USA Today Bestselling Author
A smooth billionaire winemaker.
A compassionate bidder with a loving heart.
With just one sip, it all gets a little WICKED.
As head winemaker of the Los Caballeros winery, I like to keep it cool, collected, and smooth. Knowing my weakness, my sister sends in a secret weapon—Addison Reagan—to convince me to be in the bachelor auction. There’s no way I can turn her down.
After all, she’s everything I’ve been missing. With her unassuming and kind nature, I am bowing down to her every need, and measuring every moment.
I have one mission: get Brix into the bachelor auction. Easier said than done. Brix is stubborn and distant. I’m beyond shocked when he agrees. Of course there’s a catch. There always is with a man like him. I have to be the winning bidder. Not a problem. After all, he’s sexy, charming, and irresistible. He sets me on fire.
With Brix, things are about to heat up. And just when it does, my demons come barreling back. But can I count on a WICKED WINEMAKER to save me from the past?
Brix finds himself often driving to Stave when he knows Addison will be working. He hasn’t asked her out but does find himself spending as much time as he can around her. Including having breakfast at her mother and stepfather’s diner, where she waitressed in the mornings.
Addison has a bit of a crush on Brix but she doesn’t delude herself that the head winemaker and owner of Los Caballeros Vineyards would be interested in her. She lives in an apartment over the garage at her mother and stepfather’s house and works two jobs to make ends meet. Not exactly a catch.
Things are about to change though as she rushes to the hospital to be with her mother. She has no idea of the extent of the abuse her mother has been going through, it’s far more than the arguments she’s heard. What she find shocks her and has her feeling guilty for not knowing, although her mother still insists she just fell down the stairs. The fact that this is not the first visit to the ER has Addison more than a little concerned.
She’s more than a little surprised to find Brix parked by the house when she returns with her mother. Her co-worker Samantha drove her to the hospital and then helped get her mother home. Brix upon hearing Addison would be opening the diner by herself, steps up to say he’d see her there when she opened.
In the meantime Brix has his friend Press dig into Peg’s husband, Dennis, what he finds isn’t good and raises even more concerns over Addison and Peg’s safety.
Many people showed up to help with the diner including Brix’s mother and later his sister Alex, Addison’s other boss. Alex had another agenda though and wants Addison to ask Brix to be in the Bachelor Auction.
This is a favorite scene.
While I’d never call her out on it more directly than I had, the bullshit Alex was spewing about how Brix and I were perfect for each other pissed me off. Did she really think I was that much of an idiot that I’d buy into what she was trying to manipulate me into doing? There was no way in hell I’d ask Brix to be in the auction. Given how many times he’d turned his own sister down, it was obvious it wasn’t something he wanted to do.
“Addison? Are you okay?” When Brix walked into the cooler, I pretended to be counting the sheets of pastries we had left to bake tomorrow. It was something I had to do anyway; I just hadn’t thought of it until that moment.
“I’m good. How are you? You must be exhausted. You can take off, you know. I mean, we’re closed.” I vomited all those words and managed not to look at him. Bravo, Addy.
“Hey.” He stepped closer. Too close. “What was that between you and Alex?”
“Had to have been something for you to hide out in a giant freezer.”
“I’m not hiding out. I’m doing inventory.”
“Yeah? You could’ve counted everything in here ten times by now. Come on, you’re freezing.”
Brix took my hand, and it felt so warm. Hot actually. Scorchingly hot. The heat spread throughout my body. He didn’t let go, even after we were outside, at what was becoming our meeting place.
“Tell me what Alex said to you.”
I tried to pull my hand away, but he wouldn’t let go. In fact, he grabbed the other one and stepped so close our bodies were almost touching.
“Tell me what Alex did to upset you.”
“She didn’t upset me.”
“Yes, she did. Now tell me why.”
“It isn’t worth talking about. She asked me to do something, and I said I couldn’t.”
“Something to do with me.”
He didn’t say it as a question, so I didn’t feel the need to respond.
I tried again to shake my hands free, but he held tight.
“There are a whole lot of people inside, waiting to talk to both of us, but I have no intention of letting you go until you tell me what Alex asked you to do.”
“It isn’t that big of a deal,” I said, this time jerking my hands from his. “She wanted me to ask you to be in the Wicked Winemakers’ Bachelor Auction, and I told her I wouldn’t.”
He smirked. “Why not?”
My eyes opened wide, and I put my hands on my hips. “Are you serious right now? Why not? Because she’s asked you a million times, and you’ve always refused. She was trying to manipulate me into asking, and I didn’t want any part of it.”
I looked out of the corner of my eye and saw more people walking into the diner; they’d obviously heard my outburst.
“Great.” I shook my head and looked at the ground. “Now everyone will think I’m a crazy person.”
“Right! Batshit crazy.”
“No. I mean, yes, I’ll be in the auction. However, I have a few stipulations.”
I stared at him, mouth hanging open. I snapped it closed and spun around so my back was to him. “You know who really is batshit crazy? You and Alex. You two can sort this crap out on your own.”
I was headed inside when I heard him speak again.
“One stipulation involves you, Addison.”
I wanted to pull my hair out, crawl into a hole, and never come out. “No. Whatever it is, the answer is no.”
“We’ll talk about it later,” he said as he joined me at the door. “Come on, let’s go.” He grabbed my hand and pulled me with him.
“You’re infuriating,” I mumbled.
What did he do? He laughed.
Heather Slade. Wicked Bachelors:: Brix (Kindle Locations 733-767). The Wicked Winemakers’ Ball Book One. Kindle Edition.
All this occurs before someone burns down the diner and a large insurance policy on Peg’s life comes to light.
Things take quite a twist when Brix gets the Los Caballeros involved and his relationship with Addison heats up as well.
I love the way everything comes together especially with all the twists and turns.
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.