by Marina Adair
Series: St. Helena Vineyard #3
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Frankie Baudouin has a hundred reasons not to trust Nate DeLuca. First, he’s a DeLuca. Second, he kissed her—in front of the entire town—and then never called. Oh, and he’s after her land. Sorrento Ranch is Frankie’s last chance to prove to her family—and to herself—that she has what it takes to be an award-winning winemaker. And she will stop at nothing to ensure her success—even if it means playing nice with the starched, sophisticated, and oh-so-sexy Italian. For Nate, Sorrento Ranch is more than just soil and grape vines; it was his father’s dream—a dream Nate is determined to make a reality. So when he finds himself forced to cohabitate with a hot-headed, irrational, and incredibly gorgeous Baudouin, Nate is surprised to discover that chaos could be so much fun—especially when she sleeps in nothing but lace.
I have been enjoying author Marina Adair’s St. Helena Vineyard series, with it’s fleshed out characters and small-town charm. I was delighted to finally read Autumn in the Vineyard which shares Frankie and Nate’s story. From an adorable alpaca to smexy rough and tumble Nate DeLuca, I enjoyed my time spent at the Sorrento Ranch. Mini review: romantic, humorous and touching.
The Baudouin family and the DeLuca family have long been winemaker rivals in this small California town. Sorrento Ranch with its rich soil and delectable grapes has been a prize both families would like to possess. When the property goes up for sale tensions get hot, and back door deals are made. Frankie and Nate both think they own the property. After a court hearing they discover they both own it. Well sort of! When they are forced to live together or lose the house the tale that unfolds had me laughing, sighing and completely caught up in the lives of Frankie and Nate.
We meet both Frankie and Nate in previous novels, and so I was able to slip into the tale. Frankie is complicated. She is harder on herself than anyone else and has a Grand Daddy that demands gold. She is all biker chick and hard-ass on the outside and soft on the inside; a fact she keeps carefully hidden. Trouble is Nate DeLuca can see right through Frankie’s tough exterior. He is also wondering what is under those t-shirt and torn jeans she wears. I adored the banter between them, and Nate’s subtle way of showing he cared. Frankie undergoes tremendous growth throughout the novel, and I felt for her on many levels. The DeLuca family and the Baudouin’s stick their noses in everything, as does the small town making for some hilarious, horrible and tense moments. We get a hint of the next romance, and I am already looking forward to watching another DeLuca fall.
Autumn in the Vineyard was such a wonderful tale, with characters and a small town I have come to love. Adair paints the town and breathes life into the characters making you feel right at home. She provides just enough angst to make the journey to my HEA exciting all while weaving smaller threads regarding the families, town and wineries into the mix. I am a huge fan of small-town romances, and have enjoyed visiting St. Helena and seeing wine country through the author’s eyes. I love the friendship to lover’s trope, and Nate and Frankie’s romance felt genuine. I giggled at their banter, cried when things went wrong and sighed at the sexual tension that sizzled in the air whenever they were around each other. We get some heat, with just enough detail to curl the pages, and Adair knows how to make a kiss melt your heart. Wait until you meet Mittens the alpaca. I never laughed so much in my life, and now secretly dream of adding one to my herd.
Fans of small-town romances will adore Autumn in the Vineyard and the St. Helena Vineyard series. Be Mine Forever the next book in the series is expected to release January 21, 2014.
Four cups of coffee out of five
I love small-town books – I grew up in a small town so I think they evoke something nostalgic and romantic for me. I love the sounds of these characters too – a definite for my TBR. Great review Kimba 🙂
This series has been such fun, and the first book is holiday themed.
A great review Kimba, I will add this series to my wishlist.
Awesome, and the first one is a holiday tale..enjoy them!
Sharon - Obsession with Books
This sounds wonderful! I do enjoy small-town romances and the friends to lovers trope is one of my faves, I’m glad you enjoyed this Kimba, I’ll have to look into this series.
A great review! 🙂
I am really enjoying this series, and the first book is a holiday read. Kissing Under the Mistletoe 🙂
Sold! (Well, figuratively speaking. I haven’t actually bought it yet.) Actually, you had me at ‘adorable alpaca.’ This sounds like the sort of contemporary romance I enjoy. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for the series!
I love this series Lark, and book one is a holiday read!
Friendship to lovers, wine country & small town romance? YES PLEASE! This sounds awesome! I clearly need to catch up and read this series ASAP. Great review, thanks for calling my attention to this!
I just love this feel good, witty and romantic series..I hope you get to read them. The first is a holiday romance and it was delightful 🙂
This sounds like a great book and series. I love small town romances, and I am a sucker for a series that just pairs everybody up. I don’t know why, but I just love it. 🙂
You are not alone..I am a sucker for them too
I love romance stories just like this! Thanks for the review!
Me too Dani, small-towns, engaging characters and I am lost!
Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf
I always love small town romances…perhaps because I always wished that I lived in a small town! Great review!
Thanks Melissa, I adore this series and hope you get to try them 🙂
This sounds like a fun read I love small town settings! I find they can be so full of personality and atmospheric. Plus I come from a town of 2000 or so population so I can relate 🙂 Great review, doll!
thanks Giselle, I love that it is wine country, and the characters just grab you 🙂
I loved the first in the series, Kissing Under the Mistletoe. I’m glad to hear this is good too. I entered to win a copy of this tittle, but I’m just going to go ahead get the audiobook 🙂
Thanks for reviewing!
I have really enjoyed all the books in the series and hope the audios are good too 🙂
Oh Kimba thanks for the great post, what could be better than love among the grapes
thanks Debbie, you know I love my small-town romances
This sounds like a sweet and sexy small-town read! I love companion novels and getting the other characters’ stories. Great review — thanks so much for sharing 🙂
thanks Michelle , this series is lovely and I enjoy going back each time!
Melissa (Books and Things)
Loving the romance and connection you described of this one and then you had to mention laughing at Mittens. Gots to find out about that alpaca! 😀 Yep, adding this one to the huge wishlist.
You would love this series Melissa, and they can be read as standalone if ya want..and yes Mittens was wonderful!
I am on a kick lately for contemporary romance type books, and this is a series that would fit right in. 😀
these are such fun, and totally smexy Christy 🙂
Small town romances are the best ones. Great review.
agreed thanks Jenea 🙂
The characters and small town sounds good to me
thanks Brandi, this series makes me feel warm and fuzzy 🙂
I think I would love the setting of this one!
I love the setting and small-town. Hope you give it a try.
I really enjoyed this, too. Frankie was so passionate, and I loved the intensity between her and Nate.
Agree and tell me you didn’t fall for Mittens..LOL
Felicia The Geeky Blogger
WAIT! There is a small town romance that has a vineyard in it? I am all over this! ALL OVER IT!
Yes, they are wine makers ..ha and yes you should totally being reading this series!! LOL 🙂
I really love this cover, it is sweet looking. 🙂
I think I would really like Frankie, she sounds like my kind of protagonist. 😉
Frankie was great Ali, I really connected and felt for her.
I do love romances like this 😀
Me too cupcake 🙂
Friends to lovers for the win Kim! Definitely one of my favorite tropes along with enemies to lovers so I will for sure be checking this out. And I haven’t read nearly enough small-town romances, so that makes this one even more appealing. Thanks for introducing me to these books!!!
These are wonderful, feel good reads that make you giggle and sigh.
ugh have not read this series yet, but wow does it sound nice. Love small town romances, especially surrounded by a vineyard!
they will work as standalone, but I love small-town series and prefer to read them in order.
Aww! This looks like an adorable read, Kim. I do enjoy a good small-town romance with all those meddling families.
Frankie sounds like my kind of character what with how much she grows throughout the book and Nate sounds super sexy. I’m glad that you enjoyed this, Kim!
Thanks Nick this was a fun, fast, read and I quite enjoyed myself 🙂
You know, the thing about small-town romances is that I always want to move to that small town. They’re just so cute!
OMG..that is so true Mary. I wanted and still want to move to Virgin River, even if there isn’t a coffee house..LOL
I haven’t read a book set in small town in a while. Somehow they’re always sweet reads and this one sounds like it. I love the sound of the characters too and the title is really appealing. Great review, Kim 🙂
This was fun, the characters complex and I had such a good time reading it.
Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)
I really love contemporary books that are set in small towns, it just makes it strangely much more appealing.
Lovely review, Kimba! <33
I agree Melanie, especially in a series. I like cracking them open and seeing familiar characters, and places.