Saturday, November 7, 2015

Autumn in the Vineyard by Marina Adair (audiobook)

Title: Autumn in the Vineyard
Author: Marina Adair
My Rating: A
Narrator: Renee Raudman

Genre: Contemporary Romance  
Series: St. Helena Vineyard #3
Main Characters: Frankie and Nick
Release Date: October 2013
Publisher: Montlake
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Description:
Frankie Baudouin has a hundred reasons not to trust Nate DeLuca. First, he’s a DeLuca. Second, he kissed her—in front of the entire town—and then never called. Oh, and he’s after her land. Sorrento Ranch is Frankie’s last chance to prove to her family—and to herself—that she has what it takes to be an award-winning winemaker. And she will stop at nothing to ensure her success—even if it means playing nice with the starched, sophisticated, and oh-so-sexy Italian.
For Nate, Sorrento Ranch is more than just soil and grape vines; it was his father’s dream—a dream Nate is determined to make a reality. So when he finds himself forced to cohabitate with a hot-headed, irrational, and incredibly gorgeous Baudouin, Nate is surprised to discover that chaos could be so much fun—especially when she sleeps in nothing but lace. 
My Review:
Overall: 4.5
Performance: 4.5
Story: 4.5
I'll admit, this is my first exposure to this series. I own several of the books, but I haven't read them yet, but I got a deal on the audio for this one so I jumped it in line for my "reading" of the series. I liked it.

For me, Frankie's character made this book. She's so beautifully vulnerable and in need of love. I don't know how much of that was done so perfectly by the narrator, Renee' Raudman, and how much of it was because of phenomenal writing by Marina Adair, but I loved how Nick really saw Frankie. He saw her pain and needs and felt drawn to take care of her. I love a protective alpha type and he was incredibly perfect in this role. And poor Frankie...I challenge you to read this book and not feel for the poor girl. She's spent her life not being good enough and always being the one to sacrifice for her family. I wanted to jump into the book and tell off her entire family from her grandfather to her brothers because they are all so clueless. All of them, except Nick. He knows the truth of how much she's been hurt and just wants to keep that from ever happening again. That's why it's so devastating with what happens at the black moment in the book. Seriously, my heart aches for her character.

And I do love Nick. He's trying and yes, he screws up. He's human, but it's not his fault that he truly doesn't get how awful Frankie's family is to her, especially at the beginning. (I'm assuming the events leading up to Frankie being fired from the family vineyard happened in book #2 because it was a significant thing that happened off the page in this book.) I thought the chemistry and want between the two was perfect. Nick has his own vulnerable moments just because Frankie is so naturally closed off and defensive. She's not one to let down her walls...she's learned the hard way how to protect herself. But Nick knows that about her so he's willing (for the most part) to put the work into her as they grow closer together. They both want one another, but there's so much standing in their way with their own pasts and the details of the conflict between their two families. Working, living, and loving together isn't going to come easy.

I enjoyed the family/vineyard setting for this book. That all worked for me. In fact, I'm ready to dig into the rest of the series. 

I love Renee Raudman as a narrator. She has such an incredible range, and this series is no exception to how well she does voices. My problem in this book was that I listened to her narrate a whole other (urban fantasy) series and her voice took me back to that book, so it was hard to adjust to listen to her in this book and place myself mentally into this setting rather than the other. BUT that's a personal thing for me...the problem when you listen to so many audiobooks.

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