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At First Blush (A Well Paired Novel Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 280 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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At First Blush is sweet, endearing and down to earth. From the first page to the last I was drawn into the story. Not only was it “real” but it was sexy and romantic and just gave me all the warm and fuzzy feels.
Alexis is my kind of girl. She is sweet, shy, reserved, old school, a Tom Boy, values family and doesn’t give herself credit where credit is due. She wanted to expand her wings but experiences in her past of being overshadowed stopped or halted her. I was able to relate with her on so many levels which made this book all the better.
Now let’s get to Benito Martelli...
I mean seriously how can you not fall head over heals in love with a man with the name Benito Martelli - holy smokes from the first time we meet him in At First Blush I was hooked and in LOVE. He is down to earth, a family guy, cares about everyone’s feelings (most of the time), sexy, romantic and an all around good guy. Don’t get me wrong he does have one flaw/bad decision and she goes by the name of Felicia (you may or may not want to smack her a few times - just saying). Even with said flaw/bad decision my love for Benito never diminished. Seriously, I gotta find a “real”’Benito.
Benito (a.k.a Ben) goes to Maine to meet the Le Blanc’s and offer some solutions to make Coastal Vines a more profitable winery. He knew going in that he would have some problems convincing the Le Blanc’s daughter Alexis that the changes would only help grow the winery and not devalue it in any way.
When Alexis and Benito meet for the first time full truths might not have been told and when the truth comes out Alexis becomes even more feisty then normal. What ensues thereafter is entertaining and a little heart breaking and lots of romance and trying to “win the girl over”.
The adventure of exploring and getting to know each other...
At First Blush had it all. This was my first book by Marianne Rice and definitely will not be my last. I truly loved this book and highly recommend it.
Benito Martelli comes from a family that runs its own large and successful vineyard in the Napa Valley. While there's chemistry between Alexis and Ben almost immediately, the two are very different people. Alexis is an ex-tomboy, too comfortable for the guys to date and not girly enough (at least in her mind) to have female friends. She's devoted to the vineyard and that's pretty much it. Ben is handsome, a bit of a player, with his own successful business and life in San Francisco. He also has some personal problems he's running away from.
I had some trouble liking either of the two protagonists in the beginning of the book. Alexis is prickly and rude while Ben can be too slick and deceptive. I had trouble seeing the two of them together. But Ms. Rice is masterful in gradually building up the relationships, not only between Alexis and Ben, but also Ben and Crystal Cove.
As Alexis slowly comes out of her shell, her vulnerability shows as well as the reasons for her feelings. Ben also becomes more understandable in his behavior. The turning point for me was when Alexis accuses Ben of speaking Italian to her during sex. He refutes it at first, then realizes she's the only woman he's done that with. It's a charming moment that shows just how much he's fallen for her.
I really did love this romance. I loved the slow burn and how much Alexis and Ben both matured and resolved their differences. This book is such a wonderful start to this new series, and I can't wait for the next book.
Anyway lets get to the meat of the story – I love these two characters Alexis and her love for her family, her grandfather, her community and her most important her families winery (that she feels everyone around her wants to break from the transitions her grandfather instilled). Benito (Ben), very successful businessman in his own right, really shows his love, loyalty, and respect for his family by taking a job simply because his parents have asked (which does give him a much-needed break from his life). These are two beautifully written and wonderfully flawed characters that unbeknown to them start a journey of self-discovery through their chance meeting. Who are they really, is their life what they really want it to be, or the best it could be. Through this story they both find that what they thought was maybe a fine/good life, may not be what will make them the happiest. They both need this time to see that they do want. Can they really let go the pre-plans and expectations of life and move forward. Ben is that perfect person for Alexis in this way. He challenges her to questions all she has just settled for. Alexis forces Ben to realize he may want/need more out of his life then he has thought. Can they do this together, change their preconceived decisions, and then ultimately trust each other.
I not only love this story. I love these characters and their families. I know am going to have to be patient and wait as the series rolls out. If you are in the same boat but unlike me and haven’t read all of Marianne Rice’s books – go to town and enjoy. You will lose yourself throughout Maine and the Northeast. Now it is time to learn more about Ice Wine…
Most recent customer reviews
At First Blush is a good read. It's a sweet read. I loved Alexis. She's a strong character. She's running the family’s winery with her parents.Read more
Absolutely nothing!Read more