Author: Alicia Nordwell
Reviewed by: Lucy
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Summary: Aislin was surrounded by his extensive, but close-knit, family his whole life. He was the younger brother or the cousin they needed to protect and the kid’s favorite uncle, but he was never just Aislin. His overbearing family rarely listened to him, so sure they knew best. His adult years had all been about proving that the accident that damaged his leg as a teenager didn’t limit him.
He started a microbrewery business, bought a winery and decided to have… a baby.
The news shocked his family and friends, but he was determined to be a single parent. Not that Aislin wouldn’t love to have a partner, but dating never really worked out for him. It didn’t matter if he was gay, or single, or had a handicap. He was more than prepared.
He was not expecting the drastic change the next nine months would wreak on his life
Review: Picked at the Peak is a soft, family story that centers on Aislin, a brewmaster and vineyard owner who is taking the step to become a father. He’s on his own but this is something he truly wants. He comes from a very supportive, very close-knit family who smother him just a little bit because he had an accident that caused nerve damage to his leg and foot, so sometimes has difficulty walking. I felt sympathy for him more for the super sensitivity of his right leg, as I can only imagine how much more difficult that made things. Aislin himself has a positive attitude about things and he knows what he wants.
Aislin’s wine and now his specialty beers are well respected in the area. He is making a name for himself and is very happy to have survived economic downturns. He is trying to get everything set in place before the arrival of his baby, carried by a wonderful woman named Diane. There are some sweet moments as he progresses towards this, especially when he sees the ultrasound for the first time or when his family descends en masse to help set up the nursery.
A new brewery manager, Wheeler, has been hired to make things easier for Aislin and his wine manager, Raquel (an awesome friend to him, as well). There is a problem involving work that needs to be dealt with, as well as dealing with the maybe new relationship with Aislin’s friend, Lander, who works for Aislin’s dad. It did seem in the beginning they weren’t really close friends through this time but as it progresses the story makes it seem they have been good friends all along. In any event, Lander has been part of Aislin’s family and he needs that, considering how his own family is.
The mystery of this story is pretty easily solved and isn’t the main focus. There is more on Aislin’s impending fatherhood (and really, when his baby is being born and he is trying not to see anything too personal, “He failed, of course, and the memory would probably haunt him in straight dreams for years to come” made me laugh and reread it. Poor Aislin and girly bits), as well as himself and Lander. I completely understood Lander’s reluctance and I loved Aislin’s wish for independence. It was also appreciated that there was no magic fix for Aislin’s disability. He is a man who does what he needs and gets a pretty sweet HEA along with his new baby.