Kissing Under the Mistletoe (St. Helena Vineyard Series #1)

( 7 )

Overview

Regan Martin stopped believing in Christmas miracles the day she discovered her fiancé was already married.

The fallout cost her everything—her career, her home, and her impeccable reputation in the wine industry. But now she has a second chance with a dream job in the Napa Valley, and a cozy cottage for her and her daughter, whose one Christmas wish is for a forever home.

But those hopes are threatened when Gabe DeLuca, the scorned wife’s ...

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Overview

Regan Martin stopped believing in Christmas miracles the day she discovered her fiancé was already married.

The fallout cost her everything—her career, her home, and her impeccable reputation in the wine industry. But now she has a second chance with a dream job in the Napa Valley, and a cozy cottage for her and her daughter, whose one Christmas wish is for a forever home.

But those hopes are threatened when Gabe DeLuca, the scorned wife’s brother, tries to drive Regan out of town—even if he can’t seem to drive the luscious beauty from his thoughts. When his attempts to get her to leave backfire, he sees that Regan may hold the key to tracking down his sister’s stolen start-up capital. As Christmas nears, Gabe realizes Regan might even be his Christmas wish and hold the key to his heart.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
After having job after job snatched away by the vengeful interference of the powerful DeLuca family, wine marketer and single mom Regan Martin has finally landed the perfect position in St. Helena, also the perfect place to raise her six-year-old daughter, Holly. Her joy is short-lived, though, when she learns that not only is St. Helena home base for the DeLuca clan, but the winery that hired her belongs to them. Also, sexy Gabe DeLuca will stop at nothing to get Regan out of his family's life and away from the sister whose marriage he blames Regan for wrecking. But Regan is determined to stay, and she receives help from surprising places, including a reluctant Gabe, who is drawn to the gorgeous Regan and charmed by her daughter as well. VERDICT Well-handled sexual tension, sympathetic protagonists, and engaging supporting characters add to this sassy, tender, and funny romp that has plenty of holiday ambience, lays the foundation for an ongoing series, and leaves fans hoping the next installment isn't too far away. Adair (Tucker's Crossing) lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains, CA.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781612185859
  • Publisher: Montlake Romance
  • Publication date: 10/16/2012
  • Series: St. Helena Vineyard Series , #1
  • Sales rank: 422,425
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Marina Adair is a lifelong fan of romance novels. Along with the St. Helena Vineyard series, she is also the author of Tucker’s Crossing, part of the Sweet Plains series. She currently lives in a hundred-year-old log cabin, nestled in the majestic redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains, with her husband and daughter.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 8, 2012

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    Reviewed by ANGELA & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog K

    Reviewed by ANGELA & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog

    Kissing Under the Mistletoe is an amazing start to St. Helena Vineyard series. ~Under the Covers

    Ms. Adair nailed it! She kept me engaged with every page of the book and falling in love with the characters immediately. Reading this book definitely put me in the right mood for the holidays, though I would have no problem reading it in the middle of summer.

    Reagan Martin is a jaded single mom trying to survive from a mistake she had made 6 years ago. She had fallen in love with a married man and she has been paying for that mistake ever since. Career destroyed and financially troubled, she is trying to raise her daughter the best way she can, however, Gabe DeLuca will stop at nothing until she leaves town.

    Regan is lovable, funny and one badass heroine. She does not kick ass in the literal term but she kicked ass in terms of survival. This woman endured hardships and survived not letting anything bring her down. She saw the best in her situation and did not let her daughter feel any of the grunts. Having a single mom my self along with many friends and family who are single parents, connecting to her was effortless. Her story actually had me in tears. Gabe on the other hand, I had no tears for him in the beginning. Of course right from start, I knew he was going to be a hot hero but that’s besides the point. His only goal was to drive Regan out of town. Though he was only trying to protect his sister, I thought that was a jerk move on his part. I’m just glad he was able to redeem himself because I don’t think I can forgive myself lusting after a jerk hero.

    I love Gabe and Regan’s together. They are indeed a hot couple. Their banters and innuendos were hilarious. The sexual tension between them was off the charts and boy, their sexual encounters were even hotter. God forbid I become single again, but if I do, I want me a Gabe! The rest of the characters also captured my attention. Holly was just the sweetheart and the Mrs. Clauses were very entertaining. Randolph was one I cannot forget and I cheered for him to make home safe.

    This small town contemporary romance is fast-paced, romantic and sexy. It had me tears and made me laugh-out-loud like a crazy woman. If you have not picked up this book, I strongly recommend you do. Ms. Adair absolutely did not disappoint and made an instant fan out of me.

    * ARC provided by Author

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 15, 2014

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    Reviewed by JoAnne Book provided by the author for review Review

    Reviewed by JoAnne
    Book provided by the author for review
    Review originally posted at Romancing the Book

    The back of the book stated “In the heartwarming and emotional tradition of Jill Shalvis and Susan Mallery, Marina Adair tells a holiday tale of love and regret where a woman confronts the scandal of her past to brighten her future…” Since they are two of my favorite authors and she set the story at my favorite time of year Adair had a lot to live up to with her writing and I have to say she did!

    What a great first book to introduce us to the many members of the DeLuca family, Regan and Holly, and all the townspeople. The story set in a town in the wine country held my interest from beginning to end. There was lots of family and families, friends, townspeople, an enemy or two, romance, love, lust, laughter and tears. The tale of forgiveness and second chances that went by the wayside many times and just as often came back for another try was at the forefront throughout the book along with disbelief at times and heartbreak too many times to count.

    There was also heat in these pages and not only between the sheets. The emotions of the characters were so often real that I could feel their pain, happiness, love, or whatever emotion they were feeling at the time. There was great closure that I didn’t see coming and I hope to meet up with everyone in future books in this series. There was an excerpt for book two at the end and I can’t wait to get started on it.

    Adair is a new to me author but I look forward to reading her books for many years to come. Give her a try. You will be glad you did!

    Favorite Quote: The moment her hand was free of his, the weight was lifted, releasing her from the past. He had given her the moment she was desperate for, the day when she got to move on with her life, free of guild and regret…

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  • Posted April 8, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Regan is a strong single mother burned by love before. In order

    Regan is a strong single mother burned by love before. In order to protect her heart, Regan puts all of her time and effort into being a mom. But then Gabe DeLuca shows up.

    Gabe is off-limits, but that doesn’t stop love—it never does. Normally the hero is my favorite character in romance novels, but here Regan was my favorite character. She is strong and brave, and always puts her daughter first. I didn’t like Gabe at first. He ruined Regan’s life over and over again—so much that Regan had to move to find work. And when things are finally looking up, he swoops in again and gets her fired. What? I mean, Regan did sleep with Gabe’s sister’s husband, but 1) she didn’t know he was married and 2) she has a kid she has to support!

    Gabe is still one of those sexy, strong men, but I kind of hated how he was always trying to fix everyone’s problems and was always helping his brothers and sister out. Oh, and his sister, Abigail—he really needed to let her suck it up and deal with it. He was always trying to protect her and she depended on him. Most of the time I wanted to tell him to tell his family to suck it up and have him go be with Regan.

    Regan was easy for me to connect to. Though I am not a single mother, the “approach with caution” side of her was something I could easily relate to. Regan had been burned—badly. Regan was cautious and careful, especially since she has a little girl that can get easily attached to a man in her life. Most times when the heroine is shy and cautious I hate it, but there was something about Regan that not only had me understanding—it had me cheering her on for taking baby steps.

    But when I say Regan was cautious, that doesn’t mean that there was no chemistry and that she stopped everything. Though most times she tried, she couldn’t deny the steaming hot sexual tension between her and Gabe. However, though the heat between them was almost palpable, Gabe and Regan didn’t actually do the deed until the last third of the book. And even so, it wasn’t enough to satisfy the amount of heat that I perceived. Though it was obvious that they had sex many, many times, the author did the ol’ fade out after they did it once. I felt cheated because throughout the whole book there was the teasing and the heat and after one time, the author skipped forward.

    Even so, this story was nice and sweet and a perfect story to hole up with a steaming hot cup of cocoa and read. It works especially well during the Christmas season—which is when the story takes place—but it’s not necessary for full enjoyment. I loved little Holly and her “Dirty Jar,” the interfering grandmother and her friends, plus the whole Randolph fiasco will have you laughing your butt off.

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  • Posted January 6, 2013

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    Get ready to fall for a new series

    What do you get when you have adultery, missing millions, a single-mother trying to take care of herself and her child, and a big brother who has made it his life’s mission to protect his “little” sister from the woman he feels wrecked and destroyed her marriage? You get a family full of angry Italian men just looking for someone to blame. Anyone, except for the two people who are truly at fault. You also get the backdrop for Kissing Under the Mistletoe by Marina Adair.

    This is the first book by Marina Adair I’ve read. It will definitely NOT be the last. In fact, I must admit I dreamed about this book. I kept thinking that it was familiar and comforting. I woke up realizing that Marina reminded me of Jill Shalvis. That’s a TOTAL and COMPLETE compliment to Marina, to be a new author and have the ability to connect with readers like she does.

    I LOVED the characters of Regan and Gabe. I have to admit there really wasn’t much about this book I didn’t like.

    Regan Martin is a twenty-seven- year-old single mother to an adorable six-year-old little girl named Holly. She made the mistake of trusting and falling in love with a guy named Richard, who happened to be married to Abby DeLuca, of the successful and powerful DeLuca wine family.

    Gabe DeLuca is thirty-five and is the oldest of the five DeLuca siblings. Being Italian, family means everything to him. And since the death of his parents twelve years ago, he has made it his mission to look after and protect his four younger siblings, no matter how old they are or what he has to do.

    Gabe and his three brothers, Nathaniel, Marco, and Trey feel that it is their job to protect their “little” sister, Abby because they caught her husband Richard cheating on her with another woman. Regan wasn’t the first woman Richard ever had an affair with. She was just the one who lasted longer than a few weeks and was the last mistress Richard had before he disappeared.

    Gabe has spent the last six years making sure Regan NEVER gets a chance to work in the wine industry again. She ends up in his hometown and his first thought is that she needs to be ran out of town. Gabe’s brothers come up with the idea that Gabe needs to get close to Regan, to determine what she knows about Richard and if she has any contact with him.

    As always with romance stories, things get a little out of hand and before you know it, you’re in love. It’s no different for Gabe and Regan. The only part of the book that I didn’t get or maybe just didn’t understand was the end with all of the DeLuca siblings. I don’t want to spoil anything, I just found it hard to believe that an entire family is going to hate someone and then welcome them into the family.

    The second book in the St. Helena Vineyard Series, Summer in Napa comes out in May 2013. Summer in Napa features Marco, the DeLuca brother who runs the Napa Grand Hotel, and Lexi Moreau. Marco and Lexi appear to have a little bit of a past with each other. I am definitely looking forward to reading it.

    Source: Personal Purchase
    Reviewed for Read Your Writes Book Reviews blog

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  • Posted December 16, 2012

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    Highly Emotional, Delightful & Fun Being the holidays, I wa

    Highly Emotional, Delightful & Fun

    Being the holidays, I wanted to read something romantic centered around the season. In Kissing Under the Mistletoe, I got that and so much more. With a story that is not only delightful and fun, but also highly emotional, I practically used up a box of tissues while getting to know Regan and Gabe in a story set in romantic wine country!

    What can I say about Regan Martin? From the start, I found her to be awesome! She's a single mom to almost 6-year old Holly. They recently moved to St. Helena for a fresh start, a dream job for her, and an excellent school for her daughter. Most of all, she wants to give Holly the most perfect Christmas ever! Did I mention that Regan seems to be a little cursed with unfortunate events, too? Ahh, yes! This story had so many laugh-out-loud moments that all the stuff that happens to Regan had me both laughing and crying at the same time! Really, it was like a one step forward, two steps back kind of thing for her. I felt every emotion and sympathized with Regan every step of the way. In fact, I found a lot of the mishaps and sequence of events to be witty and humorous and written so seamlessly!

    When you first meet Gabe DeLuca, you will think he is a big, relentless jerk. He is a thorn at Regan's side, because, unintentional or not, he makes life miserable for her. Oh, he has his reasons, but you will quickly find out that Gabe and the DeLuca family jumped to conclusions too quickly when it comes to Regan. His heart and mind begin to change as he and Regan spend more time together. The chemistry between them is pretty intense.

    “See, Vixen,” he whispered, watching the pulse at the base of her neck skyrocket. “When you refer to stuff, I can only imagine you're talking about how whenever we're together we can't seem to keep our hands off each other. And when we do touch it's so damn combustive it's hard to breathe.” --Gabe

    Marina Adair, I found your writing to be so clever and refreshing! When I say clever, I'm specifically thinking of all the “Randolph” business...so hilarious! I'm so glad I took a chance on this story! There is no doubt that I will be waiting for and wanting what comes next from you.

    Full of small hometown traditions, family, friendships, mischief and Christmas miracles, Kissing Under the Mistletoe is a romantic comedy that can be enjoyed anytime of the year.

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  • Posted November 30, 2012

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    A Christmas Story That Will Tug On Your Heartstrings

    Author Marina Adair has penned a charming story of loyalty, family, hardship, determination, and the miracle of love blended with the Christmas season. Narrator Renee Raudman does a beautiful job giving unique voices to each of the characters, especially Holly. You can feel the pain and sadness, love and hope in her vocalizations. Her cadence draws you in for a tantalizing story. When she was 19, Regan Martin made a terrible mistake that cost her everything and gave her a wonderful gift at the same time. She feel in love with a man she worked with only to discover he was already married. Just before losing everything, Regan learned she was pregnant. Six years later her daughter is the center of her world as Regan tries to get on with her life. However, Gabe DeLuca, the brother-in-law of her ex-lover, has made it his mission to crush Regan’s career and life in the wine industry everywhere she turns. When a dream job comes open in Napa Valley complete with a ‘forever’ home for them and a private school for Holly, Regan can’t believe her good luck. But the luck doesn’t last long when it’s discovered the job is with a DeLuca owned company. Regan is quickly out of a job, searching for a new place to live and trying to keep Holly in school. To add to her problems, Regan is also battling increasing good feelings toward the man who has made her life miserable for six years. Meanwhile, Gabe only wants Regan out of his family’s business and away from where his sister might run into her. He also wants the attraction he feels for Regan to go away. The author has created strong protagonist in Regan and Gabe. Giving each strengths, as well as flaws makes them more realistic. Loyalty and family is a driving force for both of them. The capricious supporting characters with their quirky ways adds another delightful layer to the mix, especially the meddling Christmas grandmas. KISSING UNDER THE MISTLETOE will keep you laughing and tug at your heartstrings as Regan does her best to provide for her adorable daughter. The bickering and bantering between Regan and Gabe reminded me of old Cary Grant/Katharine Hepburn scenes. This is a must-read for the holiday season. FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

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  • Posted November 12, 2012

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    Delightful

    Regan stopped believing in Christmas miracles six years ago when she fell in love with a man she didn't know was married. Not only did she lose everything, but the family of her former lover has made it their life's work to make sure she never gets a leg up. Ready for a fresh start and second chance, Regan moves her and her daughter to Napa Valley, only to discover her new boss is Gabe--the scorned wife's brother. Gabe's plans to run Regan out of town have him thinking twice when he discovers the truth, and her beautiful daughter. Regan may also be the key to tracking down his sister's stolen start-up capital. Along the way they may find themselves believing holiday miracles do exist, and may find that love is the most precious of gifts.

    This is seemingly the first book in the St. Helena Vineyard series, with Summer at the Vineyard coming in April 2013.

    In honesty, until the second chapter, I found Gabe to be mean and vindictive, despite his beliefs. I encourage the reader to keep going if they find themselves thinking the same thing, or you'll miss out on a great read. And the way Gabe and Regan reconnect when they first lay eyes on each other? Hilarious! Not without its humorous and quirky moments, it was the emotional punch of this story that got to me. On both sides of the coin. I found myself laughing and crying through the whole book. The small town feel of the setting and secondary characters were a wonderful edition, and you will fall in love with Regan's daughter, Holly. Full of conflict, heart, and bitter antagonists, this is a delightful holiday tale not to be missed.

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