Title: Summer in Napa by Marina Adair
St. Helena Vineyard Book Two
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 340 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Author
When Alexis “Lexi” Moreau caught her husband, Jeff, sampling the sous-chef’s more intimate wares in their New York restaurant, she ran—all the way back to her hometown of St. Helena, California. Six months later, Lexi has no husband and no restaurant. But she does have a three-step plan: First, convert her grandmother’s bakery into her dream bistro. Second, ignore Grandma’s matchmaking attempts. And third, avoid Marco DeLuca, her ex’s commitment-phobic, distractingly sexy best friend.
In school Lexi was off-limits for Marco. After all, she was his buddy’s girl. But she’s still as smart and as gorgeous—and apparently as immune to his charms—as she used to be. Yet the simple fake romance they agree upon to dodge Lexi’s grandmother’s matchmaking plans soon turns deliciously complicated. And the sultry summer might bring together all the right ingredients for Marco to win the only woman he’s ever wanted.
Marina Adair’s Summer in Napa is a cute and witty friends to lovers novel. This second installment of the St. Helena Vineyard series starring the DeLuca family is a slow burning love story that is sure to delight fans of contemporary romances.
Recently divorced, Lexi Moreau returns to her hometown to help out in her grandmother’s bakery and open a bistro. Her plans are quickly complicated by her matchmaking grandma, her interfering ex-husband Jeff and her unwanted attraction to longtime friend Marc DeLuca.
Lexi and Marc are well-developed characters with realistic flaws and obstacles to overcome. Lexi is a people pleaser who has a difficult time saying no. Her marriage has taken a toll on her self-esteem and her ex, Jeff, continues to undermine her self-esteem.
Marc is pretty much the opposite of Lexi. He is self-confident both personally and professionally. Marc is close to his family, but there is some friction between him and his siblings. Marc went through a bit of a wild time when he was younger and his family cannot quite see the responsible man he has become.
There are definitely sparks between Marc and Lexi, but their complex past makes a relationship virtually impossible. Marc is Jeff’s best friend and he is living up to the “man” code of not dating his friend’s ex. Even though Lexi is not ready to date, her grandmother has set her up with practically every single man in town. Although Lexi has reservations she agrees to Marc’s suggestion that they pretend to date and it is not long before their “fauxmance” begins to feel an awful lot like a real romance.
Engaging characters, an entertaining plot, and an adorable dog prove to be an irresistible combination in Marina Adair’s Summer in Napa. This light-hearted romance has depth and substance and even though there is a little drama, it is resolved with very little angst.
Although this is the second novel of the St. Helena Vineyard, Summer in Napa can be read as a standalone story.