Be Mine Forever
By Marina Adair
January 21, 2014
When he receives a series of calls that make him think his grandmother is critically ill, Trey DeLuca returns to St. Helena, California, as fast as modern transportation can get him there from Paris, but he finds his irrepressible grandmother practicing dance steps in preparation for the town’s annual Winter Garden Gala rather than fighting for her life. The only emergency is that ChiChi Ryo has decided that Trey, her youngest and only unmarried grandson, should be her dance partner for the Valentine’s Day event. The last gala Trey attended was the one four months before his parents’ death. He has avoided them for the past decade. In fact, he avoids spending time in St. Helena generally, a task made easier by his position as vice-president of sales in the family wine business. Trey loves his family, but the guilt he feels over the death of his parents has left him with a deep need for emotional distance even from them. Trey is confident that he can con one of his brothers into partnering their grandmother. As soon as he can do so, he plans to leave town again.
Sara Reed moved to St. Helena because it was the kind of town in which she wanted to raise her son. Between caring for her son and struggling to build the reputation and enrollment of her dance school, Sara hardly has a minute for herself. Widowed for two years, she has no expectations of finding the kind of love she shared with her husband Garrett, a Marine killed in battle, and she has been reluctant to even begin dating.
When Sara and Trey meet, both their lives begin to change. Suddenly St. Helena seems much more appealing to Trey, and Sara is reminded that she is a woman, not just a dance studio owner and a single mother. Their attraction is instantaneous, powerful, and mutual. The understanding that they are all wrong for each other is mutual as well. Trey knows that Sara is a forever kind of woman, and Sara soon recognizes that Trey is allergic to commitment. But resisting gets more difficult as layers of genuine liking and a rare rapport are added to the simmering physical attraction. Trey finds that not only Sara but also five-year-old Cooper and Trey’s young nieces are effortlessly bridging the emotional space he has preserved since his teens. Sara knows that Trey can give her only February, but her heart persists in hoping for more. It’s a recipe for heartbreak unless Trey is willing to risk giving himself without reservations to the possibility of living happily ever after.
Be Mine Forever is the fourth book in Marina Adair’s St. Helena Vineyard series, and it has the all the humor, sweetness, and sizzle that characterized the earlier books. Trey is a charmer with a vulnerability less hidden than he believes, and Sara, a real sweetheart, is the perfect heroine for a Valentine’s story. The honesty, the shared humor, and the revealing conversations that the two of them shared allow readers to see them falling in love, not merely lusting for one another’s bodies. Trey’s relationship with Cooper is particularly endearing.
Readers who read the other DeLuca books will enjoy seeing Reagan and Gabe and Lexi and Marc and their growing families and catching glimpses of Frankie and Nate’s wedding preparations. ChiChi and her posse are as funny and outrageous as ever.
I fall a little more in love with St. Helena and the DeLucas with each visit. If you are a fan of series with rich family dynamics, likeable characters, and a setting that is memorable and distinctive, I recommend you add the latest Marina Adair book to your TBR list. According to the author’s website, there are two more books in this series: From the Moment We Met, the story of the Deluca brothers only sister, in July 2014, and Need You Now, a Winter 2014 release. I’ve added both to my book calendar.
I’m always surprised that there are not more Valentine’s romances. In fact, most of the ones I know are traditional Regencies. What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day romance?