5 and TWO 4 Stars for Tasting Notes (Canyon Creek #1) by Cate Ashwood #MM #Romance @cateashwood


Title: Tasting Notes (Canyon Creek #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Cate Ashwood (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: October 26, 2015 – 200 pgs


West, a venture capitalist, has paid for his wealth and success with long hours at the office and no personal life to speak of. Meetings, conference calls, and paperwork dominate his waking hours and have kept him from honoring the promise he made to his late grandfather years before.

After leaving the Marines, Rush returns to his hometown and settled in as a Christmas Tree farmer. His life is quiet and simple, and he likes it that way. When West arrives in town and buys Rush’s parent’s vineyard on a whim, that simple life is turned upside down. The animosity between them is palpable, but Rush shelves his preconceived notions in order to protect his parents’ legacy. He agrees to help West learn how to run the vineyard, and Rush soon realizes that love doesn’t necessarily come in the package he expected.

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So I will be honest and say I was unsure of how I felt about Rush in this book at first because his first meeting with West he honestly came across as a jerk. Well I will say by the end of this book he was definitely redeemed to me and I understood why he acted the way he did.
West is a venture capitalist who works so hard day and night that he eventually loses track of himself. Events seat into motion him realizing that he has not done what he originally planned with his grandfathers ashes which was to spread them in the ocean. He also realize he is tired of the fast past lifestyle he has been living up to this point in his life. Well he drives through a small town and after realizing how much he loves this place he decides to buy a vineyard which happens to be owned by Rush’s parents which sets Rush off in his dislike of West even more than he already does. Let me say once this two realize their feelings for each other and let go of everything else it was beautiful. They make such a good couple and they fit together so well.
With this book you get the Steam which was hot and the angst! You also meet a few other characters in this book too.
This was more of a slow build up to a beautiful relationship between these two and I thought it worked perfectly with this book and this couple.

So all together I really loved this book!
I would definitely recommend this book!



West is a driven, lonely, goal driven man.  He has very little in his life that keeps him more focused than work.  He knows what he wants and goes after it.  However, he has only that in his life.  Well, work and his secretary.
Then you have Rush.  He leads a much simpler life – not any less busy, but busy in a very different way.  I wish that we knew more about his time in the military, but from what I guessed, he was not at all that happy about it.  The one story that we are given is not really about him, but more about his unhappiness with a fellow pilot.
West is somewhat hasty in his acquisition of the vineyard, but quickly realizes that he needs help.  I think that was a great quality in him.  Knowing that he might have bitten off more than he could chew – not really complaining.  Rush was more of the complainer in this story.  I had a much more difficult time liking Rush than West.  Rush seemed almost more spoiled than West – he threw more tantrums.
I really wish that we knew more about the resolution for West.  His dilemma, I felt, was unresolved and left the reader hanging.
The chemistry between West and Rush is not off the charts, but it’s adequate enough for this story.  I think the message here is that in a relationship, no matter where life takes you, it’s a partnership that needs give and take on both sides.  No one person should have to sacrifice everything.
This was a suspend all disbelief and enjoy a sweet book about hot men and wine type of book. I’m not arguing that the plot was believable. I’m just confessing that I absolutely loved Rush, a Marine helicopter pilot turned tree farmer. I loved his town and I loved his family. The northern California setting is beautiful and the people in Rush’s town are wonderfully vibrant. There. That’s me done gushing.

It took me a while to warm to West. Entitled affluence isn’t my thing. But the author kept revealing new sides to West until I had to love him too.

The plot was pretty awful. I won’t argue with any of the reviewers decrying West’s implausible role as a CEO of a hedge fund company. I fully agree that it probably isn’t possible to learn to run a vineyard in the space of a few weeks. But the impossible was also beautiful. I was ready to become an American after the Disney-style Independence Day celebrations in Rush’s little town.

I like the way the author altered the usual billionaire/pauper plot with West adapting himself to Rush’s hometown life instead of Rush having to become comfortable with pretentious privilege. I loved the chemistry between the two men (though Rush’s initial dislike of West was more than a little overblown). Angry sex always makes me a little uncomfortable, but the relationship that progressed from angry sex was pretty wonderful.

This wasn’t perfect, but it was a sweet, feel-good romance. A slightly guilty indulgence that I don’t feel too inclined to over-scrutinise. I really enjoyed the story.



The drive over felt the same as it always did. Rush thought his truck probably could have found its way anywhere in town, but the trip to Lennox Hill was one he’d made at least a few thousand times. It was weird to think the property no longer belonged to his family. Enough of his sweat had soaked into the soil that a part of him lived in that land.

He parked his truck in the same place as always and opened the door, calling to Casper to jump out before closing the door behind him. The door to the main structure was closed and locked. Rush peered through the windows of the wine room as he walked past, but the lights were off and the space was abandoned. Rush and Casper followed the pathway toward the house. Casper sat down as Rush knocked, waiting patiently for an answer. When none came, he knocked again with a little more force. West’s car was parked in the driveway, so unless he had decided to walk somewhere, he should be here.

A moment later, the door swung open and West stood there, naked from the waist up, his hair disheveled and his cheeks pink.

“What the fuck?” he asked.

Rush saw red, which was a blessing because it kept him from seeing the way West’s body looked beneath his clothes. The guy was sleeping, and it was nearly noon. He’d owned the vineyard for less than a week, and he was already slacking off.

“Can I come in? I want to talk to you.”

West stepped to the side to let Rush enter. He looked around. Everything was the same as he remembered it. The house was warm and comfortable, begging you to come in and stay a while. Rush had always loved this house. He peered into the living room, noting the two empty wine bottles on the coffee table.

“Is that a fucking wolf?” West demanded, breaking Rush out of his train of thought.

“What? No. That’s Casper. My dog.”

With a subtle nod from Rush, Casper sat next to his master, his eyes glued to West, but quiet.

West narrowed his eyes. “Why are you here?”

“I came to offer my help. You said you needed help, and my mom told me you didn’t know a fucking thing about running this place, so I figured I’d bail you out.”

“Why?” West looked awfully mistrustful. Rush couldn’t blame him. He didn’t trust West either.

“Because they’re my family, and you’re the dickhead who bought the place they poured their hearts and souls into. I’m not going to let you run it into the ground because you have some romantic fucking idea about being all sophisticated and worldly, owning your own vineyard. Not going to happen.”

“Look, what is your fucking problem with me?” West asked, crowding Rush’s space.

“You’ve been nothing but a complete bastard to me since the moment you laid eyes on me. I haven’t done shit to you, and you’re giving me a rough time for no goddamn reason.”

Casper growled, but Rush calmed him with a gentle pat to the head. “Sue me if I don’t like spoiled little rich kids. You blow into town in your tricked-out sports car and think you can do whatever you want here because you have a shit ton of money. You take what you want without any regard for the people around you.”

“You don’t know a thing about me, but you think you’ve got my number. Well, you can go fuck yourself. You saw my car, and you made a snap decision about me. You didn’t bother talking to me or getting to know me at all before you rushed to judgment. Maybe you should give me the benefit of the doubt before you tell me who I am.”

“I don’t need to. I know exactly who you are. I’ve met guys like you. You’re arrogant, spoiled, and selfish. You put on a good front, pretending to be this philanthropic nice guy, but when it comes down to it, you’ll choose your money over everything else.”

“Oh, for fuck sakes. You storm in here, waking me up and screaming at me. In case you missed the memo, this is my home now. You’re on my property. What gives you the right to show up and give me shit about something you know nothing about?”

“Your name may be on the deed, but that’s as far as it goes, asshole. Lennox Hill is in my blood, and the last thing I want is for you to completely destroy it out of sheer ignorance.”

“Well, then there’s something we agree on. It’s why I came to your house in the first place, in case you need reminding about that. I don’t want this place to fail any more than you do, so how about you get your head out of your ass, stop being such a fucking prick, and help me?”

Rush stared at him, not saying a word. He hadn’t anticipated the conversation taking this turn. Hell, he hadn’t anticipated this conversation period. There was something there, behind West’s eyes, a kind of rawness Rush hadn’t expected. He stepped forward, his eyes locked on West’s. He felt drawn to him like a compass to north, locking onto that flicker of something unnamable.

He was not in control of his body. He pulled a quick intake of breath as the space between them evaporated. He was close enough that he could feel the crackle of electricity between them, as tangible as if West was statically charged.

“Fine, I’ll help,” Rush said, knowing West could feel his breath as he spoke.

“But this doesn’t mean I like you,” Rush growled.

“Understood,” West replied. “I don’t like you either.”

“As long as we’re clear.”


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Cate Ashwood wrote her very first story in a hot-pink binder when she was in the second grade and found her passion for writing. Her first successful foray into romance writing came five years later when she wrote her best friend, who was experiencing a case of unrequited love, her own happily ever after.

Cate’s life has taken a number of different and adventurous roads. She now lives a stone’s throw from the ocean, just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband, her little boy, and their two cats. Her life is filled with family and friends, travel, and, of course, books.


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Filed under 4 Star, 5 Star, AvidReader, Kara, M/M, New Release, Review, Sarah

One Response to 5 and TWO 4 Stars for Tasting Notes (Canyon Creek #1) by Cate Ashwood #MM #Romance @cateashwood

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