Summer In Napa by Marina Adair (St. Helena Vineyard #2)

Summer In Napa by Marina AdairAvailable: May 14, 2013 Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Montlake

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

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.

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After the ending of her ill-fated marriage to Jeff, Lexi leaves everything behind and comes home in an attempt to move on with her life. Going into business with her grandmother has always been a dream of hers and now it seems to be becoming a reality. Sure it may not be the five star restaurant she’s leaving behind but that was always more of her husbands dream anyway. Faced with having to swallow her pride in front of the entire town Lexi arrives with her head held high…and her ass sticking out of a window she was trying to crawl through when she forgets her keys.

Marco is between a rock and a hard place when it come to the subject of Lexi. Her ex is his best friend but that doesn’t diminish the feelings he’s harbored for her for years. Now she’s back in town and Jeff wants to keep tabs on her. Tabs that are starting to sound more like business then concern. Marco doesn’t have time for a romance in the midst of the towns historical vineyard competition which could monumentally skyrocket his hometown hotel business. It’s a make it or break it event and with the towns reputation on the line he can’t afford to lose. But he’s in over his head and Lexi may be the only one able to soothe his frazzled nerves. If he can get over the fact that he’d be breaking man code #1: Never fall in love with your best friends girl.

New to me author, Marina Adair hit this one out of the ballpark! Summer In Napa was a lovely read from start to finish with engaging characters, a homegrown setting and wonderful writing. I absolutely adored Lexi. She was so incredibly real and her quirkiness was a great addition to her character. The very first scene had her sticking out a window with her rear end on display for the whole town to see. I find that if within the first chapter I’m chuckling to myself, that’s a good omen. I enjoyed how she overcame her obstacles to start fresh in a town she had always wanted to come back to eventually, just on better terms. She held her own against the town busybodies and she didn’t let some of their snarky behavior stop her for going for her dreams.

I wish I would have read book one (Kissing Under The Mistletoe) first because I’m really loving the DeLuca boys. I will make a point to go back and find me a copy of that soon. Marco is such a strong male lead who is floundering in his attempt to revitalize the vineyard competition. His family seems to not have much faith in his abilities based on his reckless youth. I liked that he was turning into a reformed playboy just as Lexi shows back up in town. Though it becomes apparent that his best friend was less then forthcoming about the situation between himself and Lexi, Marco still has a hard time with his idea of poaching on his friends “territory”.  Even though years ago his friend basically stole her out of under him to begin with. Seemed to me Jeff was never a very good friend to begin with so it was commendable that Marco held onto that thin thread as long as he did. Jeff was an epic douchebag. I would have liked to see more of a confrontation between Marco and Jeff. Adair glosses over that pretty quickly and it kind of upset me. I wanted to see Marco really stand up to him and let him have it. Sadly, I didn;t get any of that. Marco does stick it to him in a way but I wanted more from that end. I felt a bit cheated in that respect.

Summer In Napa is an excellent read! So excellent in fact that I made it my May 2013 book of the month. For good reason too! It’s wrote with a small town feel that the author conveys perfectly. The characters are well fleshed out and the story is quirky and cute. I loved Marco and Lexi together and hope they pop up in the next book as well. If you enjoy Jill Shalvis you’ll love Marina Adair! This is a contemporary romance you’ll love!

I give Summer In Napa by Marina Adair 4.50 stars! 

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