Thursday, September 30, 2010

RED WINE AND HER SEXY EX (Chateau Lefevre) - Kate Hardy

What an incredible and beautiful love story set in France wine country by the very talented Kate Hardy. The Chateau Lefevre series is described as “Rich and spicy – these men are as irresistible as their wine”. Trust me, Xavier and Guy Lefevre are two fabulous Frenchmen.

Truly a romance about second chances Red Wine and Her Sexy Ex was actually about a vigneron , Xavier Lefevre who gave up a young woman he had fallen in love with because he was duty bound to his father and the vineyard employees. However, now Allegra Beauchamp was coming home to France and he feared that she was going to make trouble for him. When he really needed her years before, she had broken his heart and now she was returning to her Uncle’s home, a little too late as he had passed away. The very same wonderful man who had provided a home for her each summer and she never even returned for his funeral.

Xav wanted to buy her out but she wasn’t going to allow him to purchased her Uncle’s land, the Uncle who she so adored. Just seeing Xavier made her heart race, made her remember those years ago when then love was so sweet and pure, the very same young man who took her virginity. The man who broke her heart! Well let him think again, she was here to stay, to learn the wine business and make her contribution whether he liked it or not! What Allie didn’t count on was how much Xav still affected her and how much the more time they spent together, the more she remembered what they had shared.

So many secrets Xav kept from Allie, the reason he hadn’t gone to Paris or come to her in London, his mother’s affair, the vineyard problems, his father’s health and his parents divorce. However, Allie was also to blame. Only being eighteen, she was somewhat clingy and wanted him to come for her. Their time spent at the vineyard and chateau, her suggestions for marketing and sales, was wonderful to read. Kate Hardy obviously had been to France and provided great insight into the wine industry. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the different grapes and wines and the beautiful countryside. I felt I was actually there during harvest time.

Working alongside of Allie became torture for Xav as he could see himself falling in love with her like all of those years ago. And if things got tough would she walk away again and leave him? She had some great ideas for the vineyard and she was getting to him. So much so, Xav finally gave in and they made love. Allie knew she had never stopped loving this man but he thought it was just physical or so he kept telling himself. He had trust issues and wondered if she’d be just like his mother and bail out! They also went together to Paris to meet with a distributor, the city where Xav years ago was going to propose to her and I wondered it they would survive the trip and maybe get their second chance?

I so love a romance with a happy ending and yes, Xav and Allie get theirs but there were a few bumps in the road, enough to send her back to London and in the end, him chasing after her because she was more important to him than the vineyard, France; without her he would be lost because she not only loved him, she believed in him.

Note: You won’t want to miss Kate Hardy’s Champagne with a Celebrity. It’s about Xav’s brother Guy; another marvelous love story involving Xav’s and Allie’s wedding, perfume, food and a sexy event planner!

I'd fancied setting a book in a vineyard for ages. And when I decided I was going to go for it, immediately two brothers walked into my head. One was the vigneron - and the other, his brother, informed me that he wasn't a vigneron, he was a parfumier. And so the French duo was born.

I spent a few days thinking about it, drinking French wine (well, hey, never let anyone say I don't take my research seriously), and I was going to set it in the south of France until I discovered this really nice bottle of rosé from the Ardèche. I was doing some idle research on the area... and then I sat up straight and paid attention. This was exactly where I wanted to set the book. France's best-kept secret, and more to the point it was near enough to Grasse (for book 2).

So we have Xavier Lefèvre, gorgeous brooding vigneron, who discovers that his late business partner has left his share of their vineyard to his great-niece and marketing expert, Allegra Beauchamp. Who just happens to be Xav's ex.

Xav thinks that Allie dumped him. Allie thinks that Xav was the one who ended it. There's an awful lot of pride in the way. They agree to a trial period for their business to work... and it ends up being much more than business.

I know I'm not the only author who does this, but I tend to cook dishes from the area in which my book is set while I'm writing it. And so we have poulet provencal for this book. (It's my low fat version. And I used this in the Valentine's feature I did with the local paper in Feb 2010, putting together a romantic Valentine's meal from my books. I had a ball on the photo shoot.)

It's dedicated to my friend and fellow Medical author, Maggie Kingsley, who listened to me when the book went pear-shaped and I was very grumpy about it, and helped me to see the wood for the trees. (Romantic novelists really are the nicest people in the world.) Kate Hardy
Back Blurb:

Her head says no!

Yes, Xavier Lefèvre was still the most gorgeous guy Allegra had ever met. If it were possible, he'd got even tastier with age! But everything has changed since that long, hot summer affair years ago. This time it's strictly business - like it or not they both own the vineyard, and she isn't going to see Xavier her piece of the label!

But her body screams yes!

Now she has two months to prove to him she'll make a great partner, and to persuade herself she doesn't need him in her bed. Yet who is she kidding? Even the thought is far too tempting, far too delicious...

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