Crush on You by Christie Ridgway
Series: Three Kisses, #1
Published by Berkley Sensation on June 1, 2010
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
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The Baci sisters are on a mission to save Tanti Baci—the winery that’s been in their family for generations—by transforming it into the perfect wedding destination.
If only they didn’t need the help of the Bennett brothers next door…
Alessandra Baci is determined to make sure the winery’s first wedding goes off without a hitch. Unfortunately, the “Nun of Napa,” as she’s affectionately known, has had some bad luck when it comes to nuptials, starting with her own wedding day five years before, when her fiancé didn’t arrive at the altar. Still, she’ll do anything to keep her promise to her late father—even if it means enlisting the help of the sexy Penn Bennett…
Straight out of Hollywood, where he’s the handsome star of prime time’s hottest home renovation show, Penn is Alessandra’s only hope for restoring the crown jewel of the Baci estate. Too bad the Bennett men, who own the winery next door and are the sisters’ greatest rivals, are off-limits. Because Penn would like nothing more than to teach the sinless “Nun of Napa” an unholy, hands-on lesson…
Alessandra Baci aka Allie is known as the “Nun of Napa” in the small town of Edenville, in northern Napa Valley. Edenville is a small town with a population of six thousand nosy but friendly people. Alessandra is treated with kid gloves by the town and her family due to her tragic pass. At 20 yrs of age Allie had been set to marry her high school sweetheart, Tommy. Before the wedding could take place he died. She and Tommy were a favorite of the town so with his death the town basically gave Allie a free pass because they still look at her with sadness and refer to her as Tommy’s girl. In the present day Allie and her older sisters Giuliana and Stephania just learned with the recent passing of their father that their family winery “Tanti Baci” is in a lot of financial trouble. To save Tanti Baci, Allie has decided to offer the winery as a wedding destination and is in the process of getting the cottage renovated. The renovators leave suddenly to pursue a more lucrative offer which leaves Alessandra having to ask the Penn Bennett for help. The Bennett brothers are also silent co-owners of the Tanti Baci so they have a vested interest. Penn Bennett who is a hit star for the popular home improvement show “Build Me Up” just recently found out he is the bastard child of the wealthy Bennett family. His half brothers Liam and Seth have been living the life of luxury while he’d grown up with nothing being raised by his single mother. Penn is up in Napa to get acquainted with his new siblings and lay low after a recent incident with a former girlfriend who swindled him leaving him feeling like the biggest fool. When Penn meets Allie the first time he is a bit jaded from his recent lady troubles and is convinced Allie is a manipulative spoiled brat. Allie is a bit put off by Penn and his cockiness. They do not hit it off but the sparks are there and neither are comfortable with it. As they work together on the renovations things starts to heat up and they can’t deny the attraction but with both their past can they even make this work?
The first book in the Three Kisses trilogy was a fast, fun, and sexy read. I loved all the family dynamics and getting to know the Baci sisters and Bennett brothers. There were essentially two romantic story lines in this book. One of course about Penn and Allie and the other revolved around Allie’s cousin Gil and Allie’s friend Clare. I really like Penn. He tried to be jerky but his true niceness couldn’t be stomped out. I love that Christie had the fans of his show shouting “build me up” and taking their tops off so that Penn could throw them promotional shirts from his hit show. Those were funny moments. Penn is sexy and confident. I had a more love hate attitude towards Allie. I understood what she went through. There are many things that make Allie how she is today. The male population in Edenville treat Allie as if she is still Tommy’s girl and Tommy’s mother still refer to Allie as that. Allie can’t escape her good girl image and has been living like a nun so Penn threatens this existence because she is too aware of him sexually. I get that but her attitude sometimes rubbed me the wrong way especially at the end. What kept me interest in this book when I wasn’t too happy with Allie was the secondary story line involving Gil and Clare. These two are childhood best friends. Clare is set to marry and she is marrying at Tanti Baci. Gil is having issues with the impending marriage of his best friend Clare. A recent experience has made him realize he loves her. I really enjoyed Gil and Clare. I love those friends to lover story line. So this story kept me glue to the book. Other secondary characters like the Baci sisters and the Bennett brothers helped move this book along too. I can’t wait to find out more about the hostility between the two oldest siblings from the Baci and Bennett family. All and all I enjoyed the first book and would recommend it if you are looking for a humorous, easy fun, and sexy read that has a small town feel and lots of big fun family drama this is the book for you.
★★ Book was read in January 2011. Review copy source was my own personal paperback copy. ★★
Books in this Series:
- Crush on You (Three Kisses, #1)
- Then He Kissed Me (Three Kisses, #2)
- Can’t Hurry Love (Three Kisses, #3)