Title: Autumn in the Vineyard by Marina Adair
St. Helena Vineyard Book Three
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 324 pages
Book Rating: A
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Author
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.
Autumn in the Vineyard is an incredibly heartwarming and emotion-filled addition to Marina Adair’s fabulous St. Helena Vineyard series. It is a sizzling hot and sweetly romantic read that old and new fans of the series are sure to love.
Francesa “Frankie” Baudouin is devastated when her grandfather fires her from the family wine business but she quickly makes plans to purchase a vineyard and produce her own wine. But that plan comes to a screeching halt when rival vintner Nate DeLuca takes her to court over a land dispute. Forced to work together by a judge who wants to put the two families’ long standing feud to rest once and for all, Frankie and Nate give in to their smoldering desire but a misunderstanding threatens their newfound relationship.
Lurking underneath Frankie’s tough as nails exterior is an aching desire to fit in with her family. She has a couple of close friends, but her single-minded dedication to the family winemaking business leaves her with little time for a social life. While Frankie does not let much intimidate her, she is out of her depth when it comes to girly type activities. Frankie’s galpals require her participation in some things that are way out of her comfort zone and loyal friend that she is, Frankie gives in gracefully despite her discomfort. These scenes result in some of the most hilarious and poignant moments in the novel. But Frankie is at her most vulnerable when she is dealing with her tangled emotions for Nate. Their past is complicated and the few times she lets her guard down with him, Nate manages to hurt her in the worst possible ways.
Nate really is a great guy, but he inadvertently hurts Frankie time and again. He works in his family’s winemaking business with his siblings and he really does not have any serious issues to work through. Nate is determined to convince Frankie to give up the land he thought he was purchasing, and he ups the ante between them when he moves into the house they currently co-own. He comes up with some pretty inventive ways to defuse her anger as he attempts to outmaneuver her. But the biggest frustration he has with Frankie is her inability to completely give him her heart.
It is an absolute delight to watch the romance build between Frankie and Nate. These two share a real connection and they share a mutual a respect for one another. The banter between them is often quite funny but Frankie and Nate also have some amazingly honest conversations. Underlying all of their interactions is an incredible sexual attraction that they come close to fulfilling on numerous occasions. When they finally do give in to their burning desire for one another, their sex scenes are scorching hot.
There was not anything I did not like about Autumn in the Vineyard. The storyline has just the right amount of tension and drama, the characters have realistic flaws and the issues they have to overcome are easy to relate to. It is a positively outstanding romance that will leave readers eagerly anticipating Marina Adair’s next installment in the St. Helena Vineyard series.