This was my first book from Maya Rodale and while it was an enjoyable read there were just a few things that kept it from being an outstanding read.
Wh...moreThis was my first book from Maya Rodale and while it was an enjoyable read there were just a few things that kept it from being an outstanding read.
What I liked:
I really liked Emma's character. She made the most of an awkward and potentially embarrassing situation when she finds herself engaged to be married to Blake. I loved the spunk she showed during the Fortune Games and that despite being dazzled by Blake's good looks she doesn't let it overcome her good sense for the most part. She's still able to poke fun at him and his inflated ego.
Blake's aunt Agatha was one of my favorite characters in the story. She was so rich and old that she could do and say whatever she wished which just cracked me up. I loved her quips as she dealt with relatives who were obviously there solely for her fortune. She also had her own retinue of handsome servants to obey her every command and her sarcastic relationship with Blake was oddly touching.
The story itself was fun to read and as can be expected from the mention of the Fortune Games it does resemble a playful version of the Hunger Games. Aunt Agatha invites twelve people to her home and has them compete each year to be the heir to her fortune. She has a scoring system that is only understood by herself and anyone can be dismissed at any time. Like I mention above it was fun to watch people scramble and see who were obviously kissing butt and who were being honest in their opinions.
What I didn't like:
I'm usually oblivious about historical inaccuracies but even for me things just didn't "feel" right. Everything had a modern day teenage girl feel to it just with fancy party dresses and corsets thrown in. The love triangle also bugged me. Emma obviously fell in love with Blake and even acknowledged it to herself but still dithered back and forth between he and Benedict despite Benedict having made no attempt to wait for her. She was gone for just a few days and he immediately engages himself to another woman. How could Emma seriously consider marrying a man who does this even if he was one of the only ones to show any interest in her in the past? Not to mention he went three years without proposing which should have been the first sign that something wasn't right.
All in all a fun read but not one of my favorite historical romances.(less)
Susan Mallery is quickly making her way onto my must read authors list. I absolutely adored this book and think it's a great read even outside of the...moreSusan Mallery is quickly making her way onto my must read authors list. I absolutely adored this book and think it's a great read even outside of the holiday season. I fell in love with the characters even though I haven't read all of the earlier Fool's Gold books. Noelle is such a sweetheart and her outlook on life can teach us all a lesson. She truly approaches each day with such enthusiasm and optimism because she realizes how short life can be and how you should live each day to the fullest. Gabriel also stole my heart especially after meeting his father and seeing the dismissive way he treats Gabriel and all he has gone through serving in the military as a doctor.
The story itself was heartwarming as we watch Noelle break through Gabriel's emotional walls and teach him how to love and accept that love is worth risking it all. I have to admit, though it has occurred in every Fool's Gold book I've read so far, I still love the scenes where the local women all come together to the heroine's house to comfort, alcohol up and commiserate over the hero's pig headedness (is this even a word?) towards admitting their feelings.
The only minor thing that made this not quite a 5 star read is Felicia. I haven't read her story yet because each glimpse I have of her turns me off. I am a huge Star Trek fan but she reminds me of the android Data in a bad way. The way she speaks seems so unreal it was hard to take her scenes seriously.
Still this is a must read book that will touch your heart and make you appreciate every day and that when you find love you need to grab it and never let go.(less)
I came across this book on the web and thought it was so cute I immediately requested that my library purchase it. If finally came in and my 6 year ol...moreI came across this book on the web and thought it was so cute I immediately requested that my library purchase it. If finally came in and my 6 year old loved it! She read it the first time to herself while I was cooking and then we read it again together tonight. It was a bundle of laughs for both of us as each crayon wrote a letter to its owner, Duncan, with a list of gripes. Gray feels over used as the little boy loves to color in huge elephants, hippos and more with gray and the gray crayon suggests why not draw a baby penguin or a gray pebble instead? Each color has it's own hilarious complaint which leads Duncan to ponder how can he make his crayons happy. The ending is a picture Duncan drew that shows his creative usage of colors to solve each crayon's problem. My daughter and I especially loved going over this last drawing figuring out all the changes Duncan had made in his drawing out of consideration for his box of crayons. A wonderful book that your kids will ask to read over and over and also a delight for parents!(less)
When Marina first contacted me about reviewing the first book in this series, Kissing Under the Mistletoe, I agreed because though it wasn't what I no...moreWhen Marina first contacted me about reviewing the first book in this series, Kissing Under the Mistletoe, I agreed because though it wasn't what I normally read at the time it sounded cute and with her being a Northern California author I wanted to show my support. I fell in love with Adair's writing and jumped at the chance to read Summer in Napa which blew me away. So reading and reviewing the third book in this series, Autumn in the Vineyard, was a no brainer.
Let me tell you that it's not often you can find an author who hits 3 home runs in a row but Adair has definitely done that. Nate is the loafer wearing, calm, level headed DeLuca brother but talk about being sexy and sweet at the same time. I've fallen head over heels for him and even find his tendency to make lists for every situation endearing. Frankie is a little harder to initially like because she is more prickly than a cactus and at times is so stubborn she practically shoots herself in the foot. However, as the dynamics of her family situation unfolds we find out just how complex of a character she is. I feel so bad for her over the way her family treats her and now see why she puts forth such a tough persona to everyone she meets.
The tension between the two is smokin' hot and even while they are bickering you are just waiting for them to tear each others clothes off. What raises Adair's books above a lot of other romances for me is the humor she weaves through the story without making it seem cheesy. She balances the sexual tension and comedic quips perfectly.
Surprisingly even not being a drinker and knowing nothing about wine I found the winery side of the story interesting as well. So many things factor into a winery's success and I am curious if this industry is really like this. Adair also sets up the supporting characters for their own stories with such a delicate touch that nothing seems thrown in solely as a setup and instead foils the current story nicely.
With three hits in a row the St. Helena Vineyard has moved it's way onto my favorite romance series list and Marina Adair is now an auto-buy author for me! Autumn in the Vineyard is the perfect sexy, fun and delicious read.(less)