Series: The Tavonesi Series #9
Genres: Best Friends Sibling, Contemporary Romance, Fake Relationship, Millionaire/Billionaire Hero, Romance
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With NO STRANGER TO LOVE, USA Today Bestselling Author Pamela Aares delivers another page-turning contemporary romance in the Tavonesi Series featuring love, suspense and adventure!
Juliet Cabot is no stranger to trouble, but she never imagined that her work defending endangered sea turtles on a beautiful Greek island would turn deadly. Threats to her life force her to call for help from the man who's haunted her dreams for years—wine country landowner and international polo star Parker Tavonesi.
Parker owes Juliet big time for getting him out of a fix in the past. Handsome, resourceful and fearless, she trusts him with her life but she vowed she would never trust him with her heart. When danger enshrouds them and warm island nights cause their bottled-up passions to flare, Juliet's every fantasy could become reality . . . unless the dark secrets of a sultry paradise prove fatal, not just for the struggling sea turtles but for Parker and Juliet as well.
Ah the fake romance, so much fun trying to keep everyone believing its real. So this is the ninth book in this series, and while I haven’t read all of the books in this series, I have read a few of them. The series itself follows a family who is particularly well off. I like the family in general, and they all seem like cool people, but man oh man do they get involved in each others lives.
So this book follows our hero, Parker, who is really starting to make a name for himself in the field of wine. Only when a very prestigous magazine wants to do a profile on him, they also want to include bits about his personal life. AKA, he needs to find someone to do the interview will who will pretend to be his significant other in order to get the vibe the magazine is looking for. And so of course, meddling family member to the rescue! Zuri offers up her best friend Juliet for the job, as long as Parker makes a rather large donation to the animal sanctuary that Juliet is trying to get set up in Hawaii. I liked Parker, he seems like a stand up guy, although he does really seem to enjoy things going exactly the way that he plans. The thing about Parker is that he can kind of come off a little bit stiff or rough around the edges, but when he opens up you can see how invested he is in the things he is passionate about, plus you really see how much he cares about his family as well. Also I really liked how he was willing to kind of leave to go help Juliet out when she was in a jam.
As for our heroine, Juliet, I liked her more than I liked Parker, I think that’s probably because she is crusading to save animals, and I am huge into rescuing and protecting animals. I also liked how she is kind of unaware of how people think of her, like it is mentioned a couple of times in the book, she really doesn’t realize how beautiful she is. I think I just identified with Juliet through the book.
So the reason why this book got 3.5 stars from me, is that it really is a slow burn, maybe a bit too much of a slow burn for me. You can tell right away that our hero and heroine are attracted to each other, and there are even some sparks flying, but the build up to the relationship. I did like the authors ability to paint a picture, the settings in this book really came alive off the pages, which was enjoyable for me. If you are a fan of this author or of this series, then you should definitely pick up this book.
There was nothing Parker liked better than a great party. Well, almost nothing. He did like winning a ball-busting polo match and the satisfaction of a great grape harvest.
He stared out at the party he’d arranged for his brother’s birthday. The band blared out a brilliant cover of “Stand by Me.” Dancers shouted and raised their hands over their heads on the dance floor, and Beau gave him a thumbs-up from across the room.
But his thoughts weren’t caught up in the swirl of lights, pulsing music and celebrating dancers.
Five minutes before the first guests had arrived, Juliet’s email had arrowed into his life, upsetting the smooth facade he preferred to show to the outside world.
He hadn’t heard from Juliet since the day of the Sommelier shoot, two and a half months ago. Except for her formal thank-you for his donation to the seal rescue center. On letterhead. Typed.
A week later he’d sent her the email announcing the party for the First Flight launch. He’d added a postscript reminding her that if she ever needed him, all she had to do was ask. She’d responded by checking the response box that said Not Attending.
Though he appreciated what social media made possible for marketing his business, he preferred old-fashioned, face-to-face communication. It left less to interpretation.
To the imagination.
He didn’t blame Juliet for taking off without saying goodbye. Just as he couldn’t be angry with his sister. He regretted his insensitive remarks, but by the time he’d heard of their conversation, the damage had been done.
Perhaps Zuri’s truth-telling had been for the best. He wasn’t relationship material. And a woman like Juliet deserved a man who was.
After the wine launch, he’d thrown himself into hard riding, harder work at the vineyard and crafting the perfect elaborate party for Beau’s birthday. As if the fiendish buzz of busyness would salve the regret that tugged at him.
He skirted the dance floor and walked along the rose-lined garden path that led to his library. A tap of his finger and Juliet’s message lit his computer screen.
Her simply worded email alarmed him.
I need you for a matter of great importance. Come to Zantos. I’ll explain when you arrive.
The three short sentences were already pulling him across the thousands of miles to Greece. Knowing her, she’d had to swallow her pride to even ask him for help.
He owed her. Big-time. More than she knew.
The magazine cover and five-page article had shot First Flight and his vineyard to world prominence. He’d sold out the vintage and had orders for the next. The cover photo of him and Juliet kissing had gone viral. No one could buy publicity like that.
He stared at the cover he’d had framed to hang on the wall of his library. Like a sentinel guarding a world beyond his grasp, the cover glared at him, mocking him.
How could memories be both delicious and disturbing at the same time?
He could still feel the lushness of Juliet’s lips and the heat of her skin beneath his hand. He’d loved the spunky way she’d sparred with him. Loved? Maybe too strong a word. He wasn’t sure he was cut out for that fine emotion.
He ignored the voice of warning whispering in the depths of his mind as he put his fingers on the keyboard. She’d asked for help, he would give it.
With a few clicks, he had a reservation for a flight to Athens the next evening. And a flight out to Zantos Island after he had time to clear customs. Another few clicks, and a few typed words that didn’t reveal any of the mixed emotions roiling through him, and he’d informed Juliet of his arrival.