Tag: Christie Ridgway

Retro-Review: Must Love Mistletoe by Christie Ridgway

Posted December 6, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Retro-Review: Must Love Mistletoe by Christie RidgwayReviewer: Casee
Must Love Mistletoe (Holidays, #1) by Christie Ridgway
Series: Holidays #1
Published by Avon Books
Publication Date: December 1st 2006
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 358
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Bailey Sullivan can't stand Christmas, even though her family's business is a store specializing in the perfect holiday. But now her hometown's chief supplier of rooftop Rudolphs and treetop angels is in danger of going under--it's up to Bailey to save the shop.

She has it all planned: She'll arrive on December 1 and be gone by Christmas. Plus there's always spiked eggnog to ease the pain. But "Humbug" Bailey's not the only one home for the holidays. Finn Jacobson--legendary local bad boy-turned-Secret Service agent "and" Bailey's long-lost high-school sweetheart--is once again the boy next door. Only this time he's "all grown up," and the sparks are flying faster and hotter than ever!

Bailey believes in true love about as much as she believes in Santa Claus. But as the holiday draws closer, she's starting to think about one thing she'd like to find under her tree . . .

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews and posts that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.*****

Holly: I really love some of Ridgway’s books. I can’t remember if I reviewed this book here, but I do remember I really enjoyed it.

This review was originally posted on December 18, 2008.

I know I’ve said this already, but I love Christmas books. My favorite Christmas book of all time is Some Enchanted Season by Marilyn Pappano. I re-read it every year. I’ve had this book for a few years, but I never got around to reading it. This holiday season, I decided that it was just what I needed.

Bailey Sullivan barely tolerates Christmas. Her idea of a good Christmas is to pretend that it’s not Christmas. Unfortunately this Christmas isn’t going to be what she hoped it was. When she finds out that her parents store, The Perfect Christmas, is in trouble, Bailey immediately heads home. From the moment she sets foot back in her hometown, she’s determined to do what needs to be done and get out. Her deadline is December 25th.

Nothing ever goes according to plan, especially when it comes to Christmas.

Finn Jacobson has never forgotten his GND-Girl Next Door. As a rebellious teen, Finn’s parents decided that the best thing for Finn would be to go spend summers with his grandmother. Though he hated it at first, it didn’t take long for him to fall for Bailey, a girl that was so different from the type of person he was. Finn has never forgiven her for leaving town without a word. When she comes back to town, he decides to keep his distance.

Again, nothing ever goes according to plan.

Bailey is a heroine that has issues, but has never admitted that to herself. When her dad walked out when she was little, Bailey remembers her mom’s devastation. That shaped the woman that she’s become. Though she loves her stepfather, Bailey keeps her distance even from him. The fact that her mom and stepfather have separated only proves Bailey’s point. Still, she has a hard time staying away from Finn, the only person that’s understood her.

This was exactly what I was looking for when I picked it up. It had humor and poignancy. The secondary romance between Bailey’s mom and her stepfather was beyond sweet. Bailey’s inner struggle with her feelings for Finn were extremely sad. She doesn’t easily accept that she needs him in her life. But Christmas is a time for miracles, right?

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Then He Kissed Me by Christie Ridgway

Posted January 21, 2011 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Holly‘s review of Then He Kissed Me (Three Kisses Trilogy, Book 2) by Christie Ridgway

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.

But women cannot live by wine alone…
When Stevie Baci gave her own business the tongue-in-cheek name Napa Princess Limousine, she never dreamed she’d one day be driving a real prince around Napa Valley. But Jack is not a typical prince. He’s half-American and an old college roommate of one of the Bennett brothers, the Baci sisters’ rivals in the wine business. He’s also smokin’ hot—so what’s the harm in engaging in a little fun?

Jack Parini has indulged himself in la dolce vita since surviving a disturbing incident in his teens. Visiting Napa to help with his sister’s wedding, Jack is determined to taste women along with the wine. But when he can’t help but kiss Stevie, he finds himself reevaluating his way of life. Because this California girl in a black chauffeur’s hat does more than drive him crazy—she’s got him wondering what she’d look like in white…

This is the second book in Ridgway’s Three Kisses series, about the Baci sisters and their winery in Napa Valley. I enjoyed the first book and was looking forward to the rest of the series. Both Stevie and Jack were excellent characters. Ridgway really excels at writing deep, emotional romances that aren’t bogged down or too heavy.

Stevie is the most closed off of the three sisters. As the tomboy, she’s always felt somehow inferior to her sisters, not to mention out of step with them. Unlike the other two, she’s chosen to start her own business rather than run the family winery. But when Ally breaks her foot, Stevie has to step in and take over as planner for a huge event..the wedding of her ex-fiance. As if that isn’t bad enough, the soon-to-be bride’s brother is dogging her every step, determined to make sure she doesn’t harm his sister in anyway. But who will protect Stevie from getting hurt?

Jack has done his best to live in the moment since an incident happened in his teens. Now the only thing he takes seriously is making sure his baby sister is happy. Keeping an eye on Stevie is no hardship – she attracts him on every level. But when things get a little too serious, will Jack and Stevie be able to set their pasts aside and accept true love?

Stevie really struggles with feelings of inadequacy because of some careless words said in anger by her ex-fiance, plus a feeling of being the odd one out in her family. As a result she holds herself back from getting too close to anyone or anything. She’s always been “one of the guys” and she hides her femininity as much as possible. While this could have been annoying, I rather enjoyed it. It was refreshing to see a woman who chose to “have sex like a man” (ie without messy emotions getting in the way). Plus, it allowed for a lot of personal growth on her part. Watching her learn to open up and find herself was wonderful.

Jack isn’t really the playboy everyone assumes he is. Yes, he’s been around the block a time or 20, but many of his escapades were wildly exaggerated. That doesn’t mean he’s ready to settle down, however. His refusal to get involved in a messy relationship don’t stop him from being attracted to Stevie. Again Ridgway excelled at writing a fairly common trope. Jack had quite a bit more depth than he was given credit for, so the ties he came to feel to Stevie were even more poignant.

The secondary romance between Jack’s sister, Roxanne, and her fiance, Emerson (Stevie’s ex), was also interesting. There were times I was more interested in them than in the main protagonists. Especially Roxanne – she was very well written. Emerson was kind of a jackass at first, but he really came around as the story progressed.

Another solid contemporary romance from Ridgway. The progression of the romance was well done and I loved the relationship between the sisters. I only wish I didn’t have to wait another 6 months for the 3rd book, Can’t Hurry Love (the book I’m most anxious for).

4.25 out of 5.

The series:

Crush on You (Three Kisses)Then He Kissed Me (Three Kisses)Can’t Hurry Love (Three Kisses)

This book is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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Review: Crush on You by Christie Ridgway

Posted September 10, 2010 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Casee‘s review of Crush on You (Three Kisses, Book 1) by Christie Ridgway.

She made knitting sexy.

Now she’s taking on a dilapidated winery, three sisters, and the bad boys next door.

The Baci sisters are on a mission to save the winery that’s been in their family for generations-by transforming it into the perfect wedding destination. If only Alessandra Baci-affectionately known as the “Nun of Napa”-didn’t need the help of tempting neighbor and business rival Penn Bennett.

This is one of the worst blurbs ever and Christy Ridgway has one of those websites I hate. One that is cutsie and fun but that gives no real useful information. There’s no blurb for Crush on You, only a link to buy the damn thing. That’s where I got this gem of a blurb. It’s a real shame because this craptastic blurb is hiding a gem of a book.

Despite the awesome beginning of the book where Alessandra Baci is putting on her five year old wedding dress on the day of her would-be anniversary, she is not pining away for her would-be husband. Allie is a woman that lives life to its fullest. She’s a person that cares about the needs of others. It’s not until the end of the book that she realizes exactly what she has done by staying in mourning for five years, but it’s not because she was actually mourning her fiancé. Cryptic, I know.

Penn Bennett just found out who his father was and has recently met his half brothers. When he first sees Alessandra, she is flying out of the house in flip-flops and a wedding dress begging her contractors not to leave the Baci wedding cottage (and sole business investment) unfinished. It’s while he’s watching her that he sees her turn on the waterworks and get what she wants. Penn has no idea that he’s witnessing the Nun of Napa get her way.

What’s so great about Allie being the Nun of Napa is that she deserves it. She has shouldered the grief of the town and she deserves a little credit. She takes an immediately dislike to Penn even as she is physically attracted to him. The same goes for Penn. He has little use for manipulative women and that is exactly what he sees Allie as. That doesn’t mean they can’t engage in a flaming hot affair.

It’s a small town, so there is a lot of meddling going on. Penn wants nothing more than to leave town but he can’t tear himself away from Allie. Allie is afraid to have any more feelings than lust for Penn because of the heartbreak she went through before. Any feelings she has now are going to be more intense to have and to lose. She doesn’t know if she can risk that. In the end it is Allie that has to take a risk and it made me love her character even more.

4.25 out of 5.

This book is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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Review: Crush on You by Christie Ridgway.

Posted June 21, 2010 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments


Rowena’s review of Crush on You by Christie Ridgway.

Hero: Penn Bennett
Heroine: Alessandra Baci

The Baci sisters are on a mission to save the winery that’s been in their family for generations-by transforming it into the perfect wedding destination. If only Alessandra Baci-affectionately known as the “Nun of Napa”-didn’t need the help of tempting neighbor and business rival Penn Bennett.

I’m a big contemporary fan. I love contemporary books, they’re my favorite. I’ve never tried any Christie Ridgway books even though Holly really enjoyed her Knitting series. I picked up this book thinking that I was going to love it.

Only I didn’t.

This book got on every frickin’ nerve that I have in my body. It found every nerve that I have and pounced right on it.

This book follows Alessandra Baci as she tries to fulfill her father’s dying request to save the family winery. Her father wanted her and her two sisters to come together to save the family business and she took it seriously because she loved the family business. It was a part of their family history and she wanted to save it.

The neighboring family, the Bennett’s are silent partners in the Baci family business and even though their father is long gone, they’re are two sons, 1 illegitimate son and 1 illegitimate daughter left to run their side of things. The illegitimate son, Penn Bennett is the hero of the book. He’s a Ty Pennington kind of guy where he’s the handy man on a TV show that specializes in helping out less fortunate families with building up their houses.

Anyway so we’ve got the dying wish of a father to his daughters, a new son coming to “claim” his inheritance and a whole lot of emotional issues going on between the hero and the heroine. The heroine is dubbed The Napa Nun because she doesn’t date and hasn’t since Tommy, her ex-fiance. Penn is that Billy Bad Ass who should be considered an asshole but you let him slide on a lot of asshole-ish behavior because he’s so hot dang charming. They’re thrust together when Alessandra seems to be the only person that actually wants to save the business and Penn decides to help her out even though he has no idea why he wants to help her out.

Penn is the only man since Tommy that has actually made Allie want to get back out there and she doesn’t like it one bit because she doesn’t care for Penn at all since he’s an egotistical jerk. Penn doesn’t have a clue why he’s so drawn to the woe is me little girl who has the entire town of Edenville wrapped around her little finger which is something he detests in women. He hates women who prey on suckers and fools because he aint no sucker and he aint no fool even though he got fooled and he got suckered in by a pretty face already but no more.

There’s also a secondary love story between Tommy’s sister, Clare and Allie’s cousin, Gil. Clare and Gil have been best friends since grade school and Gil is super in love with Clare but Clare is getting married to Jordan. I had such huge problems with this storyline that I wanted to hurl this book at the wall so many different times while I was reading it. I mean, you’ve you got your best friend who’s not just your best friend but the woman that you’re in love with and you’re supposed to be this big Italian stallion kind of guy who’s overprotective of her and what not but you see her fiance’ swapping spit with some other chick and you’re with your best friend and you don’t go over to the bench that her fiance’ is at and kick his ass for cheating on your woman? What the hell is wrong with you? What kind of stallion are you that you won’t stand up for your best friend? Why the hell wouldn’t you get up and whoop his ass? Why would you give him a chance to make things right with your best friend? You see someone cheating on your best friend, you don’t wait for them to fess up, especially if you’re a guy. You march your happy ass over to the clown, kick his ass because that’s not the kind of man you want your best friend to marry. If he cheated on her once and hurt her, he’s supposed to be dunzo. But does Gil do any of that? Oh no, he just rages on the inside and then ditches the dinner plans he had with her and her fiance’ because he doesn’t want to face the fiance or lie to the best friend.

Bull shit, you little you know what you are.

Then there’s Penn and Allie.

Allie is the happy nun of Napa but she’s not really happy because she wants to move on with her life but she doesn’t want to disappoint everyone because everyone treats her kiddy gloves because Tommy was the local town hero and his mother won’t let Allie move on without making her feel guilty.

Penn is the only person who treats her like a woman and she likes it even though she shouldn’t. Allie was so wishy washy about Penn at first that it was kind of annoying but over the course of their romance, I got over it because they were cute together. They bicker and they argue but it’s undeniable that they’re hot for each other and Penn is one sexy stud so I could totally see myself throwing myself at him no matter how bad I thought he was for me.

The thing about these two was that they were both conflicted individuals. Penn had issues trusting women because of issues that stemmed from the way that his Dad left his Mom to raise him all alone. Growing up, Penn and his Mom were always broke and he went out of his way to help his Mom starting at a really young age while his brothers had their Dad’s money to make life easier. It would have been easier for Penn to hold a grudge over his brothers but meeting them and getting to know them made him realize that they didn’t get away without being dicked over by their Dad and seeing them become brothers was nice.

Allie wants to move on from her ex but the entire town is making it hard for her. The one leading the don’t get over Tommy train is Tommy’s mother and Allie doesn’t have the heart to move on without hurting her so she doesn’t. Until Penn comes into her life and she finds herself not being able to help herself where he’s around.

I liked Penn, his asshole-ishness didn’t take away from his likability. He was who he was and he made no excuses for himself. He didn’t care if you liked him or not, he was still going to be the Penn he was.

I didn’t hate Allie but I didn’t exactly like her either. She’s a smart woman, she gets what she wants and she works hard but what I didn’t like about her was the single-minded way she thought when it came to saving the winery. Her actions regarding that, the lengths she went to save the family business left a really bad taste in my mouth. I wanted to punch her in the face toward the end so many different times because first and foremost in her mind was saving the winery. Even after she realized that she loved Penn and knew that the only way to save the winery was to use Penn the way she did…I kept thinking, she’s not going to do it. She’s not going to go through with it because she loves him.

AND SHE DID! SHE WENT THROUGH WITH IT!

I may not have liked Allie very much throughout the book but at the end of the book, I hated the bitch. She didn’t deserve Penn and she didn’t deserve his love because she was selfish and she threw his love for her in his face and made him the one thing that he swore he would never be: a fool and what does Penn do? She says a few nice things about him in public and he caves to her? Everything is all peachy and hunky dory? Yeah right. I needed more than a declaration of love in public. It was all too nice and too easy of a closeout that it was totally anti-climatic for me. The same with Clare and Gil. She finds out that Gil knew about the fiance cheating on her and didn’t say anything and all Gil had to say is, “But I love you” and everything was right in the world.

*rolls eyes*

I just couldn’t like this book. All of the misunderstandings and the stupidity between characters became too much and by the end of the book I wanted to hit something…not the kind of reaction I like to get from books so I’m giving this one a 2. There were things that made me laugh and things that made me saw awwww but those things didn’t save the ending and the actions of the characters.

Grade: 2 out of 5

This book is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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Review: In Love with Her Boss by Christie Ridgway

Posted March 19, 2010 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment


Holly’s review of In Love with Her Boss (Montana Mavericks) by Christie Ridgway

Lori Hanson had come to Whitehorn to start over-not to fall head over heels in love with her boss! For she knew better than to risk her heart-her life-on another man. Besides, Josh Anderson was too attractive, too nice and…too dangerous. Nice because he cared about her. Dangerous because he made her want to care about him.

Josh’s alluring receptionist had secrets and fears she couldn’t let go of, and all Josh wanted was to hold her in his arms and make everything better. Okay, so that wasn’t all he wanted. Lori’s presence made it all but impossible to work–except to count the ways to capture her heart!

I’m slowly working my way through Ridgway’s backlist. This is one of the books I got from Abooktrader.com.

This was a sweet story. Ridgway is a master at writing the perfect balance between light and dark. Her books are always interspersed with sweet, light love stories and gritty, darker emotional issues. This book is no exception.

Lori has moved to Montana to escape her past and start fresh. She was in an abusive marriage and wants to get away from the town where her ex lives. Before her mother died, she told Lori about Whitehorn – where she grew up – and Lori thinks she might be able to put some roots down there. She gets a job with a temp agency and her first assignment is taking over for the receptionist at Anderson Construction while she goes on maternity leave.

Josh is surprised when he meets his new receptionist. She gorgeous and immediately starts getting under his skin. Only she keeps sending out mixed signals and he isn’t sure if she’s really attracted to him or not. When he realizes she’s been abused and is scared of him, he goes out of his way to make her feel comfortable. And to earn her trust.

I really liked Josh’s character. He was a very strong man, sweet and caring. The way he treated Lori, both before and after he learned about her past, really touched me. He was a little on the shy side and had a kind of aw-shucks attitude that really worked. He was just what Lori needed.

I enjoyed Lori’s character, too, though more in the beginning than toward the end. I understood the reasons she pushed Josh away in the end, but I still became frustrated by it. I was also frustrated by her actions at the end. I can’t put my finger on what exactly bothered me, but I think it might be the inconsistencies of her actions vs thoughts. She kept saying she had to leave so she could protect Josh, yet she’d think she had to leave because she refused to be taken care of or rely on someone else. She realized her mistakes, so I was able to forgive her, but it was touch and go for a chapter or so there.

I was also disappointed that it ended as it did, without finding out what became of the villain – though there are other books in the series so we may find out later.

Overall I really enjoyed the story. It had some flaws but the character are very well suited and Josh really stole my heart.

3.75 out of 5

This book is OOP from Silhouette Special Edition. You can buy it here or here.


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