This is what I would consider a slow burn, there’s nothing that jumps off at you. Instead it’s a nice, well-paced story. Picking up a few months after Kissing Under the Mistletoe –which is Gabe DeLuca, the oldest brother’s story– this continues with another DeLuca brother. If you’ve not read KUM (get your minds out of the gutter) you’ll be okay reading this one because Adair didn’t write this as being dependent on that storyline; however I would definitely recommend Gabe’s story – it’s good.
Talk about getting your hand caught in the cookie jar, it seems that Lexi Moreau’s husband didn’t get the memo that you don’t diddle with your staff when your wife is in the next room – What a tool! After finding said tool in flagrante delicto, Lexi has finally reached the point of no return. After a quick amicable divorce, Lexi returns to her beloved hometown of St. Helena, where she hopes to restore her dream and turn her grandmother Pricilla’s patisserie into a bistro. Eligible bachelor and town playboy Marco DeLuca has always had a thing for his best friend’s (afore mentioned tool’s) girl. Although he’s been pretty good in the fifteen years since meeting Lexi, the gloves are off and it’s time to set some things right.
Let me just say that Lexi is a complete and total likeable girl. She kinda tall and she can’t seem to stop eating the cream puffs, but then again, Marco likes her just the way she is – gotta love that. There were moments where I laughed with Lexi and Abby’s antics – they’re such good friends that there’s no such thing as personal space — they get all in the each other’s business. The progression of Lexi from being the victim of her own good deeds to finally seeing herself as someone who deserves better was awesome to see. There were moments where I wished she would beat down that loser of an ex, including a scene where I could swear I felt the air leave the room. (I might have shed a tear or ten.)
Marco underwent the bigger change, though. If you read the first book, the impression he left me with was one of ‘I can’t wait ‘til he gets his’ and does he ever deliver. Usually these roles are reversed in romance novels where the heroine seems to be angst filled, but this time Marco was the nail biter. His friendship with his best friend, Lexi’s ex, guided so many of his decisions that ended up hurting Lexi that it was sometimes painful to read.
Did I like these two together? Yes, I definitely did. Did the chemistry work? It sure did, like I said earlier theirs is a slow burn so don’t expect wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am. There’s is a true romance relationship where they get to know each other as they are today, not as they were in high school and definitely not through the rose colored lenses. Well done, Adair.
Before I go, I have to say something about the secondary characters. Gabe and Reagan do make appearances. Is it greedy of me to have wanted to see more of Reagan interacting with other people than Gabe? That might a slight yes. The grandmothers are back – ChiChi is still commanding the room; Pricilla and her wardrobe are still stuck in leisure suites and concert T-shirts, you can try to picture that in your head but don’t do it too long, your brain might stay that way. Remember Abby? She’s the DeLuca sister who married another winner by the name of Richard. There’s nothing funnier than when she has to post the newspaper notices for Richard before she can divorce him. Oh my goodness, I almost cracked a rib when I read them. The other two DeLucas, Nate and Trey make their presence known and the testosterone that’s running rampant as those two try set their own stamp in the family business is very high. I think (and hope) that Nate’s story is next – go get ‘im Frankie.
Happy Reading Folks!
*ARC provided by publisher for review
Summer in Napaby Marina AdairRelease Date: May 14, 2013Publisher: Montlake Romance