Why we love it: Rose’s Vintage is a treat for romance fans, with a charmingly normal heroine, a couple you’ll root for and a delectable winery setting.
When she arrives in Australia, Rose Bennett is ready for change. She’s made an impulsive decision to leave the life she knows behind, and start again as an au pair at a struggling winery in Shingle Valley. She’s hoping to forget both the wintery English weather, and the ex who broke her heart to smithereens.
Things in Shingle Valley aren’t quite what Rose expected. The weather, for one, is disappointing: ‘Home and Away had a lot to answer for,’ and while she immediately connects with the young children, winery owner Mark Cameron remains a (ridiculously handsome) enigma. Just as she starts to feel at home and make her mark on the winery and the family, Mark’s estranged wife Isabella returns and Rose realises that she’s on the cusp of getting everything she wants – and may be about to lose it all.
Rose is a very relatable heroine, she is in tune with her emotions, feels things very strongly, and always manages to keep her sense of humour. We’re on her side as she battles with her loyalties – she’s meant to be doing some recon on whether Kalkari Wines might be a sound investment for her ambitious brother Henry, but is torn due to her genuine love for the place and people she meets there.
Rose befriends Astrid, the stunningly beautiful Austrian, who finds herself facing her own forced new beginning. There’s Leo and Luisa, the adorable kids who are the first to capture Rose’s heart. Then there’s their mother Isabella, who sweeps in and out of the winery on a wave of drama, and of course, Mark himself. Oh, Mark himself. In author Kayte Nunn’s Pinterest board about the book (you can check it out here) she has imagined Mark as a Jon Hamm, Colin Firth-esque hero, and he is certainly swoon-worthy in the book.
So get yourself a nice glass of red and settle in, because Kayte Nunn’s debut is a romance you’ll want to savour.
Kayte moved to Australia 20 years ago and works as a freelancer book, magazine and web editor when she isn’t chasing after her two young daughters. Previously the editor of Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine, she knows a good glass when she sees it.
We chatted with Kayte about culture shock, wineries, and what’s next for the characters of Shingle Valley – click here to read more.
Finished the book? Check out the book club questions here.