Welcome today’s featured author, Marina Adair to Mother/Gamer/Writer! It is my pleasure to host her new novel, Kissing Under the Mistletoe, a heartwarming story about love, friendship and consequences. Today, please enjoy Heather’s review of this 5 Controller Contemporary Romance, an interview with the fabulous Marina, and an ARC Giveaway!
- Title: Kissing Under the Mistletoe
- Author: Marina Adair
- ISBN-13: 9781612185859
- Publisher: Montlake Romance
- Publication date: 10/16/2012
- Review Source: ARC From Author
- Find It: Goodreads/ Amazon/ B & N
Regan Martin stopped believing in Christmas miracles six years ago when she lost everything—her house, her job, and her impeccable reputation in the wine industry—after she fell in love with a man she had no idea was married. Then Regan gets a chance for a fresh start in the Napa Valley. With her dream job, dream home, and her daughter enrolled in a wonderful new school, she starts wondering if holiday wishes really do come true.
But she soon tumbles back down to earth when she learns that her new boss is none other than Gabe DeLuca, the scorned wife’s brother. Gabe wants nothing more than home-wrecking Regan Martin out of his life, his sister’s world, and his family’s business. Mostly, he wants the lush beauty out of his head. Yet his attempts to run her out of town have him thinking twice, especially when he sees that Regan may hold the key to tracking down his sister’s stolen start-up capital. Even worse for Gabe, Regan might just be his Christmas wish and hold the key to his heart.
Kissing Under the Mistletoe is a contemporary romance that strikes at the heart. The story is centered around the now 27 year old French-Mexican, single mother who has had her life ruined at every corner by a man she barely knows. When Regan was a naive 19 year old girl she fell in love with the wrong man. He was wrong for many reasons, but the kicker would be that he was already married. Of course this became news to her on the fateful day they were caught by Gabe. The very day she had learned she was having a girl.
What he also failed to tell her is just how ruthless his wife’s family could be. Richard’s wife Abigail, her family would never allow Regan to live it down, though Richard got away scot free, and millions richer. Now the only link to causing the family shame or harm is Regan, the other woman. Gabe will do anything to keep his loved ones safe, even if it meant harming another.
Needing a change of pace, and a new beginning, Regan moves her daughter away from everything she has ever known. Two weeks, deep in wine country, she quickly learns that it may have been yet another mistake to add under her belt. Unknowingly, she moved right into Gabe’s hometown. She bares her famous temper, and winds up stealing the town’s beloved Randulf statue from the Christmas display.
In a twist of unforeseen events the pair find themselves at odds. At first he wants her to leave, and quickly gets her fired from her new job. But Regan is a born fighter, and the words give-up are not in her vocabulary. Frantically she tries to find a new job, a place to live, and anything in her power to give her daughter a sense of normality that she herself never had.
It comes to light when she reads her five year old daughter’s Christmas wish. All little Holly wants is a forever home, and it becomes clear to Regan that she will do anything to give it to her. Even if it means every single person in the community hates her for being a homewrecker. She just wants more for her daughter than she ever had.
Gabe just wants to protect his family. He is always the hero, and has been since his parents died in an accident. He was left to pick up the pieces of both business and raising his siblings. He wants nothing more than to know they are safe and well, but all of that is turned upside down when the “Vixen” he loves to hate strolls into his life once again.
He wants her gone and even feels sorry for ruining her chances, but at the same time he is trying to keep Abigail and Regan from ever crossing paths. Gabe knows Regan wasn’t the only woman he had cheated with, but there is just something about her that screams a warning. Little did he know that it was his desire to know her, to touch her, and to love her.
Can these two warring, yet attracted characters find a way past themselves, their families, and whatever fate throws their way? Do they fall in love? Does Gabe forgive Regan, though she never really did anything wrong? Does little Holly get her wish?
This book is beyond touching. Your heart will break, and break as you learn about Gabe and Regan. More so, as a mother I found the scenes involving Holly to pull and rip at my heartstrings.
Deep in the story, I guarantee you will not be able to put it down. Between the romance is mystery, friendships, enemies of the plastic kind, and one reindeer that threatens to tear the town apart. I just couldn’t put it down, because even up to the last few pages I couldn’t tell what would happen.
On a side note, I think that single mothers (past and present) who enjoy romance will love this story. Anyone who understands that daily struggle of being a Mommy, and knowing how hard it is to find time for yourself, let alone to have an identity otherwise. I believe this story could have an inspirational effect for any woman who has ever been hurt emotionally by a man too.
In many ways I want to thank the author. I found the story refreshing and heartwarming.
5 out of 5 Controllers
1. Welcome Marina to Mother/Gamer/Writer. For those readers who are not familiar with you or your work can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi, Diayll! Thanks for having me on Mother/Gamer/Writer! A little about me, okay, ready?
I am a screenwriter turned romance novelist who has a thing for burgers, beer, and Jane Austin novels—sometimes simultaneously. My relationship with Eggo waffles boarders on unhealthy and I hate mayonnaise. I am also a mother and a wife and I love reading.
2. Do you have a particular writing style? Any odd writing habits?
OMG, yes! I am a major plotter—to the point that it drives my author friends and loved ones crazy. I plot out time to plot . . . seriously. I even make a plot chat that shows all of the major turning points in each of my plotlines, color coded of course, so I can make sure that they all working together.
3. Who would you consider your favorite authors, or where do you draw inspiration?
I have a lot of favorite authors, but I think the one who I stand in total awe of is screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. As in, I have a major writer-crush going on. I must have watched The American President a hundred times, but when The West Wing came out I was hooked. His dialogue is incredible, his banter brilliant, and his characters are so complex . . . I’ll admit it: I swoon.
4. What books are currently on your bookshelf?
My tastes definitely lean more toward the romantic. I just finished Liquid Lies by Hanna Martine and it was a sexy and suspenseful sci-fy/paranormal romance—so good. I have a lot of Meg Cabot, Jill Shalvis and Julie Garwood—her historicals have to be some of my favorites. And of course the complete works of Jane Austin. I also have a pretty good collection of screenplays, one of my favorites being Spanglish by James Brooks.
5. Your latest novel is KISSING UNDER THE MISTLETOE. What is the background behind the story, are any real life events reflected in the novel?
The story talks place in St. Helena, which sits in the heart of wine country. My husband and I actually lived there for a few years as newlyweds. And even though we have moved around quite a bit, it is still one of my favorite places that we have lived, which made setting a series there fun.
KISSING UNDER THE MISTLETOE is the first in the St. Helena series and was a fun one to write because what’s more entertaining than two sworn enemies who can’t keep their hands off of each other. Especially when one is a single-mom looking for a fresh start and the other is a smooth talking wine maker who is determined to run her out of his town . . . or into his bed. Being a man, he can’t seem to make his mind up.
6. What was your favorite scene or chapter to write?
By far, any scene that had my three little old grannies in it. ChiChi, the ring leader in this book and the grandmother of the hero, is the town busybody who will stop at nothing to make sure that her grandkids are blissfully happy, even that mean means forcing them into said bliss. She reminds me a lot of my grandmother, except for the fact that ChiChi is Italian and my grandmother is Southern.
7. Were there any ideas or characters you had to leave out that you would like to revisit or work into another novel?
Yes. The DeLuca’s are a loud, loyal and very large Italian family. I wish I could have spent more time on the page with each of the brothers, but since this is a series they will all have their own book. I must admit thought, I am the most excited to write the Abby’s story. Being the only girl in a family of four over-protective, badass Italians means that it will take an extra-special kind of badass to win her heart. . . and the DeLuca brother’s permission.
8. Is there a message, or underlying theme in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
This story is really about family and that sense of belonging, and what happens when the person you belong with is the only person who has the potential to hurt your family.
9. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Write. One of my professors told me that the only thing a writer has to do is write and write often.
10. Lastly, is there anything you would like to say to your fans, or to people who are considering reading your novel?
If you like contemporary romance with small towns, big personalities and explosive romance, you’ll enjoy KISSING UNDER THE MISTLETOE.
Thanks for having me today!
You Can Find Marina and Kissing Under The Mistletoe At These Locations:
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions; it has been my pleasure having you on Mother/Gamer/Writer!
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About 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.
As a writer, Marina is devoted to giving her readers contemporary romance where the towns are small, the personalities large, and the romance explosive.
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