Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Fine Romance by Christi Barth - Review

They say you form your first impression of someone within thirty seconds of meeting them.  Or, in Mira Parrish's case, within thirty minutes of not meeting them, when said person is supposed to pick you up from the airport and never shows.  This is not a perfect start to her new life.  Her friend Ivy is depending on her to run a new romance store, and Mira can't afford to let her down.
Sam Lyons should probably apologize.  But every time he sees Mira—which is often, since his family owns the bakery next to her shop—he can't resist antagonizing her.  There's something about the sexy, straitlaced woman that drives him crazy.  He can't get involved, though.  He has too much baggage to be any good in a serious relationship.
Despite his teasing attitude, Mira finds Sam too sweet to resist.  (His hot body may be a factor.) But if there's going to be anything permanent between them, they'll need to let go of their pasts and look to the future…


A Fine Romance is the second book in the Aisle Bound Series from Christi Barth.  The book can be read without reading the first book, Planning For Love.  However, you might not get the full extent of character relationships without reading the first book.

Mira Parrish is one of Ivy Rhodes’ best friends.  Ivy is the heroine in Planning for Love and the owner of Aisle Bound, a wedding consulting company.  Ivy is a hopeless romantic.  She came up with the idea of a romance store (a place where you can get picnic baskets, little romantic meals, etc.) Since the wedding business is so hectic, Ivy doesn’t have the time to devote to A Fine Romance like she wants.  Ivy convinces Mira to move to Chicago to put the store together for her and also to be it’s manager.

Mira is from a wealthy family that made it’s money in concrete.  She grew up in a life of privilege, where she was only expected to marry well and carry on the family name.  She’s an only child who seems to have been pretty much only brought around for show.  For Mira, that wasn’t a life she wanted to lead so she turned her back on the money.  For the last few years, Mira has been living on her own.  Which pretty much means living paycheck to paycheck.  Of course she wants more, but she also wants to be able to say that she got her money by working for it.  She has a huge chip on her shoulder and is very quick-tempered.

Sam Lyons is the co-owner of Lyons Bakery.  The bakery is well known for it’s pastries and fabulous wedding cakes.  Lyons Bakery was first ran by Sam’s mother and father and then primarily Sam, after his father’s death.  Since his father passed away, Sam hasn’t lived his own life.  His life has been all about working in the bakery, trying to make sure the bills got paid, and taking care of his mother.  His wants and needs have been put on the back burner, hoping his sister will decide to join the family business.

A Fine Romance has tons of laughable moments.  It also has a serious romance between a couple who is real and sometimes irritating.  Mira and Sam both have family issues they need to deal with but refuse to face.  They each have hopes, dreams, and fears that they only feel comfortable sharing with one another.  The secondary characters are all people you would want to know and love, well maybe not Mira’s parents.

If you’re looking for a romance book where the action between the couple heats up to a boiling point immediately, this isn’t the book for you.  A Fine Romance builds on the relationship that Sam and Mira are trying to establish, before they get to the good stuff.  And oh, the wait is worth it.  I mean a special blend of chocolate with extra vanilla and a kick of cinnamon worth it. 

While I didn’t love this book as much as I did the first, looking at it independently it’s good.  A Fine Romance is about friendship and knowing that your friends are going to be there for you, no matter what happens.  It’s a story of people learning that if they just speak up for themselves and what they want, they just might get it.

While I’m not sure who the next book is going to feature, I am looking forward to it.

Rating: 4

Release Date:  March 11, 2013
Book Length:  229 pages
Source:  Author
Reading Format:  Available in only in eBook

Purchase Link:  Amazon

Books in the Aisle Bound Series

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