Category/Genre: Adult Contemporary
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: 5/14/13
Source: Received from publisher for review
Six months ago, New York restaurant owner Alexis “Lexi” Moreau walked in on her husband, Jeff, and their sous chef mixing business with pleasure. Now, Lexi is back in her hometown of St. Helena, California, rebuilding her life and hoping to turn her grandmother’s patisserie into the bistro of her dreams. All she needs is luck, lots of hard work, and a way to avoid the thirty blind dates her matchmaking grandmother arranged. Enter Marco DeLuca — Jeff’s handsome, commitment-phobe best friend who has always had his sights set on Lexi. In high school, Marco convinced himself that Lexi was off-limits. And she still is, especially since Marco’s family’s wine business all depends on a deal with Jeff. But a fake summer romance is the perfect way for Lexi to distract the would-be suitors her grandmother has set up for her. A perfect way for Marco to realize she’s the only one that ever mattered. And a perfect way to fall deliciously in love.
A bruised but not broken heroine? Check. A handsome, charming man who adores the heroine? Check. A sweet love story about a woman who goes home to reclaim her life and ends up finding the love that was always there waiting for her? You bet. Summer in Napa was a winner, guys!
So, yeah. I've been on a huge contemporary romance streak for a few months now (as most of you may have notice), and Summer in Napa did more than it's fair share to keep that love alive. What I found here was the perfect blend of heartwarming story and engaging characters.
Like many readers, I'm a sucker for a "going home" story. In Summer in Napa, Lexi Moreau has returned to her former home after a heartbreaking divorce. All she wants is to step back into her old hometown with some dignity, and to move forward. Luckily for the reader, author Marina Adair quickly throws complications Lexi's way. This is also lucky for Lexi's childhood friend Marc, who immediately steps in to help Lexi, but can't let the opportunity to give her a -good-natured- hard time pass him by. With this first encounter, these two are clearly off to the races. Their chemistry was undeniable, and despite a complicated past, it's soon clear that Marco and Lexi will not be able to deny their feelings for long. Like all good love stories, the two will encounter some very difficult issues, not the least of which is the fact that Marc is also the best friend to Lexi's ex. Whoops!
I also loved the setting of Summer in Napa. I'm sure anyone can guess that the book is set in Napa Valley. This is an area I've always wanted to visit, and is a favorite setting of mine. But another fun fact is that the Lexi is a very well-respected chef/baker. And my gosh, does this girl love eclairs! I thought it was awesome that every time she was stressed, Lexi would eat an éclair, or four. And it was great that she wasn't always elegant, often having her pastries stuck to her face/hair/clothes. This really made her a more fun, relatable character for me.
Marco is a man that any rational woman with a lick of sense would fall for. He's intelligent, gorgeous charming, successful, and best of all, a truly nice man. Of course I adored him. But when I learned about the feelings he's been sitting on for years, I just wanted to smoosh him with hugs and kisses. I loved that he always wanted to help Lexi, and wanted the best for her. I also adored him for being playful. And I now wish my husband would call me "cream puff"!
With it's engaging characters and their turbulent yet wonderful journey towards a possible Happy Ever After, Summer in Napa is a book that I can happily recommend to fellow Contemporary Romance lovers.
Her body sank, dangling like raw dough over the windowsill. It was no use. She was stuck. Trying to move forward while dodging your past was clearly impossible. So she did what any reasonable woman would do under the circumstances: she reached across the table, plucked a petit-éclair from the tray, and shoved the entire thing in her mouth, making sure to lick her fingers clean in the process.
"I blew it, Gabe."
"Can we fix it?"
"I don't think so." He rested his forehead against the doorframe. "She likes my dog, doesn't take my crap, and looks at me like I can be the man Dad was. When she cooks...she wears this apron..." He paused and looked up at his brother and felt everything inside him tighten. "And I love her so damn much that I have no idea how I'm supposed to wake up tomorrow and pretend my life hasn't just fcking ended."
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