ANGEL’S SHARE BY KAYTE NUNN

Life and love in the fictional Shingle Valley wine region proves sweet in Kayte Nunn’s second book, Angel’s Share. I reviewed Rose’s Vintage, the first Shingle Valley book when it was released, so it was nice to catch up with familiar characters again. Here’s the blurb:

When something is taken away, it can make what’s left all the sweeter – in wine making, they call it the ‘angels’ share’.

Mattie Cameron thinks she’s got it all figured out: an impressive career in London, a gorgeous boyfriend and brilliant friends. But after a freak skiing accident leaves her with serious injuries, a broken heart and a job she can no longer do, moving back to Australia to recuperate at her brother Mark’s winery in the Shingle Valley seems like the only option.

Meanwhile, Mark is preoccupied with a catastrophic threat to the future of the valley, and his partner, Rose, is juggling the demands of her burgeoning restaurant and being a stepmother, all the while secretly longing for a child of her own.

As Mattie’s injuries heal, she begins to wonder where her future might lie, especially when she finds herself struggling with her growing feelings for winemaker Charlie Drummond – who happens to be engaged to someone.

If Rose’s Vintage was a light, crisp white, Angel’s Share is warm-hearted like a mellow red. The characters’ concerns about mining add complexity, but overall it’s still a light romantic read, with plenty of will-they, won’t-they moments, and it ticks all the warm and fuzzy boxes.

I was drawn into the setting, which I recognise as NSW’s Hunter Valley, and Mattie’s dilemmas over her career and future (and boy, was I glad she washed her hands of the dodgy boyfriend at the start), and I enjoyed the way the attraction between Mattie and Charlie played out.

Angel’s Share is a book to curl up with on a lounge (or in bed) and enjoy (preferably with a treat or two). It’s available from good bookstores (RRP $29.99) from May 1. My copy was courtesy of Black Inc. Books.