Review — “Just Like That” by Karin Kallmaker

Bella Books
November 2005
284 pages

31-year-old Syrah Ardani doesn’t want commitment, and she’s not enthusiastic about her best friend’s plan to settle down. All Syrah wants is to focus on her family’s winery instead. But then she finds out that her aging father made the winery a corporation and is now deeply in debt.

Just Like That by Karin KallmakerToni Blanchard, a corporate turnaround specialist, is sent to assess the situation. Toni’s lover of two years just left her, and she has no romantic notions left.

When they meet, they don’t trust each other. Syrah is downright hostile at first since she thinks Toni is helping to take the family business away from her. Toni is used to doing business without emotions, but this time, she finds it impossible not to get emotionally involved.

“Just Like That” is a solid novel from a writer who knows what she’s doing. The characters, especially Syrah, have a life and people in them even before meeting each other. Karin Kallmaker also incorporated the wine lingo nicely — just enough to make me believe that this is really what Syrah does for a living, but not enough to distract or bore the reader.

What I didn’t like is the fact that the conflict keeping them apart relies partly on a misunderstanding/lack of communication and trust. And considering that they avoid each other at first, the declaration of love comes a bit soon.

But at least the author has Syrah prove her trust in Toni in the end — a good move!

Editing is always a bit hit-and-miss with Bella Books, but this one is well edited (except for a few comma issues).

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