And Then There Was Her

by Tagan Shepard

For Madison Jones, there has always been her life in Denver. There has always been her girlfriend, Kacey. There has always been her best friend, her studio and her pottery. She has everything in her life exactly in place. But after the loss of her brother, Madison feels unsure about her own future. When Kacey is offered a new job in Oregon, Madison jumps at the opportunity to follow her.

While Kacey works to open a new restaurant at Minerva Hills Winery, Madison sets up her art studio on the property. But constantly in Madison’s path is the owner and winemaker, CS Freeburn. CS is as serious as they come and seems unlikely to warm to either Kacey or Madison.

Though their initial interactions are awkward—if not downright nerve-wracking—the more they cross paths and the more Madison gets to know CS, the more Madison craves those little moments with the standoffish winemaker.

How could she have known that those encounters would begin to threaten the carefully structured life that Madison has built?





In stock

Genre Romance
Length 310 pages
Publication Date March 12, 2020
Publisher Bella Books
ISBN 9781642471069e
Editor Cath Walker
Cover Designer Judith Fellows



"One of the biggest (poorly kept) secrets about writers is that we all struggle with one specific part of the writing process. Some are bad at making up character names. Some don’t like writing dialogue. Some (*cough* E. J. Noyes *cough*) are so devoted to first-person perspective that their blood runs cold at the thought of writing in third person.

Titles are my biggest weakness. With the exception of Bird on a Wire, I have struggled to settle on a title for every book I’ve written. I go all the way through the drafting and editing stages without a title and only create one, under much strain, just before submitting my manuscript. And Then There Was Her was no exception.

On the day I was ready to submit Madison and CS’s story, it was still titled “that winery book.doc” in my computer. I stared at the blank title page and found my mind just as blank. Like most adults, when faced with a challenging work problem I…opened a social media app to distract myself. The first post that came up was one from my friend, Callie. It was pictures of her girlfriend with the comment “And then there was her.”

Callie’s an amazing person. Life has thrown some pretty crummy things her way, but she’s faced them all head on. Then life threw Chrissy her way. Chrissy is my wife’s best friend and she’d had a rough time in the love department herself. Seeing the two of them find each other—getting to know Callie and seeing her unrestrained embrace of love even with her past—their story reminds again how beautiful love can be.

When I saw Callie’s post and I thought about the journey she and Chrissy took toward each other, I knew I’d found my title. It was too perfect. Too much like Madison and CS, taking the long road to find love. Making sacrifices and taking chances. It’s a story so many of us share and a story I loved telling. Fortunately, Callie was gracious enough to let me use her words for my book and fortunately I chose to waste time on the Internet at the perfect moment.

Because when it’s right, it’s just right."

—Tagan Shepard


Lex Kent's Reviews - This book really was a joy to read. As soon as I started reading this book I was hooked. I loved the premise. I loved the setting of a winery. There is something so romantic about it, and Shepard writes beautifully so you feel like you can taste the grapes and even feel the soil. I thought all the characters were well done. This was the right book at the right time and it’s going on my 2020 favorite list. 

Orlando J. - The romance is very delicately written, a well-balanced slow burn with some spectacularly hot moments too! I could have written thousand of words on how much I love this book, the intricacy of the imagery, how much I want to punch Kacey, and how I can relate to the pain and doubt etched in Madison’s soul. Anyone who has ever been made to feel “less than” will be touched by this narrative.

Karen C. - I adore an age-gap romance, and this slow-burn story is incredibly romantic. There's something about the writing that is lush and elegant and beautiful, and it really suits the story that is set in a gorgeous vineyard. I highly recommend this gorgeous book for anyone looking for an escape.

Jasmine G. - …I adored this book and the romance. I loved the slow burn.

The Lesbian Review
This book plucked the strings of my romantic side on multiple occasions. I highly recommend this book to the romantics out there and even the aspiring romantics who just need a little encouragement.

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