s homecoming weekend and I really want to WINE Down.
Except now, my family’s farm is on the chopping block.
My best friend Riddick vows to fix it.
I’m the object of his affection.
And money is no object.
He wants me. But I don’t want anyone.
I’m too fractured to put the pieces back together again.
But it’s fun to feel Riddick try…
I’m the wealthy Restaurateur all the ladies love…
But I’m in love with my best friend.
Brandi doesn’t want my love, but she does need my help.
She will get more than she asks for.
I’ll destroy the past that’s haunting her.
I’ll own the present by pleasuring her.
I’ll design our future; healing her.
She will be mine, and her heart will no longer hide…
Will Brandi Wine Down long enough to let love rule?
Can Riddick save Brandi’s farm without killing their friendship?
Find out in this hot friends-to-lovers romance from Louise Lennox!
The Wine Down is a standalone, Friend to Lovers romance that is part of the multi-author series, Meet Cute Book Club series. Escape with this swoon-worthy collection of romances where meet-cutes don’t only happen between the pages of romance novels and members find their own happily ever after.
Copyright 2022 @Louise Lennox
“Riddick!” A shrill voice I hate all too well calls out. “Long Time, no see! Did you come to watch me perform? You know I’ve still got all my moves.”
Mandy fucking Foster
I’m going to be sick. And Riddick looks like he may be as well. That’s his fault. No one told him to use Mandy as his go-to fuck toy all throughout college. She’s always thought she had claim to him, even though he never made the slightest gesture to claim her. Now, she’s all over him like a cat with claws.
He clears his throat and seeks me out with his eyes. “Umm… no, I’m actually here to support Brandi.” He nods his head towards me, forcing Mandy to turn around. I give her a saccharine smile and wave. She rolls her eyes but quickly recovers.
“Oh yeah, I forgot she’s like a little sister to you. Of course, you’d want to see her perform. But isn’t it a bonus that you also get me out of the deal? Someone who knows how to use her body very well.”
Bitch. Two can play this game.
I walk over to Kruger and step beside him. Placing my hand in his, I squeeze and throw him a quick wink before bringing his ring hand to my lips and brushing my lips over the back of his knuckles. Sweet baby Jesus, his skin is incredible. I feel his calluses on the inside of my hand, but the skin brushing my lips is soft as silk.
My poor neglected pussy is dripping from his sexy scent alone. Lord, I want to huff him like fiend addicted to glue. I close my eyes and take a deep breath before I hear him clear his throat, soft enough for my ears. That’s right, I had a reason to come over here, and getting high off the smell of his skin was not it. I glance at him and peep the right side of his mouth turned up in the beginning of a smile. I look away and glare at Mandy.
“We are not siblings. Far from it, Mandy, what we are goes deeper than that. Wouldn’t you agree, Riddick?”
My eyes never leave her scowl. Her eyes never leave my hand wrapped in his. She looks like she might combust, she’s so angry.
Riddick faces me and his jaw flinches. His eyes are predatory, and I get the distinct feeling that I finally opened a door he was seeking entrance into. “I definitely agree,” he rumbles. “We’re the best part of each other.”
His words almost knock me to my ass. What the hell is that supposed to mean? He returns my earlier gesture by flipping our clasped hands over and dropping kisses on the inside of my wrist. My knees buckle at the gesture and my breath catches. He chuckles and pulls me away from Mandy, winking as we turn to leave. “We’ll see you around, Mandy. Break a leg.”
When we get out of her view, I drop Riddick’s hand and laugh. The sound is nervous and unnatural, but I follow through with it, anyway. Anything to break this awkward tension between us. But when I look up at Riddick’s face, he doesn’t look uncomfortable at all. He looks determined. I place my hand on my neck and swallow.
“Mandy is still hot for you. She never could keep her hands off you.”
Riddick nods. “Yeah, she never could.’ He steps closer to me, and I step back. Still, he stalks me until my back is against a wall and I realize we’re practically alone on the side of the stage. He trails the back of his knuckles across my cheek and smirks.
“But you know, Kitten, I’m curious about your touch, not hers. Do you want me to touch you again?”
“Wh..wh..at.” I stammer.
He nods. “Umm hmm. Unfortunately, Mandy has had the undeserved privilege of touching my body all over. I wasn’t very discerning in the past. She’s had her legs wrapped around my thighs, lips around my cock, her hands grabbing my ass as I thrust into her. But none of those touches set my entire body and soul on fire, like the brush of your lips against my hand a few moments ago.”
Oh, God… his mouth. It’s so dirty. Every word is going straight to my core.
Riddick steps into me, and I gulp at his closeness. Part of me is terrified of being pushed against a wall by such a powerful man. If he wanted to, he could trap me there with his weight. It reminds me of the first time Byron took my innocence. The pressure of his body made me feel trapped in a situation I could not control. With Riddick, I just feel deliciously covered.
This book was cute and steamy! It moved at a really good pace compared to the books I read right before it, so I liked that right away. The characters were great, even if I did get a bit annoyed with both of them for certain little things they did, that I won’t mention because I know those are typical things that happen in romance books to create the drama.
As I said, I did really think the characters, particularly our hero and heroine, were really well written. They had different issues and background stories that were unique and definitely made their actions make sense. Strangely, to me, Riddick didn’t like bathrooms attached to a bedroom, his reasoning, kinda made sense, but also didn’t. But I liked that he had such a unique quirk/opinion.
Brandi was a little bit of a feisty, hot-tempered woman. Quick to want to fight her cousin, or others who might have deserved it. However at times she maybe went a little overboard and that is why she had some of the issues that contributed to moving the story along. But she also loved hard, had standards, and for the most part was pretty confident about herself. Yeah, her ex had done a number on her and caused some insecurities, but Riddick was able to help her figure out how wrong that ex had been.
The bedroom scenes, well not all were in the bedroom, but all were steamy! There were several of them, so be prepared for that to be a big part of the story. Not that I’m complaining! lol
One other thing I thought was weird and that bugged me was how Riddick called the other guys in his fraternity frats. And she called the women in her sorority sorors. Now, I was in a sorority in college, and hung out with people in fraternities. And we called our fellow members sisters and brothers respectively. However, since the Greek organizations in this book were more black students, I wonder if that is the difference? Also, I know it was an advanced copy, but hopefully there was a bit of editing because there were tons of commas in weird awkward places. And finally, I feel like maybe I’d like to have had a little bit more wine in the story than it seemed to be, it was almost like it was thrown in at certain points, normal meals, parties, etc., but not made a major part of the story as the title would imply.
I am looking forward though to getting to know the members of the Meet Cute Book Club better throughout the rest of the books in the series though! This is also my first book by this author, but I would definitely be interested in reading more by her in the future!
About the Author
Contemporary romance Author Louise Lennox is a hopeful romantic writing steamy romances full of heart and healing.
A Spelman College and Georgetown University graduate, Louise provides women with diverse and meaningful representation in romance novel pages. Not seeing enough women like herself headlining positive love stories, she launched #HappyBlackRomance; a community of readers and writers committed to the creation and sharing of positive romance stories featuring Black heroines.
Louise Lennox plots highlight the joys of Black relationships across the diaspora; pushing readers from all cultural backgrounds to admire them for their strength and downright sexiness. In her novels sparks always fly; the sex amazes; and the characters always leave the world better than they found it through their love.
When she’s not writing, Louise is enjoying her work as a school leader, wife, and mother of the two cutest dragons to ever walk the earth!
To learn more about #HappyBlackRomance and to score a free book or two, check out her website www.lovelouiselennox.com.
About the Meet Cute Book Club Series
Escape with the Meet Cute Book Club where meet-cutes don’t only happen between the pages of romance novels and members find their own happily ever afters.
Eight single women bound by their love of books take a monthly break from real life to lose themselves in the chapters of romantic fiction. From friends to lovers to fake relationships and more, each story features a brand new couple and their journey to find love from an amazing lineup of authors including Louise Lennox, Tracy Broemmer, A.M. Williams, Mel Walker, RJ Gray, Rebecca Wilder, Julie Archer, and Kate Stacy.
These eight standalone romances are packed with meet-cutes, heat, and of course a happily ever after!