Title: Be Mine Forever by Marina Adair
St. Helena Vineyard Book Four
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 297 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
For Trey DeLuca, the idea of settling down was entirely unsettling. As VP of sales for his family’s wine company, he’s never in any one city—or with any one woman—for long, which is how he likes it. But when family obligations keep him temporarily grounded in his hometown, he finds the perfect distraction. She’s sweet, gorgeous, and sexy as hell…only her life screams commitment.
Between raising her son and struggling to keep her dance school afloat, Sara Reed has her hands full. Dance students she needs—a steamy tangled sheets cha-cha with a self-admitted commitment-phobe?
Not going to happen. But sparks fly as the town prepares for a big Valentine’s Day gala, and Trey strikes a deal with Sara…he’ll “manny-up” and watch her son in exchange for ballroom lessons.
With love quickstepping ever closer, Sara needs to teach this playboy some new steps or risk losing him—and her heart—forever.
Marina Adair’s St. Helena Vineyard has quickly become one of my favorite series so I have been eagerly awaiting Be Mine Forever. This fourth installment is youngest brother Trey and Sara Reed’s story and their romance is just as sweet, passionate and alluring as the older DeLuca brothers’ stories.
Be Mine Forever opens with Trey’s hurried and harried trip home to St. Helena where he discovers the family emergency does not involve illness or impending death. Instead his clever grandmother ChiChi has summoned Trey home to act as her dance partner in the upcoming annual Winter Garden Gala. His brothers are impervious to his pleas to escort her in his place so Trey gracefully accedes to her wishes. Needing to brush up on his dancing skills, Trey turns to local dance instructor Sara, a widow and mom who recently relocated to St. Helena to realize her dream of owning a dance studio. The sparks are soon flying between Sara and Trey and they indulge in a short term fling before Trey leaves town.
Trey’s job in the family’s wine business provides him with a convenient excuse to avoid settling down. His (misplaced) guilt over the deaths of his parents haunts him and although he loves his family, his need for emotional distance keeps him far away from home. Trey is affable and quite charismatic but he is not interested in a serious relationship. Instead he has a past that is chockfull of empty encounters and unfortunately, some of these short-lived affairs took place a little too close to home. Much to his chagrin, he runs into some of his previous partners at the most inopportune times but these confrontations leave him vowing to stop indulging in meaningless sex.
While Sara may no longer be mourning her husband, she is still not quite ready to jump back into dating. She is stretched thin with caring for her young son Cooper and getting her dance studio up and running. Sara is surprised by her unexpected attraction to Trey but she is content to keep their relationship on a friendly, but professional, level. But once her long dormant desires are awakened, she finds it difficult to ignore the simmering desire she feels for Trey.
Right from the beginning, Trey’s reaction to Sara is very different from anything he has previously experienced. She does not strike the “settling down” fear in him and he is surprised by how comfortable he is with her. Of course, this smooth talker cannot resist trying to charm Sara into his bed but she rebuffs Trey at every turn. Instead they settle into an easy friendship that crackles with sexual tension.
The relationship between Trey and Sara is unhurried and I loved watching them explore their unexpected passion. There is genuine affection on both sides and Trey is refreshingly honest with Sara about his future plans. Instead of jumping headlong into an affair, they discuss the possible consequences of their actions and Trey takes Sara’s concerns about Cooper quite seriously. They are both careful to present a “friends only” facade around him and in public. Love creeps in unexpectedly for both of them and a family emergency puts their relationship in jeopardy.
The rest of DeLuca brothers and sister Abby are absent for much of Be Mine Forever. Instead Trey fills in for the various “husbandly” roles and he is the go to guy for his nieces. He grows much closer to his sisters-in-law and he uses them as a sounding board when he needs relationship advice. Of course there are some seriously “awww, how sweet” moments with his nieces that really highlight how much he has changed during his unanticipated stay in St. Helena. It is with ChiChi that the most touching moments occur and provide him with a new perspective on both his past and his future. But it is an impromptu heart to heart with his brothers that proves to be most illuminating for Trey.
Be Mine Forever is another superb addition to the St. Helena Vineyard series. The characters are richly developed with realistic flaws that are easy to relate to. The plot is beautifully executed and the conflict never overpowers the story. The DeLuca family is wonderfully imperfect but their love and support for one another is unconditional. Now that Marina Adair has given each of the brothers their happily ever afters, she turns her attention to sister Abby’s love life in the next installment. She has paired Abby with a character that I have loved since his first introduction and I am quite impatient to experience their fiery love story!
Please click HERE for my review of the other novels in the St. Helena Vineyard series.