The Valentine Wager
by Nan Reinhardt
The Lange Brothers - Book 1
Release Date: February 1, 2022
Reviewed by PJ
When playboy police lieutenant Ryker Lange stops Kitt Boynton for driving on the wrong side of the road, his attraction to the feisty Irish lass is immediate. Yet, despite the sizzling chemistry between them, Kitt quickly turns him down.
Kitt has moved to River’s Edge for a fresh start and is ready to focus on her new marketing job at her cousins’ winery. She’s done with players, and vows she won’t let the local sexy cop distract her, but Kitt, a flirt herself, is definitely tempted. To keep her sanity as she prepares for several Valentine-themed winery events, she and Ryker make a bet: for the next three weeks, neither of them can flirt with the other.
The game starts out lighthearted, but when the town takes sides, Ryker and Kitt must choose between winning a wager or finding lasting love.
Nan Reinhardt takes readers back to River's Edge, Indiana (site of her popular Four Irish Brothers Winery books) with a new series that brings the fun, charm, and endearing romance I've come to expect from this author.
The initial meet-cute between Ryker and Kitt sets the tone for these two that immediately had me eagerly and happily flipping pages throughout their journey. Their banter is fun and flirty but there are also layers to each that the author takes the time to explore. I loved the foundation of friendship that formed during their three-week bet but also the self-exploration that occurred. Rye, in particular, when not being his charming, flirtatious, woman-loving self, was forced to look deeper into his past and the fears that had guided his actions for years. And Kitt, with the help of secondary characters, was given the chance to get to know the whole man without the pressures and expectations of dating, especially critical for her after the devastating betrayal she suffered at the hands of the ex-boyfriend whose actions sent her fleeing from her home in Ireland.
Reinhardt has expertly blended charming fun with emotional depth to create a reading experience that both tugged at my heartstrings while also tickling my funny bone. She's created a community of characters who make me want to hang out with them at the winery, the bakery, a middle-school basketball game or the local bar. I feel like I know them, know their town, and am already looking forward to seeing them again. As a fan of the Four Irish Brothers Winery series, I loved catching up with all of the brothers and their families but if you're new to River's Edge, you can absolutely begin with The Valentine Wager. I've already marked my calendar for the second Lange Brothers book, Falling for the Doctor, due to be released June 7, 2022.