Category Archives: When in Rome Series

Review: Hopeless Romantic by Marina Adair

Title: Hopeless Romantic by Marina Adair
When in Rome Series Book Two
Publisher: Kensington Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 290 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


A funny and delightful story from the New York Times bestselling author of the St. Helena Vineyard series that fans of Avery Flynn, Kristan Higgins, and Helena Hunting will love.

Set against the breezy backdrop of coastal Rhode Island, bestselling author Marina Adair’s latest novel asks whether two of a small town’s biggest hearts can learn to put themselves first—in the name of love. . .

As caregiver for her autistic brother, Beckett Hayes knows how meaningful a little extra help can be when life happens. Which is why she runs Consider It Done, a personal concierge service in her small town. Her job also gives her the flexibility to follow her passion, being Rome, Rhode Island’s unofficial special needs advocate, training emotional support companions in her spare time. There’s not much of that, though, and certainly not enough for serious dating. It’s always been family first for Beck. But one unquestionably gorgeous, good-natured man is suddenly a temptation that’s getting tougher to resist . . .

Sixteen years ago, Levi Rhodes was ready to sail off into the sunset—literally. But then his father’s death and his sister’s unexpected pregnancy postponed his sailing scholarship and the adventures he had planned. Running the family marina and bar was the least he could do for his grieving mother. Plus, his niece needed a father-figure. But now that she’s in high school and has her bio-dad in her life, Levi’s wondering if it’s time to get his sea legs under him again. Or he was wondering, until curvy, caring Beck showed up in his bar, and then in his dreams . . .


Hopeless Romantic by Marina Adair is an endearing romance. This newest addition to the When in Rome series can easily be read as a standalone.

Beckett Hayes has shouldered caring for her brother, Thomas and dad Jeffery ever since her mother abandoned her family. Both are on the autism spectrum and while Jeffery is also a composer and performer, Thomas requires more support. Due to her sometimes chaotic home life, Beckett has to drop everything when things go wrong. A bit scarred by her first serious boyfriend, she instead dates men from out of town so if their relationships blow up, she does not run into them again. Beckett has been fighting her attraction to local Levi Rhodes for quite some time but will he convince her to change her mind?

Levi understands Beckett’s devotion to her family. Years earlier, he gave up college to move back home to help his single sister raise her daughter, Paisley.  Now his niece is in high school, Levi is planning the sailing trip he also postponed. However, the family business is currently lacking a few crucial employees and his best friend is marrying soon. Then there is his fascination with Beckett.   Levi has not had a committed relationship for a few years and he would like to explore his desire for Beckett. But will she agree to give him a chance?

Hopeless Romantic is an entertaining romance with a quirky but loveable cast of characters. Beckett and Levi are beautifully developed with realistic issues to overcome. Thomas is easy to like but Jeffery is somewhat frustrating. Beckett and Levi’s relationship is quite touching with an underlying simmering sexual tension. With an unexpected conflict, Marina Adair brings this charming romance to a heartfelt conclusion.  Old and new fans will be eagerly awaiting the next installment in the When in Rome series.

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Filed under Contemporary, Hopeless Romantic, Kensington, Marina Adair, Rated B, Review, Romance, When in Rome Series

Review: RomeAntically Challenged by Marina Adair

Title: RomeAntically Challenged by Marina Adair
When in Rome Series Book One
Publisher: Kensington Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 336 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Growing up the lone Asian in a community of WASPs, Annie has always felt out of place.  Her solution?  Start a family of her own. Not easy when every man she’s dated, including her ex-fiancé, finds “his person” right after breaking up with Annie. Even worse than canceling the wedding eight weeks beforehand?  Learning the “other woman” plans to walk down the aisle wearing her wedding gown. New plan—find a fresh, man-free start. Too bad her exit strategy unexpectedly lands her working at a hospital in Rome, Rhode Island, rather than Rome, Italy, and sharing a cabin with a big, brooding, and annoyingly hot male roommate.

Home on medical leave after covering a literally explosive story in China, investigative photojournalist Emmitt embarks on his most important assignment—cementing his place in his daughter’s life. Three men and a baby might work in the movies, but with a stepdad and devoted uncle competing for Paisley’s attention, Emmitt has lost his place at the family table. Then there’s the adorably sexy squatter in his cabin, who poses another problem, one he’d very much like to solve up close and personal. But he can’t win—Annie has sworn off men, Paisley’s gone boy crazy, and Emmitt’s estranged father reappears with a secret that changes everything.

Annie and Emmitt are about to discover love comes in many forms, and sometimes the best families are the ones we make.


RomeAntically Challenged by Marina Adair is a charming contemporary romance.

Anh Nhi  “Annie” Walsh relocated to Rome, Rhode Island after her fiancé dumped her and immediately found someone new. She is enjoying her new job and friends but she is still struggling to figure out where she fits in.  Annie adores her parents but she wants to know more about her Vietnamese culture and heritage. She is also not looking for love so when her should have been absent landlord Emmitt Bradley appears, Annie resists her attraction to the appealing but irritating man.

After being seriously injured while on assignment in China, Emmitt has no choice but to return to Rome to recover.  Since he cannot convince Annie’s  boss to clear him so he can go back to work, Emmitt tries to work his magic on his unexpected roommate. He is a likable man but Emmitt comes across as a little superficial at first.

Emmitt is a little shocked by his fifteen year old daughter Paisley’s reaction  when they are reunited. He is used to being the “fun” dad since he spends most of his life traveling the globe. They have always shared a special bond but Paisley is not at all pleased to see him. Since Emmitt will be in town much longer than usual he must learn to navigate co-parent with his daughter’s stepdad.  Thankfully Annie offers sound advice that proves to be invaluable.

RomeAntically Challenged is a sweet romance with engaging characters and  well-developed storyline. Both Annie and Emmitt grow and evolve throughout the story. Their romance is a slow burn but their scenes together and their witty exchanges are quite enjoyable.  In spite of a late in the story conflict, Marina Adair brings this wonderful romance to a sighworthy conclusion. An outstanding first installment in the When in Rome series that will leave readers eagerly awaiting book two.

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Filed under Contemporary, Kensington Books, Marina Adair, Rated B, Review, Romance, RomeAntically Challenged, When in Rome Series