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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Regan was the mistress of a married man. She did not know that he was married but the wife's family did not believe her and they stalked her as she tried to get a job, putting her on a blacklist in the only job she knew and resulting in poverty for herself and her daughter. It was a pretty horrid thing to do but when Regan meets up with Gabe, the brother of the wronged wife, they find themselves attracted and Gabe becomes her supporter rather than her tormentor. This part of the plot didn't make sense to me. I couldn't believe that someone who had hounded her for five years could be so easily forgiven because of an attack of lust. The change in Gabe's attitude did not ring true to me.

Most of the book, set in a small town is entertaining enough but some of the characters are a little cartoonish - Isabel and the three older women who appoint themselves her protectors especially. This makes the story a little silly in places which is sad because some of it is very good.

The ending doesn't work either. It is confused and awkward rather than touching which I think that the author had intended.

On the whole this is a readable contemporary romance which is probably designed to be read as a bit of a fairytale. Unfortunately the plot didn't really work for me and some of the characters were too unbelievable. I didn't dislike this book but it didn't really work for me.
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VINE VOICEon 1 November 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I actually quite enjoyed the style, characters and plot as far as a light read with a Christmas flavour goes ... BUT ... it has an element which brings to mind the word crude. I don't mind a bit of hot and steamy in my books especially when there's romance but there's just odd, or rather ugly phrases and words thrown in all over the place.

I'm reading a perfectly nice paragraph about an unmistakable attraction between the two lead characters, a bit of a simmer and sizzle perhaps and then I get to hear about erect nipples, or leading with his penis, or being moist. This well before any actual near misses between the two and sometimes on the same page we're hearing about a child.

It just sits really uneasily and is too clumsy shattering it's own tempo and sizzle. Maybe I'm too conservative and that rachets things up for other readers but it just blew the book apart for me. Shame. Could have been great with a bit more restraint or subtlety.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Regan Martin is tired of having her life messed up by men. Yes, six years ago she was naïve and made a mistake, not realising the man she loved was already married, but she's been paying for it ever since. So when a job offers comes through from Ryo Wines, a business run entirely by women, Regan jumps at the chance of a new start and a new life - for her and her daughter.

Until she encounters Gabe DeLuca. Again. This man has been making her life hell for years, but this time Regan refuses to give in. Not when her daughter is so happy. The trouble is that Holly's lying, cheating father just happens to be Gabe's brother-in-law, and Ryo Wines belongs to his sister, the spurned wife. It was a mistake, but one that Regan's never been allowed to forget.

Much like the handsome Gabe - who seems to have a similar problem in letting her go...

I'll admit the premise of this story didn't really appeal to me. Regan as an accidental mistress I could just about cope with, since it wasn't her fault, but Gabe's behaviour was way over the top. I know he was protecting his sister, but the rat of a husband had numerous affairs, so why was Regan so special?

I did like him a little better after he found out about Holly, Regan's daughter, and backed off. But still, the fact that he wrecked her life when the lies were someone else's really irritated me - why is the woman always blamed?

The reason I read this anyway was because I really enjoyed the second book in this series (Summer in Napa) and I was curious to see how it started. I love the three meddling grandmothers - or Mrs Clauses - and the town of St Helena is fun, even though the whole Randolph debacle was ridiculous.

Sprinkled with humour and a dollop of romance, this is a nice enough read - if you can ignore some of Gabe's bullying behaviour and Regan's foolish thinking. Personally, I think the next book is much better, but it's still nice to know more about St. Helena and the characters that populate this series. I'm looking forward to book three, Autumn in the Vineyard.
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VINE VOICEon 18 February 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Thought this would be a great book. Sadly it wasnt. I feel maybe im just a touch too old for this book. It looked good. It read well on the back. I feel teens and young adults can relate to this book.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
When Regan fell in love with Richard she had no idea that it would cost her everything, she didn't even know he was already married until she was five months pregnant with his child. When Richard vanished Regan was left broken hearted and alone to raise their daughter. At least his wife Abby had her family to support her and when Abby's brothers were unable to find the cheating husband they were happy to take out their anger on his mistress. For the last 6 years the DeLuca men have made Regan's life miserable costing her countless jobs and ruining her reputation in the wine industry. But this Christmas things are finally looking up for Regan and she has been offered her dream job and the chance to start over in a new town where she can build a life for herself and her daughter Holly. What she doesn't realise is that her new boss will be Gabe, the oldest of the DeLuca clan and the man behind everything that has happened to her. Gabe wants nothing more than to protect his sister Abby and that means getting Regan away from their home town fast. He isn't going to let anything get in the way of that goal - especially not an unwanted attraction to his family's enemy.

Every so often a book comes along that sucks me in from the very first page and makes it impossible for me to do anything else until I've finished reading it and Kissing Under the Mistletoe was one of those books. I picked it up planning on reading just one chapter before making myself some dinner but several hours later I was still reading. In fact I only managed to put the book down very briefly to grab a quick snack before I jumped back in to devour the rest of the story. I have now added Marina Adair to my list of must read authors and I can't tell you how pleased I was to discover that this is the first book in a new series.

I found it easy to connect with Regan from the moment I met her, she was young and innocent and completely betrayed by the man she loved and I had nothing but sympathy for her. I was so angry at the way the DeLuca clan had made life so difficult for her - especially considering she'd had no idea that Richard was married. She was as much his victim as Abby was and had spent a further six years being victimised for something that she had no control over. To say I was livid at Gabe and his family is an understatement and to be honest I didn't think he had a chance in hell at redeeming himself in my eyes. You have to admire Regan because although she has been through hell she has never given up, she never took the easy option of giving up her career and walking away from the wine industry and she never, ever let her daughter suffer because of what had happened. Holly was her world and Regan would do anything to protect her and make her happy. There were times that Regan's story brought tears to my eyes but more than anything I admired her strength and wanted to see her find happiness.

I've already mentioned how much I hated Gabe in the beginning so I was incredibly surprised that Marina Adair managed to make me fall for him. As you get to know him you see that he ended up responsible for his four younger siblings from a young age after their parents died and all he has ever done is try to protect them. He was convinced that Regan knew that Richard was married but went ahead and had an affair with him anyway and he had no idea that she had a young child to care for. None of that makes what he did to her acceptable but it did make it easier to understand. The fact that we get to see things from his perspective was what helped me fall for him though - you get to see first hand how guilty he feels when he realises that Regan was another innocent victim and when he sees first hand how hard life has been for her since then. I enjoyed watching Gabe discover his conscience and try to make up for what had happened but I enjoyed seeing Regan tell him where to go even more. The banter between them was one of the highlights of the book for me, the chemistry between them was off the charts hot but while their eyes were stripping each other naked their words were cutting them to the core. I knew from their heated looks that they'd be good together but boy were the sexy times worth the wait!

Other highlights included Holly who was utterly adorable - I dare anyone not to fall in love with her - and Gabe's grandmother ChiChi and her friends who Regan had nicknamed the Mrs. Clauses. There were a lot of laugh out loud moments at their antics and they really helped lighten the tone of the story. Kissing Under the Mistletoe is definitely my favourite Christmas read of the year, funny, cute, romantic and hot, it was the perfect book to get me in the mood for the holidays and I know it is a book I'll be re-reading in the future. Fans of small town romance series like Jill Shalvis's Lucky Harbor books will love this one - it has the same feel good factor and great cast of characters who I am looking forward to spending more time with.
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on 21 May 2014
I didn't like this book because of the swearing almost from the first page, I only read a few pages, couldn't be bothered reading the rest of it, it is not the type of Christmas story I like to read. Heather.
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on 30 May 2014
I read some quite bad reviews but downloaded the sample anyway. I was expecting a crassly written novel with bad sexual references, instead I found a funny, light hearted, well-written novel based at Christmas time.
The reviews complained of some of the language about sex. It does contain sex scenes so I think some people may have misunderstood the cover and blurb. But as a slight warning, there is more than kissing under the mistletoe, especially as she has a mistletoe tattoo on her hip.
Anyway to the story - amusing, fun, silly, far fetched, and...easy to read and enjoyable. Wish there was a spare Deluca for me.
Regan has a nemesis, he's called Gabe, the brother of the wife her ex-lover forgot to tell her about. Gabe has single handedly tried to ruin her life for ruining his sisters.
As in the way of imaginative romances, circumstances are woven and the magic of Christmas comes to pass whereby their lives - and love- meet head on.
It's escapism at Napa valley. Loved it.
Don't be put off by the negative reviews.
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VINE VOICEon 28 January 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Regan thinks she is escaping her troubled past when she gets a new job in Napa Valley. She didn't bargain for her boss being Gabe Delucca, a man bent on destroying her life. The story is fast pacing, amusing at times and heart wrenching at others as Regan does her best to make a life for herself and her little daughter. Can she find a place to settle? Can she give her daughter the life she needs and the Christmas she wants so desperately? I read this book in February but it didn't make any difference that it was out of season. I enjoyed reading about the small town life. The characterisation was great and I was rapidly drawn into the story. It is light and easy to read and anyone who enjoys romance would enjoy it
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on 4 November 2013
Enjoyed this story and finished it in two days. the characters were well defined and, of course, even though you knew all would end well you couldn't wait to find out how they managed to get there.
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on 21 November 2013
I can't seem to get enough of Christmas related books at this time of year, and Kissing Under the Mistletoe made me feel all warm inside. It was a lovely, fun, sexy light read. I really empathised with Regan for having got involved with a married man, just like in the truly brilliant Weak at the Knees and wanted things to turn out well for her and for her to get her happy ever Christmas. And did she?! Well, you'll just have to read it and find out. It's a really well written book and the perfect way to spend a cold wintry afternoon snuggled up reading under a rug.
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