Destiny is impossible to escape…
Caterina Bonavera had a solid plan. To move up the line from sous chef at one of New York City’s top restaurants and then open one of her own. Moving back to Virginia to help her sisters run the family winery had been nowhere on her radar. But neither had landing the head chef’s job at a popular local restaurant upon her return, only to find herself unemployed again after three years; nor getting romantically involved with a man who proved her ability to judge one’s character hadn’t gotten any better than her ability to fly by flapping her arms.
Caterina’s confident she’ll get her life back on track with Serendipity, the boutique hotel and restaurant she and her oldest sister Lucia were opening at the end of the summer, but that’s almost a year away, and meanwhile, she’s forced to deal with Liam Dougherty, the surly contractor building the restaurant of Caterina’s dreams. Liam gets along fine with everyone else, but it’s clear to Caterina that he’s disliked her since their first meeting, and she has no idea why.
To complicate their already tentative working relationship, Caterina begins to develop an unwanted attraction to Liam. She tries to counter it by avoiding him, but then she discovers something that changes her opinion of him completely, and along with it, her desire for the one thing she wants most in her life. Will trusting Liam turn out to be another mistake when it comes to the men in her life, or have her prior mistakes been leading her to him all along?
|Category / Genre(s):||Contemporary|
|Trope(s):||Enemies to Lovers|
|Point of View:|
|Release Date:||4th December, 2018|
Food, family, wine and love
I’m going to admit that based on the cover and title alone – I’d already pegged this book as a fairly staid, melodramatic type of romance. And when I read the first, fairly flowery paragraph – I knew I was right.
Boy was I wrong.
This book was so fresh, fun and (after that first paragraph!) I enjoyed it immensely from beginning to end.
With this being the first Patricia Paris book that I’ve read – and as a result, the first book I’ve read in The Bonaveras series – there are quite a lot of situations to understand and characters to meet – presumably that were first explained in the first book in the series. I’m not going to lie – at first it was a little overwhelming. There’s a pretty large cast of characters that confused me at first but once I got my head around them all, I just fell in love with them. The Bonaveras sisters just embodied family, love and I cannot wait to read more about them. With that said, the book does stand alone so you don’t have to read the others to understand and enjoy this one.
Caterina and Liam start off very much on the wrong foot. In fact, they pretty much can’t stand the sight of each other. When they are going toe to toe and trading barbs with each other I was rubbing my hands together with glee. I love a couple who start off as enemies – it’s that barely suppressed sexual tension and the thin line between love and hate. Caterina and Liam hit all the buttons for me. I loved them individually and together. The way their love developed was fun, funny and you felt it every step of the way.
There was a lot of sexual tension building and lots of anticipation between Cat and Liam as their relationship developed – so I was a teeny bit disappointed when the door remained firmly closed during the sexy times. We got a small taste later on but dammit – I wanted more. But I can’t let it affect my rating because it still felt real.
While the romance was the main focus of the book – there were a lot of other elements that really gave it depth and made it something a bit more special. Liam’s daughter Riley was absolutely adorable. Her relationship with Liam – her relationship with Cat – just too gorgeous for words! The whole Bonaveras clan was just the kind of big, American-Italian family that you would love to spend time with. And then there’s the ghost. Yep – there’s a ghost. But the ghost of great aunt Rosa isn’t a scary kind of ghost (and I would know because I’m a total wimp when it comes to these kind of things!). She’s a well-meaning ghost who helps those along who might need a nudge or two when confronted with a love they didn’t expect or anticipate.
The writing was very well done and I didn’t want to put this book down for a minute. Ms Paris has a knack for really painting a picture. I’m not sure if it’s a feature in all her books, but her descriptions, particularly of the food, really sold it for me and made my mouth water.
I enjoyed this book immensely and I feel like I’ve found a series I can really grow to love. I’m off to look out for the first book in the series (Lucia and Antonio’s story) and can’t wait until Eliana and Marcella’s stories come out. We’ve already had some teasing of who they’ll end up with so I hope I’m right. All in, an excellent story about food, family, wine and love. 5 stars.
Patricia Paris is a bestselling, multi-award winning author of sweet, sexy, contemporary romances and romantic suspense.
She lives in the Chesapeake Bay area of Maryland with her husband, a lazy but lovable cat named Shiloh, and James Brown (aka, JB), the baddest, but also lovable, dog in town.
A true romantic at heart, Patricia believes everyone deserves a happy ending, and she strives to deliver that to her readers every time.