When it comes to caring for the furry residents of St. Helena, California, groomer and pet rescuer Shay Michaels can handle anything. Humans are another story, though....
With a kidney transplant behind her, Avery Adams is determined to channel her inner adventurer and explore everything life has to offer....
Avery Sparks is a master at controlling chaos - and she gets plenty of opportunities as fire chief and head of emergency management in her hometown of Chance, Nebraska....
Jamie Beck welcomes listeners back to Sterling Canyon, Colorado, where a disgraced but charming ski instructor falls in love while trying to redeem himself....
Darcy Kincaid might be a runaway bride, but she still believes in happily ever after, which is why she's devoted to helping couples orchestrate their perfect I do....
Mia Lassiter is thrilled to finally put her artistic skills to use working for her aunt's interior design shop in her hometown of East Beach....
Thanks to a cheating fiancé, Josephina Harrington's perfect life just crashed and burned. Moving in with her overbearing parents is definitely not an option....
Called an eccentric beast by the citizens of Amesport, Maine, handsome billionaire Grady Sinclair stays isolated in his mansion on a private peninsula....
Voted Most Likely to Succeed, Melanie Bartlett ended up anything but. The down-on-her-luck single mom wants a complete do-over....
Dr. Kelly Hall had lost all hope of ever having a family - until single father Tanner Malone burst into her hospital, asking her how to raise his newborn daughter....
When she joins some of her recent divorcées on a celebratory cruise, her only vow is fun, sun, and new friends. But Lori finds herself tempted by a jury of one....
As captain of a San Francisco Bay tour boat, Pru can handle rough seas - the hard part is life on dry land....
Thirteen years ago, Vivi LeBrun was sketching a rooster and eating Oreos when she first met - and fell for - her friend's brother, David St. James....
Even though Meg Anderson's hell-raising days are over, coming home to Anderson Butte isn't easy, especially when her impossible-to-please dad is the mayor....
When ruggedly sexy backcountry guide Grey Lowell moves to Sterling Canyon, Colorado, after buying the ski-expedition company Backtrax, his plans don't include romance....
Sculptor Nick Mitchell grew up in a family of artists and learned from his volatile father that passion leads only to pain....
The Armstrong brothers are wealthy, wild-at-heart bad boys - until their father's will demands they prove themselves and marry in order to inherit their fortune....
At eighteen, Lorelei Pratchett couldn't wait to get out of her hometown. Twelve years later, her Hollywood dreams have fizzled and she's back - temporarily, she thinks....
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.
I don’t know what my true feelings are about this book. Regan was nineteen years old when she was taken advantage of by an older man, who was her mentor, and who also neglected to tell her he was married. Absconding with the funds from the project he was overseeing, abandoning his wife, and leaving his lover pregnant, Regan becomes the target of the DeLucas, who believed she was in on the swindle with him. She was blackballed from every job she got, from California to Oregon, the only thing she knew was the wine industry,but whereever she went the DeLucas found her and used their influence to get her fired. This really bothered me because how long and how far will someone go to make someone’s life miserable, and to keep them from making a life for themselves. The De Luca’s are rich, powerful and with lots of influence in the wine business, was their hounding of this poor girl necessary? Was Gabe DeLucas sister so fragile that she needed her brothers to hound this poor woman for 6 years? Did they ever consider how young she was when she was involved with their brother in law? How suave his brother in law was, and how he used his position to manipulate this young woman, just as he manipulated the De Lucas and their sister, his wife?
Admittedly, Regan made some silly choices and mistakes in this story that annoyed me to no end. However, I loved the three Mrs. Clauses, it seemed to me they were the only ones in this story with an ounce of sense. Gabe DeLuca was redeemed later in my eyes, when he realized what his interference in her life had cost her and her daughter, his guilt kicked in, he then realized maybe she was the innocent she seemed and had been a victim as much as his sister had.
One thing I can say about Regan is that she never gave up, she was determined to make a good life for her daughter. Though the story ended happily, I was still unsatisfied, I never heard an apology from the rest of the family for their treatment of her for the past 6 years.
Renee Raudman did an excellent job with her narration of this story.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
This was my first book/audio by Marina Adair, but won't be the last. She's a wonderful author. She has a way with words that keeps the reader/listener interested, not using a lot of 'filler words' like so many authors do.
It's a sweet story that stirs a variety of emotions...some laughter and perhaps a few tears.
It's about the plight of a single parent, Regan, made harder by the head of the poweful Deluca family, whom she unknowingly wronged. Believing he is protecting his family, he makes her professional life a nightmare, stalking her all over the country, getting her fired and keeping her from getting jobs. Not able to support her daughter and herself in her chosen profession, she takes a job as a maid, but finds help and friendship in the most unexpected places.
Most of the characters are very likeable. Regans 5 year old daughter, Holly, is adorable.
Renee Raudman gave a good performance. At first I didn't think I would like her narration, but she got better, and better as the story progressed.
I would recommend "Kissing Under The Mistletoe" to all romantics.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
i got so bored that reading it is so dragging. story is so boring that as much as i want to finish every page of it, i jump to the last chapter just to finish it.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I would never read or listen to this author again! Gabe is a complete jerk and continues being a jerk throughout the book! How or why he ends up with the girl is beyond me. I have read and listened to other books in this series prior to to this one that I like much more. If you listen to this one first please give her other books a try.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
It was a more or less mindless listen. I went in not expecting greatness. The 'hero' was an as*hat, and in my opinion his acts were unforgivable. But, it is fiction, and one has to suspend the whole reality thing and just take it as it is.
Has Kissing Under the Mistletoe: A St. Helena Vineyard Novel, Book 1 turned you off from other books in this genre?
Absolutely not. It is one of my favorites.
Have you listened to any of Renee Raudman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
All the same, I think she's a good narrator, does well with the different voices.
Any additional comments?
I picked this up with the Kindle Unlimited, so it was utterly free, I'm not sure I'd have been so accepting of its mediocrity had I paid money for it.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Many uninteresting misunderstandings, adding troubles upon troubles for poor Regan. Some readers will enjoy this type of humor in a slapstick sort of way, but it did not work for me. I was impatient, wanting it to be over.
Regan is a single mom who has been unable to find work in her field (wine marketing) for six years - because Gabe repeatedly sabotages her career. He is wealthy and influential in the wine industry. Regan’s goal in life is providing the best she can for her daughter Holly. Regan does stupid things and makes stupid choices which snowball into problems.
The story opens with stupidity. Regan sees Gabe in a grocery story. She’s so upset that she walks out of the store without paying for her purchase. Then she damages Gabe’s car by running her grocery cart into it and throws several small statues from the nearby Christmas display at his car causing a broken window, dents, and scratches. He watches her do this. Then she puts one of the statues (Randolph a reindeer) in her trunk and drives away. The subject of who will pay for the damages to his car and the statues never comes up in the book. The town is upset at the theft of Randolph, with the sheriff planning to arrest the thief.
Randolph in her car trunk causes repeated problems for Regan. Notices are posted asking for help to find Randolph. So why does Regan tear down a bunch of notices to throw them away? And then she is seen doing that. She tries a few times to return Randolph but people are there. Why didn’t she go in the middle of the night? Or leave him somewhere with an anonymous note or a phone call to the authorities. No, she creates embarrassing situations for herself.
Another poor choice:
Isabelle wants to hurt and humiliate Regan every chance she gets. Regan knows this. Regan is a single mom working as a hotel maid. So why does Regan let Isabelle sign her up to volunteer for the children’s Christmas play? She later discovers that Isabelle signed her up as chairwomen of the most expensive and time consuming job. Instead of getting out of it claiming there was a misunderstanding, Regan takes it on. Has she no brain? Has she no backbone?
One part I liked:
One dimensional Isabelle. For those who have volunteered for charitable organizations, you will find parts of Isabelle in the most unpleasant people you’ve known and had to work with.
As to the romance:
Regan and Gabe desire each other and begin a relationship, but during the book a series of things happen causing misunderstandings and problems for them. These problems did not entertain me - maybe because they were one person assuming something inaccurate about the other - causing angst and worry. For example, she doesn’t tell him a minor thing from her past. When he later discovers it he is angry and disses her in public - won’t take her phone call. It’s a problem because only part of the story was told to him, not the whole thing. When he later learns the whole story, it’s no problem after all. Yes these types of misunderstandings are commonly used in romances. Sometimes they work. But for me they did not work here.
The narrator Renee Raudman was ok.
Genre: contemporary romance.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Just missed the mark for me. The "hero" destroyed the main character's life for six years, but he was just being a good brother. :/ A few humorous moments, but more the roll your eyes kind. A little steam, but again just missing something for me. Of all the towns she could settle in to raise her daughter, she chooses right in the middle of family that she inadvertently hurt. Just not "real" enough for my enjoyment. Way too much angst and drama without enough of a pay off.
It was smooth reading and the characters were fun. I didn't care for the family though. they seemed really blind to the facts and self absorbed.
What did you love best about Kissing Under the Mistletoe: A St. Helena Vineyard Novel, Book 1?
The love story is the best part of the book. The conflict between Gabe wanting to be the support for his family and falling in love with a woman that the family doesn't trust is believable.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Kissing Under the Mistletoe: A St. Helena Vineyard Novel, Book 1?
Every moment with Gabe and Holly, Reagan's daughter is precious.
What does Renee Raudman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
The funny moments are perfectly delivered by the narrator. I love the crazy grandmothers. They are a meddling group (Gabe’s grandmother and her friends).
Any additional comments?
Kissing Under the Mistletoe is Gabe DeLuca’s story. Gabe has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders. He takes over the reins of the winery business after his parents’ death and takes care of his younger siblings too. He is a firm believer in family first and will do anything to protect them. So when they found his sister’s husband having an affair he set out to make Regan Martin’s life miserable without having all the facts. He is a little over-the-top mean to her for a while. <br/><br/>Regan Martin fell for the sweet talking sleaze Richard. It turns out that he is married to Abby Deluca. As soon as the DeLuca clan found out about Regan they use their influence in the wine industry to make it difficult for her to get and keep a job. This went on for six years until she ended up in Napa Valley. She is confident that she is finally in a place far away from the DeLucas and a better place where she can raise her daughter. Unfortunately Regan ends up working for Gabe, the mastermind of all her bad fortune. <br/><br/>I feel a connection with Regan from the start. She is a young girl of nineteen, alone after her mother died, when Richard the sleaze seduced her. She paid a heavy price for her mistake and desperately wants to move on and do right for her daughter, Holly. <br/><br/>Holly is a sweet and loving little girl who easily wins the hearts of the people around her and the reader too. Every scene that Holly is in is sweet and memorable.<br/><br/>I understand Gabe’s actions somewhat. He is a good man and tries to protect his family every way he can. He acts without thinking of the person on the other end of his anger. He doesn’t really want to hurt Regan and Holly but his loyalty is to Abby. Once he meets and gets to know them, he doesn’t want to stand in her way any longer.<br/><br/>There are funny moments in the story that center on the town’s Christmas traditions. There are friendships established and vindictive women to get past. Both Regan and Gabe make mistakes as their relationship grows. With the alternating points of view we feel their pain and joy as they admit their feelings and work to rectify the errors. <br/><br/>All in all Kissing Under the Mistletoe is a fun to listen to and the Christmas theme adds to the story. I like the way Ms. Adair weaves her story and develops the characters. I recommend the book, the audio and the series. It is a good romance. I will definitely purchase the other books and audios in the Napa series.
Sweet story written with humor and just enough hotness to be steamy without smut. Looking forward to the rest of the series.
I hate having to day this but for me this book was dreadful. The "plot" was predictable and the characters flimsy. I was not able to engage with any of the characters probably because the plot was so farcical.
Why is the lead female always poor, goofy and appears to be strong but can only survive due to the attentions of a man with a perfect body, a huuuge ***** (or package as the author used).
Oh and he is always very wealthy!
A wonderfully read sexy, romantic comedy, perfect round Christmas time and with a hot chocolate by your side
Lovely first book of the series and was absolutely great, fantastic characters that had me hooked from beginning to end