Review: Autumn in the Vineyard

autumnReviewed by Shelly

I’ve not been disappointed in any book in this series and I’m enjoying each of the DeLuca family stories. One of the many things that I like in this series is that each new book picks up relatively quickly after the previous. After reading the last one, I was really hoping that Nate and Frankie would get their story and did they ever! We finally get to see more of the dynamics of the DeLuca – Baudouin feud. In typical writing style, Adair doesn’t give it to you all at once. She makes you squirm for a little bit then she’ll start giving you a little bit at a time, no rush –no force– all good.

The only girl in her father’s brood, Francesca Baudouin has been trying to live up to her family’s expectations for a very long time. Sadly, it’s not even her entire family whose approval she’s trying to gain, it’s just her grandfather. Over the years, Charles Baudouin has been using his grandfather status as a way of mentally beating Frankie down but there’s something about Frankie that just won’t stay down. He thinks that he’s finally able to silence her and her new fangled ways. Sorrento Ranch is Frankie’s chance of proving to everyone including her grandfather, and especially Nate, that she be a successful winemaker.

Nate DeLuca is making a list and Sorrento Ranch is at the top. His father’s dream was to start a premiere winery and the ranch will provide a seamless transition for Opus. But the path to happiness is not always paved smoothly. The previous owners of Sorrento Ranch pulled a fast one on both Nate and Frankie and now they both own different parts of the ranch and the local judge will not stand any more tomfoolery. They’ve got thirty days to find a solution or the land isn’t going to either of them.

I’m hoping that you, dear readers, have read the previous stories. Just in case you haven’t, I’m going to be spoiling those for you because I’ll be talking about some of the characters from those stories. I was a little skeptical that Adair could hold my interest with these stories because there’s no big grand adventures, no great suspense.  Instead, we get a simple story about a boy who likes a girl and vice versa. What’s special about these stories is the way that Adair crafts a credible environment, scenarios and events that draws me into the world of St. Helena and it’s people. I was not disappointed at all.

Nate made a pretty big impression during the Marco and Lexi’s story (Summer in Napa – St. Helena Vineyard #3) and I eagerly waited for his story to be told. He’s not changed a bit, if anything he’s more a DeLuca that ever – possessive, lovable, hardworking, loves his family all while wearing his ball-buster boots. The attraction and tension between him and Frankie was good; not too much not too little either. That’s one of the many reasons I like this series. Adair is consistent with her writing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started a series and half way through the story changes from perfectly good story telling to some crap that has too much sex and way too fast on the ‘I love you‘. But I digress.

Frankie is easily one of my favorite heroines of this year. She’s spunky, aggressive, naive, funny, socially awkward and unfailing loves her family; my favorite thing about her – she’s tall, no willowy petites here. She’s so hungry for approval and always wants to do the right thing, I couldn’t believe why her grandfather wouldn’t/couldn’t see it but that was one of the better story threads (I might or might not have teared up a little bit) and trust me they were all good. Remember when I said that this is a simple story?  It is but the way that Adair crafted it – well, let’s just say that this took me about a day to read because once I started I couldn’t put it down.

Frankie’s brothers Adam, Dax and Jonah all have appearances and they’re all bachelors so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for them to have their stories told. That Jonah – oh, he’s something else. Now those DeLuca brothers – Gabe, Marco and Trey have their own places within Nate and Frankie’s lives. Gabe and his wife Reagan are disgustingly cute and happily in love but don’t think there’s an absence of hijinks there. Gabe and Reagan’s daughter Holly is about as adorable they come, but I think that kid’s gonna grow up to be an enforcer. Lovebirds Marco and Lexi also make their presence known along with Jordan, and the grandmothers. If you liked the first books in the series, this is a great follow up. Trey’s story is up next and I have no idea what’s in store for him but I’m sure it’ll be good.

Happy Reading Folks!

Rating: B

*ARC provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon

Autumn in the Vineyard
by Marina Adair
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Publisher: Montlake Romance

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