23 October 2013

Five cork salute for Marina Adair's sexy and fun Autumn in the Vineyard

May I say that the greatest benefit to reviewing is having the chance to be introduced to so many wonderful authors. I confess, I read a lot, so it still surprises me to discover authors and series I feel I should have known, because they are just so good.

Case in point (and gee, I wish it were a case of Frankie's wine) is Autumn in the Vineyard, book three in Marina Adair's St. Helena Vineyard novels. Set in the beautiful Napa Valley, St. Helena is a town dominated by two vineyard families - the Baudoins and the DeLucas - both of whom have been engaged in a feud since their grandparents time.

In books one and two (yes, I did read those first), we meet the four DeLuca brothers: Gabe, featured in Kissing Under the Mistletoe with Regan Martin; Marco featured in Summer in Napa with Lexi Moreau; Trey (to be featured in book four); as well as Nate, whose turn it is now to find love if he can overcome the longtime feud to forge a relationship with Frankie Baudouin.

First seen in Kissing Under the Mistletoe, Frankie is a kick-ass heroine. She wears steel-tipped boots, rides a bike (motorbike that is), and for relaxation kicks back and watches NASCAR. Oh yes, she is also an amazing vintner and ran her grandfather's winery until went against his wishes to save the day in Summer in Napa. Not only did she save the day, but she and and Nate also exchanged a very steamy kiss…

However, once her grandfather found out, she was out of the family business and essentially persona non grata. But Frankie is resourceful and winds up with a choice vineyard that's in fairly rough shape. The catch? It seems Nate and his brothers own it too. There is plenty of humor to be found and I absolutely love the alpaca, Mittens. Adair's description of the wineries and vineyards is fascinating, to the point I thought I'd look out my window and see rows of grapes. But her touch with romance is what is so engaging. We grow to really, really like her characters and, I have to say, I'd like to hang out with them.

Autumn in the Vineyard is a wonderful read. I will confess once I started reading this series I couldn't put it down and when I reached the last page of Autumn, I was quite sad. I wanted more. I didn't want to leave St. Helena, the three grandmother/aunts who meddle, the brothers and sister DeLuca, nor their wonderful wives. There's enough romance and steamy interludes to make you blush, but not faint. Plenty of humor and fun situations to find yourself chuckling out loud. But along the way there are some serious moments and times when you think, ah, I know what this feels like. So, I'm truly happy to let you know that you'll only have to wait till January for the next installment of the series, Be Mine Forever that features Trey DeLuca's story.

I'd recommend this series to readers who, like me, love Marie Force's McCarthy's of Gansett Island series or Susan Mallery's Fool's Gold or Blackberry Island novels. Adair has created a wonderful locale and a very believable community. And while each novel could be read as a stand-alone, I'd highly recommend reading them together. Five stars for a fun, fabulous read.


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From the Publisher



A St. Helena Vineyard Novel Book 3
Autumn in the Vineyard by Marina Adair
Amazon Publishing
Montlake Romance
ISBN 9781477848135
Price $12.95

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.

About the Author

Marina Adair is a Number 1 National best-selling author of romance novels. Along with the St. Helena Vineyard series, she is also the author of Sugar's Twice as Sweet, part of the Sugar, Georgia series and Tucker's Crossing, part of the Sweet Plains series. She currently lives with her husband, daughter, and two neurotic cats in Northern California.

As a writer, Marina is devoted to giving her readers contemporary romance where the towns are small, the personalities large, and the romance explosive. She also loves to interact with readers and you can catch her on Twitter at @MarinaEAdair or visit her at www.MarinaAdair.com.