A Fine Romance

A Fine Romance

3.9 17
by Christi Barth
     
 

Book two of Aisle Bound

They say you form your first impression of someone within thirty seconds of meeting them. Or, in Mira Parrish's case, within thirty minutes of not meeting them, when said person is supposed to pick you up from the airport and never shows. This is not a perfect start to her new life. Her friend Ivy is

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Overview

Book two of Aisle Bound

They say you form your first impression of someone within thirty seconds of meeting them. Or, in Mira Parrish's case, within thirty minutes of not meeting them, when said person is supposed to pick you up from the airport and never shows. This is not a perfect start to her new life. Her friend Ivy is depending on her to run a new romance store, and Mira can't afford to let her down.

Sam Lyons should probably apologize. But every time he sees Mira—which is often, since his family owns the bakery next to her shop—he can't resist antagonizing her. There's something about the sexy, straitlaced woman that drives him crazy. He can't get involved, though. He has too much baggage to be any good in a serious relationship.

Despite his teasing attitude, Mira finds Sam too sweet to resist. (His hot body may be a factor.) But if there's going to be anything permanent between them, they'll need to let go of their pasts and look to the future…

99,000 words

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and Sam has certainly made an impression. First, he leaves Mira stranded at O’Hare Airport in the rain. Then just as Mira decides to give Sam another chance, he stands her up to take his mother to bingo. But Mira knows firsthand that things are often not as they first appear. She has been hiding from Sam her wealthy background and the conditions of her inheritance, so how can she judge him for his complicated relationship with his mother?

Verdict Fans of Ivy and Ben (Planning for Love, the first title in the series) may pick this book up to see what happens with this entertaining group of friends, but the second entry in the “Aisle Bound” series is disappointing. The relationship between Sam and Mira feels forced, and the story plods with repetitious language.—Heather Lisa Maneiro, Minnesota State Univ. Lib.? Moorhead
(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781426895173
Publisher:
Carina Press
Publication date:
03/11/2013
Series:
Aisle Bound
Sold by:
HARLEQUIN
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
237,211
File size:
803 KB

Read an Excerpt


So far, Chicago sucked. Thanks to her parents' wanderlust (aka their addiction to hedonistic parties that required passport stamps for entry), Mira Parrish had seen much of the world in her twenty-nine years. A slide show of exotic locations flashed through her mind. Topless parties on yachts under Monte Carlo's blazing sun...which left her with horrid memories of her mother's uncovered breasts bouncing around. Annual beach parties in Brazil's sweltering heat...which left her with even more horrid memories of her father in a thong. Ski-boots-and-sun-tan spring parties in Switzerland's melting snow. Well, that one was a good memory of Yves, a Nordic god who gave Mira an excuse to avoid the slopes. Yves preferred to focus his attention on the moguls beneath her sweaters.

Familiar with almost every corner of the globe, and its peculiarities of inclement weather, Mira knew very well that Chicago didn't have monsoons. Yet here she was, drenched beyond belief, smack in the middle of a humid downpour violent enough to be quantified as nothing else but a monsoon. It didn't make any sense. Why would Fate import India's worst weather here, to the middle of the United States? Mira bit her lip. Clearly this Biblical rain was an omen. A dire warning she'd made an epic mistake with her brand-new life direction.

Shifting her aching shoulder so her three bags didn't slip any farther down her arm, she rang the bell on the tall, brick triplex. While waiting, Mira did a quick assessment. Her shoulder-length brown hair hung in wet, ropy strands down her back. Blisters piggybacked upon throbbing blisters caused by her sodden navy pumps. The blue pants she'd chosen specifically to endure the chill of an airplane clung to her thighs like a second skin. Brown streaks slashed across her white top from the river of muddy water a bus sprayed over her at the corner. Mira gritted her teeth. Always mindful of first impressions, she wished she didn't have to meet her new roommate while looking like a flood victim.

The front door swung open to reveal a smiling woman in a daisy dotted tank top and shorts. "Hi, I'm Daphne Lovell. You must be—wow, a freaking mess. You poor thing! What happened to you?" A blond ponytail whipped over Daphne's shoulder as she grabbed for Mira's matching green brocade (and soaked through) suitcases.

"Nice to meet you." Mira jerked her chin toward the fast-flowing river at the edge of the curb. "Your weather caught me by surprise. Does it monsoon often here in August?"

"Nope. Just today. Maybe you imported the bad weather from Vermont." Daphne snickered as she climbed the flight of narrow, wooden stairs.

Probably. It made sense to blame the recipient of an omen for the omen's wrath. "Stranger things have happened."

"Welcome to your new home sweet home." Kicking open the door with her foot, Daphne dropped the suitcases by the door and ushered her inside. Mira stopped only a few steps in, not wanting to drip on anything.

"I'm so grateful you're letting me stay here, Daphne. I know we've got Ivy as a mutual friend, but the bottom line is that you've never met me. Taking on a roommate sight unseen is a huge leap of faith on your part." Not to mention her own. But Mira couldn't afford to live in a hotel for the next who knew how long.

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Meet the Author

  • Christi Barth writes sassy, sexy and smart contemporary romances. She earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes contemporary romance. Christi is lives in Maryland with her husband.

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A Fine Romance 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Slow moving, but good storyline over 600 pages
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What an absolute surprise to get swept into this story and be delighted it was charming and sweet. Definitely recommend it with good characters, good plot and terrific writing.
Sargon1 More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for a good romance and great characters this one is for you. The first book introduce the characters and they all showed back up in this one. Although I would have liked to smack Sam upside the head a few times. I loved Ivy from the start. I highly recommend this series.
Barb-TRC More than 1 year ago
A Fine Romance by Christi Barth is her second book in her Aisle Bound series. Having read the first book in this series, I was looking forward to read this book. Christi Barth does not disappoint, as A Fine Romance was another fun romance read, with a wedding planning background. Though this book isn’t really about planning weddings, it has all the characters from the first book play secondary roles, including Ivy, our heroine of Planning for Love. If you have not read the first book, you can still read this one, as Barth does an excellent job bringing people up to date. However, I suggest you read Planning for Love first, as these are fun characters you want know and follow. Mira is our heroine, and she comes to Chicago to help Ivy open a new store that she has dreamed about. Mira will set up and manage “A Fine Romance” store that deals with all things related to preparing for the perfect date..wine, food, picnic baskets, gifts, etc. Mira arrives in Chicago and immediately starts off badly, being stood up at the airport and by the time she arrives at her new home, she is drenched, and muddied. Why was she stood up? We now meet Sam, our hero, who is part of the Aisle Bound friendship group, who shows up at Daphne’s place, where Mira will now live. Sam was supposed to pick up Mira at the airport, and didn’t even try to find someone else to pick her up. Why you ask? He had to take care of his mother. So needless to say Mira did not greet Sam too kindly, and he either didn’t care or thought nothing of it. You knew these two would never hit it off. Especially as the days pass, and Sam continues to muddle things. Sam is a hunk, totally hot, and a baker. I would never think of a baker being a hunk, but Sam was and he will later prove was a wiz he is, especially when handling chocolate. But that is later. Sam besides splitting all things in the bakery with his mom, handles the decorative cakes for the weddings at Aisle Bound. As good a baker he is, he is clueless how to handle women, especially Mira, who was totally turned off of Sam and his inconsiderate ways; though she found him to be very attractive. I wasn’t too crazy about Sam, as the things he did nonchalantly required a few slaps, but this was an issue for him when it came to his mom. Mira too had her own issues about getting into a serious relationship, as she was somewhat estranged from her parents. With all the negatives in the beginning, the relationship between Mira and Sam did begin to build, and their chemistry was great. Barth did a great job bringing this along slowly, early on. This turned out to be such a fun romance, with each having their obstacles to get past. But the time we spent with Mira and Sam was fun, sexy and enjoyable. I loved them together. As for the chocolate, I think you need to read this book to see what Sam does with all his different homemade flavors of chocolate. You may never look at chocolate the same way. I love this series by Christi Barth. It is fun, with great couples, great secondary characters, and just the right blend of romance and sex, not to mention a wonderful love story. If you want a light, fast, fun, sexy and enjoyable read..look no further then A Fine Romance. But again I suggest you start with Planning for Love to meet the other wonderful characters. I thoroughly enjoy reading Christi’s fun romance stories, and can’t wait for the next book in the Aisle Bound series, Friends to Lovers.
arlenadean More than 1 year ago
Published By: Carina Press Age Recommended: Adult Reviewed By: Arlena Dean Rating: 4 Book Blog For: GMTA Series: Aisle Bound #2 Review: "A Fine Romance" by Christi Barth was a good contemporary romance read was the second in this series... Aisle Bound. You may need to read the first book, Planning For Love to get the full understand of the characters. We find that Mira has moved into a new town with a new job. Sam and Mira will have an explosive first meeting due to their first meeting however, it seems like there may be a 'undeniable attraction' to each other. What will come of this because each will have issues to get past and this is where I will stay you must pick up this good romance to see where this author will take the reader. If you are looking for a sweet romance you have come to the right novel...for "A Fine Romance" would be recommended to you.
Under_The_Covers_BookBlog More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Guest Reviewer/Margaret & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog “I absolutely loved the way the book was written.” ~Under the Covers Mira is trying to make it on her own. She does not want to be involved with her parents and their fortune. She is tired of living with their rules. So she jumped at the chance to manage her friend’s new store in Chicago. She never thought that she would find her new home and love. She never thought that her move would find her a new family and someone who she wants to be with forever. Sam is owner and baker of his family’s bakery. He takes care of his mother because of a promise to his father before he passed away. But he has not done anything this own life because of his guilt towards his father. That is until he met the new manager next door. He fell for her hard. He just has to decide what he wants more, his guilt or the woman of his dreams. Mira and Sam met through friends and they hated each other from the beginning. They wanted nothing to do with each other. But they were thrown together because Mira was new in town and Sam could show her around. I absolutely loved the way the book was written. It made me laugh and smile while reading it. It had all the elements of a great book. It had drama and romance and even some comedy. I recommend this book to the readers who like drama with their romance. It is defiantly a page turner from the beginning to the end. I cannot wait to read more books written by this author. *Review copy provided by author
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just as romantic and dramatic as the first book! Can't wait to see what is in store for the next book!
ReadYourWrites More than 1 year ago
A Fine Romance is the second book in the Aisle Bound Series from Christi Barth. The book can be read without reading the first book, Planning For Love. However, you might not get the full extent of character relationships without reading the first book. Mira Parrish is one of Ivy Rhodes’ best friends. Ivy is the heroine in Planning for Love and the owner of Aisle Bound, a wedding consulting company. Ivy is a hopeless romantic. She came up with the idea of a romance store (a place where you can get picnic baskets, little romantic meals, etc.) Since the wedding business is so hectic, Ivy doesn’t have the time to devote to A Fine Romance like she wants. Ivy convinces Mira to move to Chicago to put the store together for her and also to be it’s manager. Mira is from a wealthy family that made it’s money in concrete. She grew up in a life of privilege, where she was only expected to marry well and carry on the family name. She’s an only child who seems to have been pretty much only brought around for show. For Mira, that wasn’t a life she wanted to lead so she turned her back on the money. For the last few years, Mira has been living on her own. Which pretty much means living paycheck to paycheck. Of course she wants more, but she also wants to be able to say that she got her money by working for it. She has a huge chip on her shoulder and is very quick-tempered. Sam Lyons is the co-owner of Lyons Bakery. The bakery is well known for it’s pastries and fabulous wedding cakes. Lyons Bakery was first ran by Sam’s mother and father and then primarily Sam, after his father’s death. Since his father passed away, Sam hasn’t lived his own life. His life has been all about working in the bakery, trying to make sure the bills got paid, and taking care of his mother. His wants and needs have been put on the back burner, hoping his sister will decide to join the family business. A Fine Romance has tons of laughable moments. It also has a serious romance between a couple who is real and sometimes irritating. Mira and Sam both have family issues they need to deal with but refuse to face. They each have hopes, dreams, and fears that they only feel comfortable sharing with one another. The secondary characters are all people you would want to know and love, well maybe not Mira’s parents. If you’re looking for a romance book where the action between the couple heats up to a boiling point immediately, this isn’t the book for you. A Fine Romance builds on the relationship that Sam and Mira are trying to establish, before they get to the good stuff. And oh, the wait is worth it. I mean a special blend of chocolate with extra vanilla and a kick of cinnamon worth it. While I didn’t love this book as much as I did the first, looking at it independently it’s good. A Fine Romance is about friendship and knowing that your friends are going to be there for you, no matter what happens. It’s a story of people learning that if they just speak up for themselves and what they want, they just might get it. While I’m not sure who the next book is going to feature, I am looking forward to it. Source: Author Reviewed for Read Your Writes Book Reviews
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lots of fun.
bertie43 More than 1 year ago
Very Enjoyable
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good storyline. I would read another book from this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A Fine Romance is the second book in Christi Barth's series and it was just as enjoyable as the first. I love that I was able to connect to the characters and it is enjoyable that this series keeps you connected to past characters (not just glimpses). Looking forward to the next book.
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
I wanted to like this book; I really, really did. I had enjoyed the banter in the first book, and really liked Ivy's--and Ben's, eventually--group of quirky friends. Sam, the news-junkie baker sounded like such a great guy. The characters in this one--the aforementioned Sam and Ivy's graduate school friend Mira--just didn't do it for me this time, though. I spent more of the book aggravated with them than enjoying their story. Sam's insistence that he had to silently follow his dead father's wishes--not telling a single soul about them or what he's doing--and at the same time not give his mother or his sister a 'heads-up, I could really use some help here so I can attempt to do something I want to with my life' was just ridiculous. Talk about a contrived conflict; it drove me bonkers.  Mira's "poor rich girl" hangups didn't get her any sympathy from me either. I pretty much lost all respect that I had had for her when she disparaged Sam to her brand new cook--in front of Sam, though she didn't know it at first. She essentially said he had an unsophisticated palate and was "just" a baker of cookies and doughnuts. I get her reasons for why she responded in that way (though they were totally silly; come on, a grown woman can't handle watching a hot guy sample food without throwing herself at him? Really?)--she didn't know he was there, and was trying to keep their relationship during the day on a professional level, but when he was understandably hurt by her words she didn't understand what she'd said to make him so upset. Really??? That wasn't the only example of her being completely oblivious to her tendency to be unfeelingly snobbish, but that's the one that did it for me. (And really. I don't care how long it's been since you've had chocolate sauce. NO ONE who has ever had some in their lifetime needs to ask "What is that?" when tasting chocolate sauce again, no one!) There's just too much conflict of the "I'm going to completely internalize everything and not tell those nearest and dearest to me a thing, because this is all my problem and not theirs" variety. It made the characters seem more like contrived caricatures and less like real people. Mira's parents were a perfect example of this--they were cookie-cutter examples of snobby rich people who have no time for their kid(s), with nothing at all humanizing about them. I kept pushing through just for the sake of finishing, not because I really felt invested in them by the end. Still, I have hopes for book three--Gib and Daphne, maybe? I hope they--or whomever the protagonists are--can bring back some of the magic from book one in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
sac402 More than 1 year ago
This was a sweet follow-up to Planning for Love with the new store, A Fine Romance, taking center stage as we see Mira work herself to the bone to make this store a success for her friend Ivy. We see Ivy and Ben plus others from the previous book as we get to know Mira and the hunky baker/chocolatier Sam.  Mira is not having a good time in her life at the moment and it is capped off by a no-show by the man who was supposed to pick her up and take her to the place she will be sharing with Daphne. Unfortunately this no-show also coincides with a massive rainstorm and spectacularly bad luck with puddles so she isn't exactly happy to be in Chicago. When she meets the man who pulled the no-show she is understandably pissed but finds herself attracted to the gorgeous specimen of masculinity. As you well know this tug of war and verbal sparring tends to mean one thing in romance books and we are treated to a fun ride as these two find a true partner to spar with, spill their guts to and truly find love. Mira has issues to work through that make sense while also trying to help the man who comes to mean everything to her with his own major issues. I liked her strength and willingness to go there but back off in the interest of sanity when the situation called for it. She deserves to be happy and she finds it with…. Sam… sigh… you will want to hug him and strangle him within the same paragraph or even sentence. He is beyond loyal but this is what gets him in to the trouble he does. Due to his innate sense of loyalty he almost loses everything but you'll have to see exactly what happens with him. He's buried himself in saving the family bakery, protecting his mom, doting on his mom, playing taxi driver to his mom, (are we sensing a trend here?) that he forgets he matters as well. He's amazing when he brings Mira's issues out in the open and I adored how he pushed her to acknowledge she was worthy and deserved to be happy in her own right. He's also quite insatiable when it comes to her so I enjoyed getting to see him bring out both the best and worst in her. They really are an incredible match once they get past the initial meetings… LOL So go grab both of these stories for nice quick reads that will make you smile and feel a bit better if you are having a crappy day. Thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review. I adored it and bring on Daphne's story (I'm hoping a certain Brit ends up being her HEA).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago