Cultural archeologist Lindsay Reynoso is in a small seaside town in California to evaluate an old mansion. When the home’s owner shows up to “help” the evaluation along, Lindsay is furious. Especially as the owner is former bad-boy tennis star Christopher Brandt…her one-time fling and the father of Lindsay’s son. Only he doesn’t know it.
As far as Chris is concerned, the old mansion is tied to a past he’s better off leaving behind. He’d rather bulldoze the thing and move on. If only his gorgeous consultant would let him. Even while fighting over the demolition, the chemistry that once brought them together is smoldering stronger than ever.
But honesty is very important to Chris, and Lindsay has an eight-year-old secret…
Source: ARC from Entangled Bliss via NetGalley
What was that ending? This is not how I usually start my reviews, but really, what was that ending? After a lovely steady build up through everything with the house, the exploration of a relationship between Chris and Lindsay, the revelation of Nicky, that ending was a complete letdown. Not because it was bad or didn’t work, but because it was too rushed. It just… jumped.
Which is a shame, because this is a sweet little romance that mixed a bit of archeology detective work with a bit of soul-searching from Chris and a secret baby that stayed secret for a very good reason. I liked both Lindsay and Chris. She’s a smart woman who’s built a life for herself and her son that might not have been what she planned, but has meant she can both take care of her boy and enjoy her work. As for Chris, he’s a man who has lived a wild life, some of which he isn’t proud of, but he’s also matured a lot to become successful at something he loves.
Not that it’s all plain sailing between them (well, there is some sailing), and not least because Lindsay is all about historical preservation and Chris is more of a knock ’em down, build ’em new kind of guy. I really liked this side of the plot, actually, especially the slow reveal of the house’s secrets and the way its fate really hung in the balance, leaving me utterly uncertain which way it would go. The other side of the story – Nicky – I enjoyed a little less. I loved little Nicky, he’s a great kid, and I enjoyed his relationship with Lindsay. But while I could understand her initial caution regarding Chris, I thought she let it all drag on too long until I just wanted to shout at her to tell him!
Overall, this is fun and enjoyable. I liked Lindsay’s family, particularly her grandmother – the squirrel thing was brilliant – and I liked everything to do with the house. I liked the romance and the main characters. I just plained liked the book, except for the ending, which is too rushed and abrupt. So, if you’re looking for a bit of house exploration and historical research, along with a sweet romance and a couple of characters with proper back stories, then you should enjoy this. Just brace yourself for the ending and hopefully it won’t disappoint too much.
A Touch of Chardonnay is out July 28th!
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