Drunk on Love by Jasmine Guillory follows the story of Margot Noble, co-owner and CEO of Noble Family Vineyards in Napa Valley, California. As she now co-owns the family vineyard with her brother, Elliot, which they inherited from their uncle Sam. Margot is dead set on making her mark at the vineyard, as Elliot has been the winemaker there for quite some time. As a result, she’s taken on the responsibilities for the business side of the vineyard and appears to be in over her head as she works hard to make changes and updates to bring continued success to the family business. On top of her regular CEO duties, she steps in to help at the tasting room and helps gives tours as the vineyard is short staffed, and is also trying to plan an anniversary party for the vineyard all on her own. Bogged down by stress, Margot goes to her friend Sydney’s restaurant, Barrel, after work to catch up and have a much needed drink – especially after she finds out Elliot hired two new employees without her approval.
As she chats with Sydney on her overwhelming to do list, Sydney suggests Margot blow off some steam and chat up the attractive guy sitting at the bar. Reluctantly, Margot proceeds and begins to chat with this stranger. Luke Williams, the stranger at the bar and former tech company employee, is back in Napa after abruptly quitting his job in tech. Fed up with the tech bro/hustle culture and undertones of racism, he left his fancy high paying job to come back home and support his best friend through a break up. While chatting with Margot, they don’t approach the topic of work but rather talk about anything and everything else. They end up spending the rest of the evening chatting, where Luke is captivated by Margot and vice versa.
After spending the night together, Margot feels invigorated and prepared to get back to work and welcome her new employees, regardless of the fact that she didn’t get to screen them beforehand. What she wasn’t prepared for was seeing Luke Williams walk through the door a few minutes after her as one of the two new hires. Given they didn’t discuss work the night before, it did not come up that he was now working at Noble nor that Margot was the CEO. Margot knows she made a huge mistake and has no idea how to fix it – despite not wanting to.
Common Themes + Opinions:
For Margot, the big theme following her side of the story is her inherent need to prove herself to her brother. After she quit her job to join the family business, she made it her mission to transform the vineyard into a success, much to her brother’s chagrin. We find out later in the story why her relationship with her brother is so rocky, and that Margot isn’t perceiving the situation as they actually are. Despite her and her brother’s relationship, she’s determined to succeed and is worried that any small mistake will signal her failure. This makes Margot relatable as anyone that has felt like they have something to prove to anyone can confirm how big small mistakes feel – both personally and professionally. By the end of the book, Margot feels more at ease and at home at the vineyard, confident that her hard work will lead to success for the family business.
This theme can also be applied to Luke, as he felt similarly in his role in tech. As noted by Luke early in the story, he was one of the few Black people on his team at his company. Aside from having to deal with constant microaggressions and passive aggressive comments from his co-workers and bosses, his company is entrenched in the typical toxic tech bro hustle culture that runs rampant in the tech industry; where if you don’t grind and hustle, you’re not “cut out” for the job. Luke admits that he no longer felt passionate about his job and hated working at his company because of how it made him feel, which is why he ended up leaving. In the story, he’s reluctant to admit this to his mom out of feelings of embarrassment and overall failure, where this lie guiltily hangs over his head. He questions whether he made the right choice, whether he didn’t work “hard enough” to make it through; attempting to disregard his actual feelings about his old company, which his best friend and later Margot reminds him.
Final Thoughts + Ratings:
Overall, Drunk on Love is a super sweet story – borderline saccharine – though not surprising given Jasmine Guillory’s catalog (all of which I’ve read). Margot and Luke’s romance is swoony and makes you feel warm and fuzzy as you read. However, this story didn’t excite me as much as Jasmine’s other books, where I struggled to want to continue reading. I finished the book anyway because I’m a fan of Jasmine’s writing and wanted to see the book through. With that said, I give Drunk on Love 3.5 stars for the sweet romance, which will unironically go great with a glass of wine. As for the spice, there are a few scenes in the book that are hot 🥵
Have you read Drunk on Love? Let me know in the comments!