I know Goodreads giveaways are supposed to be random, but I started to question that reality when I received an email saying that I had won a Goodreads giveaway for an ARC of Unfortunately Yours by Tessa Bailey. You know, the sequel to Secretly Yours…which I also won an ARC of through a Goodreads giveaway? What are the freaking chances?!
After losing her fancy finance job and her fiancé in one fell swoop, Natalie Vos returns home to drown her sorrows. Even though she’s Napa royalty, she’s never felt like she belonged and, after a few months, she’s ready to return to life in New York with a new firm and a new outlook. She just needs the money from her trust fund released to her. There’s just one problem…she has to be gainfully employed and married for the funds to be released. In an act of desperation, Natalie proposes a fake marriage to August Cates, a veteran-turned-vintner trying to make his late best friend’s dream come true. It’s a win-win: Natalie gets her trust fund and August, with Natalie’s family name connected to him, gets a small business loan to make his friend’s dream come true. But the simmering chemistry between the two may be harder to ignore than anticipated.
Oh how I love a good enemies-to-lovers, marriage of convenience story. This was a quick read that had me turning pages like crazy to figure out what happened next. The stakes aren't very high, but the fact that these two can’t just communicate with each other makes for some laughable situations.
The characters each have a bit of depth to them. Natalie is battling with feeling inadequate and rejected from everyone in her life. August is just trying to make up for his best friend’s death, which he believes to be his fault. The two find themselves in contention regularly because they can’t just talk through what they’re individually working through. Though they both grow by the end of the story, the progression feels a bit stilted and like they both stumble into growing up.
If I’m being completely honest, I think the cameos from Hallie and Julian were some of my favorite parts of the book (but that truck on the side of the road in the torrential rain is probably my favorite scene IYKYK). Knowing the Vos family as we do from the first book, it’s especially endearing to see how Julian interacts with Natalie (and especially how he speaks with August).
Overall, this book was a lot of fun (and also made me want to Google how to make wine because it sounded so fascinating). I won’t be calling August my book boyfriend anytime soon, but I loved seeing Natalie and August’s relationship develop (and I have a newfound respect for showers and rain…again, IYKYK).
Unfortunately Yours by Tessa Bailey is the second book in the A Vine Mess series and is available to order here. Don’t forget to also pick up a copy of Secretly Yours to see how Natalie and August first meet!
Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher for free and have voluntarily written this review. If you purchase a copy using my Bookshop affiliate link above, not only will I receive a small commission (which will fuel my coffee and tea addiction and help to keep me up all night reading more books to recommend to you), but you will be supporting indie bookstores as well! If you prefer Amazon, visit my Amazon storefront and click on the list titled "2023 Book Recommendations."