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Review: Be Mine Forever by Marina Adair

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Be Mine Forever
Author: Marina Adair
Reviewer: Nima
Rating: A-

What I’m Talking About:

Author Marina Adair returns to the little hamlet of St. Helena, California, smack in the heart of the Napa Valley’s wine country with Be Mine Forever.  This is book four in the St. Helena series which follows the love lives of the DeLuca Family siblings.  Adair also returns to the format of her first book in this series, Kissing Under the Mistletoe, by introducing a single mother as the female love interest.  Overall, I liked this book better than first, which told the story of oldest brother Gabe and Regan Martin.  In Be Mine Forever, we meet Sara Reed, military widow, with a five year old son.  Sara is a stronger, braver woman than Regan.  She has endured tremendous loss, but has really rallied to create a new life for herself and her son in St. Helena where she has opened a dance studio. I just liked her better.

Being the fourth book in a series, set in the same location with the same peripheral characters, there was a certain danger of repetition, relegating it to the boring “been there, done that” category.  Instead, Adair cleverly uses humor to make light of the situations that could have been recurrent and mundane, especially as we check-in on characters from previous novels. I laughed out loud in a few places like this moment when youngest brother Trey is supposed to be having drinks with his brothers,

Trey held up a hand.  He couldn’t do it.  He just couldn’t listen to one more detail about married, pregnant, sisters-in-law who rocked his brothers’ worlds. Tonight was supposed to be bro-time.  And bro-time didn’t include talking about feelings, swollen feet, or color palettes—ever.”

Granny “ChiChi” DeLuca and her partners in crime have a bigger role in this story than the first.  Their constant meddling is amusing and they are great at throwing their weight around, tempered with the wisdom of their age.

Trey is the youngest of DeLuca clan, also known around town, “…like the Jedi master of panty whisperers.”  He describes himself as, “a Ginger kind of guy.  Always had been.”  So when he runs up against the girl-next-door Mary Ann type in Sara, he’s not prepared for the sparks to fly…and yet they do.  He could have been spoiled, petty, and insecure, but he’s not.  Rather, he comes off adorable and sincere.  He’s pretty much a perfect character.  I loved Trey and will admit to shedding a tear over him and Cooper, Sara’s son, shopping for snacks.

“What are you doing?”

Coop kept walking.  “Holding your hand.”

“We’re just walking to the snack aisle, it’s only right here,” Trey pointed out because the kid’s hand was warm and sticky and—Trey bent down to sniff—smelled like glue.  “Not like we’re crossing the street or anything.”

He looked up at Trey…”Sometimes it’s just better to hold hands.”

So Trey held his hand…

Trey has his demons, but chooses to face them for the love of his life (and her son.)  If I was annoyed with anyone in this book it was with only sister Abby.  I didn’t like her in the first book and don’t like her any better in this one.  Her story is the next in the series and I’m cautious about it, but willing to read it.

If I have any major criticisms of this book, it’s that it ended too abruptly.  In an effort to stay with the Valentine focus of the overall story setting, we didn’t get an extra week or two of timeline that might have given us a more satisfying closure.  When our couple finds their happily-ever-after, I wanted to see just a little more of them in their new bliss, relaxed in a way they almost never are throughout the entire book.

Rating:   A- Enjoyed A Lot

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About the Book:

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.

Release Date: January 21, 2014
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Series: St. Helena Vineyard Series #4
ISBN: # 978-1612184739
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format(s): Paperback (297 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: Author/NetGalley

Purchase Info:
Be Mine Forever (St. Helena Vineyard #4)

Reviews in the Series:
Kissing Under the Mistletoe by Marina Adair (St. Helena Vineyard #1)

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