Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Where I Want To Be by Cortney Roudebush (4.5 stars)

About Where I Want To Be
Wine Country Series, #1
(from the author's website)

Craving a change of scenery and interested in learning more about wine, Olivia enrolls in a three-month wine education program in Napa Valley. While living in the Wine Country for the summer and attending classes, she feels compelled to try new things that she normally wouldn’t do while at home in Los Angeles.

Early in her wine-filled journey, Olivia becomes friends with three dynamic, young women who work in the wine industry and live in her new neighborhood. Between wine tasting, dining at nearby restaurants and attending parties, they help Olivia appreciate the many facets of life in a small wine-centric town.

This novel is filled with many real wine and winery references. Olivia’s passion for wine encourages her to embrace change and enjoy living her life more fully. By the time Harvest arrives, Olivia isn’t ready to leave Wine Country just yet…

The second novel in the series, Living with Grace, will be told from the perspective of one of Olivia’s new Wine Country friends, Grace (expected Summer 2014 release).

Thirsty for more? Buy the ebook on Amazon, iTunes, or order the Hardback Edition here


Olivia takes a temporary leave from a safe, but boring, existence in Southern California for the call of wine country. She enrolls in a wine course, finds a place to live, and throws herself into the community. Along the way, she meets some amazing women. The longer she stays, the more it feels like home.

With some encouragement from her new friends, she starts dating--including a few attempts via an online dating site. As her love of wine and the community grows, it gets harder and harder to view her time there as temporary. Would meeting someone special change that?

Sometimes a book comes into your life just when you need it. This was one of those times. I recently moved to Northern California and went on my first trip to Napa Valley over the holidays. I was immediately smitten, just like I was with this novel. Olivia is a great character--full of questions and uncertainties, willing to make mistakes, constantly learning and taking risks, and letting her heart be her guide. 

Add a great supporting cast, and it's a novel that feels like home. Ooh, and there's wine and great food to boot. Heaven. In addition to the richness of great characters, there's the added fun of humor. Some of Olivia's dates are laugh-out-loud funny. But let's not forget the romance. When the last page came, I wasn't ready to say goodbye.

Where I Want to Be is an emotional and entertaining journey. It made me want to gather some girlfriends and head to wine country, to search for something there I might not know is missing. I'm looking forward to reading more books in this series. 

Rating: 4.5 stars

About the Author
(from the author's website)

In high school, under the instruction of a published author and Creative Writing teacher, Cortney started writing short stories. While attending the University of Southern California as a Creative Writing student, she penned many English essays, poetry and more short stories. In her final year before graduating from USC, she penned a weekly wine column for the Daily Trojan.

After graduating, Cortney moved to San Francisco for a job at a fashion magazine. From there, she landed a position at Wine Spectator Magazine and then worked at Spruce Restaurant. After passing the Court of Master Sommelier preliminary exam, Cortney’s passion for wine encouraged her relocation to Napa Valley. She began a wine blog, Sip Swirl Savor, when she moved to St. Helena in 2009. She held hospitality positions at various wineries until 2011, at which point she started—and finished—her first novel.

Where I Want to Be is the first of four novels in the Wine Country series about four friends who live and work in Napa Valley.

Cortney currently lives in Marin County and is busy writing the second novel of the series. 

Please follow Cortney on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for updates. Thank you and cheers!

Check it out on GoodReads here.

Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own.