Syrah – Nessa L. Warin – Book #1 of All Corked Up

Posted: August 14, 2013 in Book Review
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Dreamspinner press aren’t just publishing fantastic fiction pieces.  Their employees are knocking out impressive works as well.  Introducing Nessa L. Warin.  Warin’s fifth book has just hit the stands in the form of Syrah, the first book in the All Corked Up series, and is meeting a great reception.

As a wine enthusiast herself, Warin is fully in her comfort zone, as she weaves the tale of Royce Wilkinson, proprietor of All Corked Up, a Portland-local wine shop that Royce set up from scratch in memory of and using the inheritance from his Grandfather.  From the get-go, Warin beautifully describes the setting in a delicate prose that draws the reader in.  And it’s not long before the genre takes effect as we are introduced to the handsome restaurant owner, Shawn Neale.  One snowy Christmas Eve, Shawn walks in for a recommendation on what wine to take his sisters celebration, and thus begins a whirlwind love story that, though focuses on these two older characters, is something that anyone would relate to.

Warin’s gift of description, her knowledge of the subject, and her beautifully crafted supporting characters make this book a joy to read.  Particular highlights were the excerpts featuring Royce’s co-worker, the acerbic Clint, whose playful banter and crossing of personal boundaries makes for hilarious reading.  Secondly, the ageing restaurant owner of Delicto, the pub that Shawn manages gives the reader a love-hate relationship for the reader to sink their teeth into.  This character Henry is both the villain of the piece, but it’s difficult to truly hate him, despite his homophobic tirades, as the character seems to genuinely care for Shawn’s character.

The book is cover to cover excellence, as Warin puts her soul into this small slice of M/M fiction that is light on erotica, but excels in warmth and heart.  The sex scenes are few, but intense, and her prose surrounding the building desire between the men, the conflict they face and the final explosion of their lust is artfully woven and particularly vivid.

I love finding books with subheadings, particularly ones that involve the words “book one…”.  I felt myself falling in love right alongside the characters of Syrah, (particularly Royce, who adopts abandoned kittens for goodness sake!  How can you not?) and I’m really excited to see what happens to Shawn and Royce in the upcoming sequels.

Syrah is available to purchase from Dreamspinner Press at this link:

She is also the author of other M/M fiction pieces ‘Sauntering Vaguely Downwards’,To Dream, Perchance to Live’, ‘Stamp of Fate’ and ‘The Stars are Brightly Shining’ which are all available from Dreamspinner.

You can contact her on twitter @nessalwarin, and follow her blog:


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