by Marina Adair
Series: St. Helena Vineyard #1
Published by: Montlake Romance
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Regan Martin stopped believing in Christmas miracles six years ago when she lost everything—her house, her job, and her impeccable reputation in the wine industry—after she fell in love with a man she had no idea was married. Then Regan gets a chance for a fresh start in the Napa Valley. With her dream job, dream home, and her daughter enrolled in a wonderful new school, she starts wondering if holiday wishes really do come true. But she soon tumbles back down to earth when she learns that her new boss is none other than Gabe DeLuca, the scorned wife’s brother. Gabe wants nothing more than home-wrecking Regan Martin out of his life, his sister’s world, and his family’s business. Mostly, he wants the lush beauty out of his head. Yet his attempts to run her out of town have him thinking twice, especially when he sees that Regan may hold the key to tracking down his sister’s stolen start-up capital. Even worse for Gabe, Regan might just be his Christmas wish and hold the key to his heart.
I am not going to lie; I am a sucker for holiday themed romances. They put me in a festive mood and Kissing Under the Mistletoe did just that. This was a fun, smexy, snugly read and I quickly consumed it in a single evening. This is the first in the St. Helena Vineyard series and I cannot wait to go back to Napa Valley.
The tale begins when we meet Regan Martin and her adorable six-year-old daughter. When she was younger she met and fell in love with her employer, only to discover he was married and lied to her. That mistake cost her everything and gave her the most precious gift. Now she is looking for a fresh start in Napa Valley and had just landed her dream job that comes with the perfect cottage and school to raise her daughter. This is going to be the best Christmas ever; that is until she finds out the boss is none other than Gabe DeLuca the scorned wife’s brother. Convinced Regan is a homewrecker he quickly fires her and orders her to leave town. Gabe’s meddling, fruit cake baking, grandmother has other ideas and the tale that unfolds is delightful.
Regan is a twenty-seven-year-old French-Mexican woman who up until her ill-fated affair was a successful marketer for the wine industry. The relationship with a married man shamed her and yet she is one tough cookie. She is a wonderful mother and despite many setbacks, she continues to build a life for them. I easily connected with her. Gabe, of course, is completely swoon-worthy! As the ever protective head of the family. he feels the need to protect his sister. The attraction he feels for Regan downright annoys him! The romance that unfolded was sweet, hot and oh so fun. Watching these two fight their insane physical attraction to each other was hilarious. The attraction was hot, heavy, and fast, while the romance developed slowly and with a few bumps. A meddling family, evil townspeople and a missing reindeer made this tale a hoot.
Adair delivered a well paced, entertaining romance with characters I enjoyed. I love when an author captures my attention in the first few pages and has me laughing aloud. While the plot isn’t new she added her own little twists to it making it feel fresh. The banter between Regan and Gabe was priceless. I adored the meddling Christmas grandmas and despised those who stood in the way of my much needed HEA.
I highly recommend Kissing Under the Mistletoe to fans of small town contemporary romances. Summer in the Vineyards is scheduled to publish in April of 2013 and the third book in October. This was a fun, easy, romantic read and perfect for a cold snowy afternoon.
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