Reviews

Entangled, by Melissa Brayden

aud1's review against another edition

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2.0

I don’t think I can finish this book. Two major gripes: first, these adult women are just too over the top twee and precious. They all have the exact same personality. And it gets old.

But here’s the big gripe for me: there’s no way a huge project like that would just pop up unannounced. There would have been town meetings about rezoning for such an anomaly as a large resort. No way was that property already zoned for it. In the real works, THAT is when the townspeople protest and air their grievances. Not when the project, which has to have been in the works for a couple of years, is literally ready to open in a month. I mean, what’s the goal here? Have the resort property abandoned and become an eyesore? Eye roll festivals are built on such.

Honestly, I would have thought an adult living in the real world would know details like that. It’s bugging the crap out of me and I think I have to abandon it.

lydiahope98's review against another edition

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lighthearted relaxing medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

sherpawhale's review against another edition

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2.0

This one really grinded my gears.

There's a saying in fantasy books that I'm going to paraphrase, but about how you have to get the minutiae of say, black smithing right, or readers will never be willing to suspend their disbelief for the magic.

And this small town Entangled takes place in really messed up their blacksmithing.

Seriously, it's like Brayden transplanted a fictional town from the 70s or 80s in the 2020s. And it didn't just make me mildly mad, it made me actually angry.

In my day job, I go out to restaurants, and sometimes I go to the tiny small towns that are dying year after year, their last big heyday taking place before the completion of the Interstate Highway project. These residents would KILL for someone to invest an upscale resort in their town, something that would keep the wolf away from the door.

Real small towns may grouse about "outsiders" ruining the town, but they greedily lap up every single tourist dollar they can get, and for good reason.

So the central conflict between the two protagonists revolving around one being a small town girl grown up to be a winery owner vs. a ritzy resort manager really fell flat for me.

Another thing that fell flat? The twee interactions between the friends who are obviously being set up for continuing novels in this series. "Kill your darlings" should have been employed in force here, particularly with Gabriella, but apparently weren't because... all of the rest of the side characters are so "charming" and "quaint." I seriously felt like I was reading someone's novel from when they were 15 when it came to the cast of townies. Stop being too cute and let your story and romance stand on its own.

Aside from that, the chemistry was very strong between Joey and Becca, but I never really felt the "enemies-to-lovers" vibe I think Brayden was going for, for reasons mentioned above.

All that said, when I like Brayden, I really like her, but I would hesitate before picking up another book in this series if it was about Gabriella.

judeinthestars's review against another edition

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5.0

Ages ago, a friend from Oregon took us on a wine-tasting trip in Sonoma Valley on our way to San Francisco. Now I wish we had stayed in Oregon and visited Willamette Valley instead, and more precisely, Tangle Valley Vineyard.

Joey – Josephine – Wilder grew up in Tangle Valley, learning everything about wine on her family’s vineyard. When her dad suddenly dies, she finds herself in charge. Fortunately, she can count on her best friend Madison LeGrange’s help. It so happens Madison is a winemaker extraordinaire, and also knows exactly the right person to make the team complete, her ex and great friend Gabriella Russo. Joey’s life seems brighter with them by her side, and will get even better when she meets sexy Becca Crawford. The only problem is, Becca is the general manager of the luxury resort opening down the road from the vineyard, a resort Joey and other residents of Whisper Wall see as a threat to the charm of their little town.

Melissa Brayden is the queen of banter and flirty dialogue. Her characters are relatable, witty and sweet and I just want to be friends with them. I’m actually glad they don’t exist because I’d be torn between wanting them to talk all day and my need for quiet. Or maybe I could let them chat and go enjoy the quiet among the vines, as Joey used to as a child, knowing there’s happy stuff happening just a few feet away.

Another thing Melissa Brayden excels at is groups of friends. I’ve already listed some of the reasons why her characters are so fantastic, and they get even more fantastic when you put them together. They have this awesome energy that only multiplies in an exquisite way. Entangled is book 1 of the Tangle Valley trilogy that centres around Joey, Gabriella and Madison. Gabriella will get her love story in book 2, [b:Two to Tangle|51236429|Two to Tangle|Melissa Brayden|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1581630641l/51236429._SY75_.jpg|75974294], so logically, Madison should get hers in the last book of the series. I’m very much looking forward to these!

I’m not going to argue that this novel is perfect. It’s not, including a few editing glitches. It is, however, perfectly enjoyable. Ms Brayden knows what she’s doing and she does it well. She makes the reader fall in love with the MCs then breaks them up, tearing the reader’s heart in the process, until the characters realise there’s no resisting fate and get back together, leaving the reader delighted and warm again. I sometimes wish she would take a few risks, but I can’t exactly blame her for playing it safe when this is the result. So yes, it’s another 5*.

I received a copy from the publisher and I am voluntarily leaving a review.

elvang's review against another edition

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5.0

A Melissa Brayden trilogy starring three women and a winery in the leading roles? Yes, please. In Entangled we are introduced to Joey Wilder, new owner and manager of Tangle Valley Vineyard. Joey has lived in Whisper Wall, Oregon and worked at Tangle Valley her whole life. She has big plans for the winery, enlisting the help of her childhood friend Madison, a vintner with a growing reputation and Madison’s ex, Gabriella, a creative force in the kitchen. Even her love life is getting an overhaul when the beautiful Becca catches her eye in the tasting room. Now if only she could find a way to halt construction of that mega resort promising to spoil all that is quaint in Whisper Wall, Joey’s life would be perfect.

I love a good trilogy and Ms. Brayden is one of the best at creating a world we readers can jump into with our hearts and both feet. We meet the stars of the next books in the series and get to know them a little but the focus is on the trials, troubles, joys and heartbreaks experienced by Joey and Becca. Brayden writes attraction with finesse. From their first meeting you can feel the heat, sparks flying and promise of romantic scenes to come. Their relationship is so solid you can’t help but worry what will happen when the bad things start, because you know there will be hurdles to cross.

This book is like a big warm hug. I love the way Brayden captures the pleasure we get as women chatting about anything and everything. The old biddies who love nothing more than fresh gossip add lightness to offset the fears Joey has around running a successful business.
Becca might be the big bad face of Jade but her honesty and integrity shine through and make her worthy of courting the town’s sweetheart and hard luck story. This one pulls at your heartstrings and I found myself tearing up during a pivotal scene near the end of the novel. Bonus points for making me cry.

Loved it. Can’t wait for Gabriella’s story.

ARC received with thanks from publisher for review.

motaki's review against another edition

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emotional lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.75

hms2089's review against another edition

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5.0

Amazing!

Sarcastic, loving, heartbreaking. Such an amazing book. I recommend being brought into this little world, you’re not going to want to leave!

mjsam's review against another edition

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4.0

ARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is pretty much vintage Brayden. There’s a super cute couple, Joey, who runs a vineyard, and Becca, who is managing the new hotel that’s about to open in town. Joey does not want said hotel in her town, so is disappointed to discover that her new crush is also the woman in charge of the hotel she doesn’t like. Becca and Joey have instant chemistry, and Becca manages to win Joey over in short order. There’s lots of meet cutes and banter, as you’d expect. This also features Madison, Joey’s long time BFF and Gabrielle, Madison’s ex and good friend. These two come to work at the vineyard with Joey, and will also feature in the other books in the series.

When reading this I kept thinking how much it was like [b:Kiss the Girl|18406404|Kiss the Girl (Soho Loft, #1)|Melissa Brayden|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1384260344l/18406404._SY75_.jpg|26041514] and it gets more so as you go along. The requisite drama at the 70% mark was almost an exact replay. This also features the issue I’ve had with Brayden’s books before, the banter wears after awhile and most of the characters talk in the same voice, which is annoying. Brayden also manages some tie ins with other books, and I did like her tongue in cheek reference to the mixed reviews for Back to September.

Joey and Becca are very sweet together and I enjoyed watching them flirt and move through their relationship, even though the last 30% or so kind of dragged. Fans of Brayden will enjoy this, for the most part it’s a nice sweet romance. It’s probably 3.5 stars, but I’m rounding up.

jathura's review against another edition

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5.0

So ready for another series of connected romanced by Melissa Brayden. This first book sets up the cast and setting excellently while being a stellar romance in itself.

keitoh's review against another edition

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3.5

3.5 stars