I recently had the immense privilege of reading Marina Adair’s upcoming novel, KISSING UNDER THE MISTLETOE. It takes place in the small town where I grew up, and Marina was interested in my take on the story. So here goes:


After six years of fall-out from a misguided affair with a married man named Richard, Regan Martin wants a fresh start in the Napa Valley and a perfect Christmas for her daughter Holly. But Gabe DeLuca, her new boss, will stop at nothing to drive her out of town to protect his sister, Abigail, who also happens to be Richard’s ex-wife. But the more time Gabe spends with Regan and her daughter, the more he starts to assess his familial priorities—and his growing attraction to Regan. But Regan has to decide how much she’s going to put on the line for Holly—and if a relationship with Gabe is really worth the trouble.


I was immediately drawn into the warm, small-town holiday setting that Marina created (especially since it was based on my home town). Her details were exquisite, and they even inspired me to purchase plane tickets home for Thanksgiving.

As a writer, I like to study how characters are presented, and Marina did a great job of creating three-dimensional people that jumped right off the page—especially Regan, who was an extremely relatable heroine. Another favorite of mine was ChiChi, a quirky grandmotherly type with a lot of spunk. Writers looking to buck up on character development should definitely take note to see what Marina is doing in her books.

Because it was an uncorrected proof, some parts may need to be revised upon publication. But the  story is a unique one, and it develops well. Marina definitely included enough intrigue to keep me turning pages.

Overall, readers looking for a feel-good holiday story with an erotic, romantic spice will love this book. Thanks, Marina, for letting me read!

For those looking to purchase KISSING UNDER THE MISTLETOE, feel free to click on the button below.


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