The Hatfields and McCoys have nothing on the Butler and Avilla families. The feud between the families has been going on for decades and doesn’t look like it will end anytime soon. But neither the feud, nor the fence between the wineries can keep two determined young lovers apart. Will their love heal the wounds of the past to reunite the families? Or will it drive the wedge deeper and make them choose family over love?
Maddox and Alex have been together for what seems like forever. The one thing neither of them has admitted to is that they are in love.
This book provides that journey while combining the mystery of Kade’s bequests, a bond problem and a few other interesting issues.
Alex’s brothers run Los Caballero’s her family’s winery. Gabe makes the wine, Enzo handles the business and Trev the sales. Now Enzo feels he needs to leave, Gabe is holding everything in and Rory Calder, the new owner of Tablas Creek is stirring up trouble.
Maddox finds out he and Naughton have inherited most of the Hess Estate and vineyard. How Kade managed that is yet another puzzle.
Alex decides to break things off with Maddox to try to find ‘more’.
This is a favorite scene.
“I realized that I’d never love you the way you needed me to.” Those were the words Kade wrote. Was that why Alex ended things with him a couple of hours short of twenty-four hours ago? Was it because Maddox could never love her the way she needed him to?
But who could love her better? Who knew Alex the way he did? No one could come close to understanding understanding her the way he did. It wasn’t just sexual either.
He understood that when Alex felt uncomfortable, she’d fly rather than fight. For years he’d let her. He didn’t force her to fight for him, or for them, but there was never a time when Alex decided to come back, that he didn’t open the door and invite her in.
Other women weren’t one night stands, because he was never with them all night. He didn’t bring them to his house. Only Alex came to his house; only Alex slept with him. He might sleep with a woman more than once, have dinner or drinks, but he never brought them around his family. If they wanted more, he’d tell them the truth. He didn’t.
What would Kade have said this morning if it had been him Maddox saw in Harmony? Would he tell him to get his ass back to Alex’s and tell her how he really felt? Would he tell him to admit that he thought he might love her? Or like he had with Peyton, would he tell Maddox to let her go so she could finally find someone who could love her better?
The thought of it destroyed him.
The idea that he’d never hold her in his arms again made him ache. Maybe he wasn’t as good a man as his older brother. Maybe he couldn’t do the right thing by her and let her go, because he needed her. Had he ever told her that? How could he have when he’d just realized it himself?
He picked up his phone, thinking at first that his battery was dead. When he powered it on, it was fully charged. He didn’t remember turning it off, but he must have. He’d missed a call from Gabe Avila and another from Brodie. Both had also sent texts, asking that he call as soon as he got their message. He doubted they meant three in the morning.
There was nothing from Alex, but he knew there wouldn’t be.
For twenty years, they’d been playing a game. Thinking she was pregnant would have meant the end of the game, but it also would’ve meant the beginning of a life. Not just the baby’s life, their life together. That’s what he wanted, and there was only one way to find out whether something permanent would work between them.
Maybe he should start telling her how he felt, but in a way Alex could handle. He sent her a text.
If you ever wake up and think no one needs you, you’re wrong. I need you, Al.
Slade, Heather. Butler Ranch Box Set: Books 1–3. Sparrow Publishing. Kindle Locations (5127-5147). Kindle Edition.
So much happens in this book, the heartbreak, the emotions, the things that are revealed about Kade, the winery gossip.
Of all of that I loved Maddox and Alex most of all, they have too much to throw it all away.
5 Contented Purrs for Heather!
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My books are filled with things that bring me joy: music, wine, skiing, families, artists, and cowboys. Not always in that order.
I’m an Amazon best-selling author, and a PAN member of Romance Writers of America. I speak, teach, blog, am an executive sommelier, and all-around entrepreneur.
I grew up an east coast girl, and then spent half my life on the west coast. Now my husband, our two boys, and I happily call Colorado home.