Category Archives: St Helena Vineyard

Review: Be Mine Forever by Marina Adair

be mineTitle: Be Mine Forever by Marina Adair
St. Helena Vineyard Book Four
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 297 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


For Trey DeLuca, the idea of settling down was entirely unsettling. As VP of sales for his family’s wine company, he’s never in any one city—or with any one woman—for long, which is how he likes it. But when family obligations keep him temporarily grounded in his hometown, he finds the perfect distraction. She’s sweet, gorgeous, and sexy as hell…only her life screams commitment.

Between raising her son and struggling to keep her dance school afloat, Sara Reed has her hands full. Dance students she needs—a steamy tangled sheets cha-cha with a self-admitted commitment-phobe?
Not going to happen. But sparks fly as the town prepares for a big Valentine’s Day gala, and Trey strikes a deal with Sara…he’ll “manny-up” and watch her son in exchange for ballroom lessons.

With love quickstepping ever closer, Sara needs to teach this playboy some new steps or risk losing him—and her heart—forever.

The Review:

Marina Adair’s St. Helena Vineyard has quickly become one of my favorite series so I have been eagerly awaiting Be Mine Forever. This fourth installment is youngest brother Trey and Sara Reed’s story and their romance is just as sweet, passionate and alluring as the older DeLuca brothers’ stories.

Be Mine Forever opens with Trey’s hurried and harried trip home to St. Helena where he discovers the family emergency does not involve illness or impending death. Instead his clever grandmother ChiChi has summoned Trey home to act as her dance partner in the upcoming annual Winter Garden Gala. His brothers are impervious to his pleas to escort her in his place so Trey gracefully accedes to her wishes. Needing to brush up on his dancing skills, Trey turns to local dance instructor Sara, a widow and mom who recently relocated to St. Helena to realize her dream of owning a dance studio. The sparks are soon flying between Sara and Trey and they indulge in a short term fling before Trey leaves town.

Trey’s job in the family’s wine business provides him with a convenient excuse to avoid settling down. His (misplaced) guilt over the deaths of his parents haunts him and although he loves his family, his need for emotional distance keeps him far away from home. Trey is affable and quite charismatic but he is not interested in a serious relationship. Instead he has a past that is chockfull of empty encounters and unfortunately, some of these short-lived affairs took place a little too close to home. Much to his chagrin, he runs into some of his previous partners at the most inopportune times but these confrontations leave him vowing to stop indulging in meaningless sex.

While Sara may no longer be mourning her husband, she is still not quite ready to jump back into dating. She is stretched thin with caring for her young son Cooper and getting her dance studio up and running. Sara is surprised by her unexpected attraction to Trey but she is content to keep their relationship on a friendly, but professional, level. But once her long dormant desires are awakened, she finds it difficult to ignore the simmering desire she feels for Trey.

Right from the beginning, Trey’s reaction to Sara is very different from anything he has previously experienced. She does not strike the “settling down” fear in him and he is surprised by how comfortable he is with her. Of course, this smooth talker cannot resist trying to charm Sara into his bed but she rebuffs Trey at every turn. Instead they settle into an easy friendship that crackles with sexual tension.

The relationship between Trey and Sara is unhurried and I loved watching them explore their unexpected passion. There is genuine affection on both sides and Trey is refreshingly honest with Sara about his future plans. Instead of jumping headlong into an affair, they discuss the possible consequences of their actions and Trey takes Sara’s concerns about Cooper quite seriously. They are both careful to present a “friends only” facade around him and in public. Love creeps in unexpectedly for both of them and a family emergency puts their relationship in jeopardy.

The rest of DeLuca brothers and sister Abby are absent for much of Be Mine Forever. Instead Trey fills in for the various “husbandly” roles and he is the go to guy for his nieces. He grows much closer to his sisters-in-law and he uses them as a sounding board when he needs relationship advice. Of course there are some seriously “awww, how sweet” moments with his nieces that really highlight how much he has changed during his unanticipated stay in St. Helena. It is with ChiChi that the most touching moments occur and provide him with a new perspective on both his past and his future. But it is an impromptu heart to heart with his brothers that proves to be most illuminating for Trey.

Be Mine Forever is another superb addition to the St. Helena Vineyard series. The characters are richly developed with realistic flaws that are easy to relate to. The plot is beautifully executed and the conflict never overpowers the story. The DeLuca family is wonderfully imperfect but their love and support for one another is unconditional. Now that Marina Adair has given each of the brothers their happily ever afters, she turns her attention to sister Abby’s love life in the next installment. She has paired Abby with a character that I have loved since his first introduction and I am quite impatient to experience their fiery love story!

Please click HERE for my review of the other novels in the St. Helena Vineyard series.

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Filed under Be Mine Forever, Contemporary, Marina Adair, Montlake Romance, Rated B+, Review, Romance, St Helena Vineyard

Review: Autumn in the Vineyard by Marina Adair

Title: Autumn in the Vineyard by Marina Adair
St. Helena Vineyard Book Three
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 324 pages
Book Rating: A

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Author


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.

The Review:

Autumn in the Vineyard is an incredibly heartwarming and emotion-filled addition to Marina Adair’s fabulous St. Helena Vineyard series. It is a sizzling hot and sweetly romantic read that old and new fans of the series are sure to love.

Francesa “Frankie” Baudouin is devastated when her grandfather fires her from the family wine business but she quickly makes plans to purchase a vineyard and produce her own wine. But that plan comes to a screeching halt when rival vintner Nate DeLuca takes her to court over a land dispute. Forced to work together by a judge who wants to put the two families’ long standing feud to rest once and for all, Frankie and Nate give in to their smoldering desire but a misunderstanding threatens their newfound relationship.

Lurking underneath Frankie’s tough as nails exterior is an aching desire to fit in with her family. She has a couple of close friends, but her single-minded dedication to the family winemaking business leaves her with little time for a social life. While Frankie does not let much intimidate her, she is out of her depth when it comes to girly type activities. Frankie’s galpals require her participation in some things that are way out of her comfort zone and loyal friend that she is, Frankie gives in gracefully despite her discomfort. These scenes result in some of the most hilarious and poignant moments in the novel. But Frankie is at her most vulnerable when she is dealing with her tangled emotions for Nate. Their past is complicated and the few times she lets her guard down with him, Nate manages to hurt her in the worst possible ways.

Nate really is a great guy, but he inadvertently hurts Frankie time and again. He works in his family’s winemaking business with his siblings and he really does not have any serious issues to work through. Nate is determined to convince Frankie to give up the land he thought he was purchasing, and he ups the ante between them when he moves into the house they currently co-own. He comes up with some pretty inventive ways to defuse her anger as he attempts to outmaneuver her. But the biggest frustration he has with Frankie is her inability to completely give him her heart.

It is an absolute delight to watch the romance build between Frankie and Nate. These two share a real connection and they share a mutual a respect for one another. The banter between them is often quite funny but Frankie and Nate also have some amazingly honest conversations. Underlying all of their interactions is an incredible sexual attraction that they come close to fulfilling on numerous occasions. When they finally do give in to their burning desire for one another, their sex scenes are scorching hot.

There was not anything I did not like about Autumn in the Vineyard. The storyline has just the right amount of tension and drama, the characters have realistic flaws and the issues they have to overcome are easy to relate to. It is a positively outstanding romance that will leave readers eagerly anticipating Marina Adair’s next installment in the St. Helena Vineyard series.


Filed under Autumn in the Vineyard, Contemporary, Marina Adair, Montlake Romance, Rated A, Review, Romance, St Helena Vineyard

Review: Summer in Napa by Marina Adair

Title: Summer in Napa by Marina Adair
St. Helena Vineyard Book Two
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 340 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Author


When Alexis “Lexi” Moreau caught her husband, Jeff, sampling the sous-chef’s more intimate wares in their New York restaurant, she ran—all the way back to her hometown of St. Helena, California. Six months later, Lexi has no husband and no restaurant. But she does have a three-step plan: First, convert her grandmother’s bakery into her dream bistro. Second, ignore Grandma’s matchmaking attempts. And third, avoid Marco DeLuca, her ex’s commitment-phobic, distractingly sexy best friend.

In school Lexi was off-limits for Marco. After all, she was his buddy’s girl. But she’s still as smart and as gorgeous—and apparently as immune to his charms—as she used to be. Yet the simple fake romance they agree upon to dodge Lexi’s grandmother’s matchmaking plans soon turns deliciously complicated. And the sultry summer might bring together all the right ingredients for Marco to win the only woman he’s ever wanted.

The Review:

Marina Adair’s Summer in Napa is a cute and witty friends to lovers novel. This second installment of the St. Helena Vineyard series starring the DeLuca family is a slow burning love story that is sure to delight fans of contemporary romances.

Recently divorced, Lexi Moreau returns to her hometown to help out in her grandmother’s bakery and open a bistro. Her plans are quickly complicated by her matchmaking grandma, her interfering ex-husband Jeff and her unwanted attraction to longtime friend Marc DeLuca.

Lexi and Marc are well-developed characters with realistic flaws and obstacles to overcome. Lexi is a people pleaser who has a difficult time saying no. Her marriage has taken a toll on her self-esteem and her ex, Jeff, continues to undermine her self-esteem.

Marc is pretty much the opposite of Lexi. He is self-confident both personally and professionally. Marc is close to his family, but there is some friction between him and his siblings. Marc went through a bit of a wild time when he was younger and his family cannot quite see the responsible man he has become.

There are definitely sparks between Marc and Lexi, but their complex past makes a relationship virtually impossible. Marc is Jeff’s best friend and he is living up to the “man” code of not dating his friend’s ex. Even though Lexi is not ready to date, her grandmother has set her up with practically every single man in town. Although Lexi has reservations she agrees to Marc’s suggestion that they pretend to date and it is not long before their “fauxmance” begins to feel an awful lot like a real romance.

Engaging characters, an entertaining plot, and an adorable dog prove to be an irresistible combination in Marina Adair’s Summer in Napa. This light-hearted romance has depth and substance and even though there is a little drama, it is resolved with very little angst.

Although this is the second novel of the St. Helena Vineyard, Summer in Napa can be read as a standalone story.

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Filed under Contemporary, Marina Adair, Montlake Romance, Rated B, Review, Romance, St Helena Vineyard, Summer in Napa